The perfect date. We all have one (hopefully). That date you look back on and think, “Why can’t they all be like that?”. Maybe it was a beautiful restaurant…dressing up and being treated like royalty.
Orrrr…maybe you’re like me and it involved a giant cow. 🤷♀️
Many many (…MANY…) years ago, a fresh, innocent (stop laughing!! I can be innocent!!) young 21 year old Sheri went on her first solo business trip…to Omaha, NE. This particular trip, other than being a milestone for her, wasn’t exactly a big deal….I mean…Omaha…what is there to do?
WELL. LET ME TELL YOU!
First, the regional manager and branch managers asked our young heroine what she had expected of Omaha. “Corn. I expected a lot of corn.” So…those managers drove me out of Omaha…to see a large corn field…so I could say I had…and cautioned me to NOT run through it (as I had seen in movies) unless I wanted to be cut to shreds.
That was it. I’d been to Omaha. I had seen all that it had to offer. Until…
We got back to the local office, still laughing about our corn adventure, and…I met a boy. I wouldn’t have normally thought much of this boy because I was there for business, but…21 year old version of me was intrigued by the conversation that happened…
“Hey…would you want to go out with me?” *confused Sheri face* “You live in Nebraska…” “And? You’re IN Nebraska. I’ll take you out on the river on my boat and we can moon people eating at the restaurant.”
HOLD UP. YOU HAVE MY ATTENTION.
That was the day I met Niall. Niall was…this amazing, hilarious, boy version of me. I instantly decided he was going to be my best friend. We both liked each other as more, but that whole distance thing…
So. Every time I traveled to Omaha, or he traveled to New Jersey, we would hang out. It was never a date…until one night it was.
I was back in Omaha and Niall asked me out. He made it clear THIS ONE was a date. *sigh* OK. Dates suck and typically take all of the spontaneity out of life, but fine.
“What are we going to do?” “Don’t worry about it. I’ll meet you at the hotel.” Ok….
What followed was the gold standard of dates that I have held every date up to in comparison for the past 20 years.
See, Niall knew that I wasn’t a dinner and a movies kind of girl. He knew that from the moment he heard about the corn field and asked me to go moon people from the river. Niall knew his audience and he…dare I say it…nialled it. (Damn, I wish I could tell him THAT little pun I just came up with. 🤣🤣)
First he took me to the bar. Big deal, right? So many dates in our early 20s wound up in bars. But…no…this wasn’t just a bar…it was THE bar. It was the seediest, run down, basement of a motel, 70s style rug still intact, bar that you ever have seen. It was barflies and truck drivers and…a scene straight out of every, “Oh this won’t end well” movie you’ve ever seen. We sat there for HOURS…making friends with the locals…with the longhaul truck drivers…potentially with hookers…IT WAS AMAZING.
Then…at around 1 am…we decided we were a bit peckish. Lol We sat at Denny’s for another couple of hours. Talking and laughing like only Niall and I could. Until he looked me dead in the eye and said, “Wanna go climb a cow?” “Ummmmmm…is that even a question?!?!?”
So he took me to this monstrous cow statue that was gated off in a parking lot nearby…and he kept watch, like Bonnie’s perfect Clyde, while I ran around it and tried to find a way to climb up it. It was slippery and impossible to climb, but holy hell we laughed while I tried.
That was it. That was my perfect date. The date where someone knew me well enough to know that the way to my heart is adventure and laughs and the unexpected.
Niall and I stayed in touch for a very long time, even after I got married and he met his person. He was the first guy to call me his, “What if? Girl”…and the only one that it doesn’t piss me off when I think of it. But, time moves on and so do our lives…and apparently so does that cow. Years later Niall told me that the cow had been moved to the rooftop of a local place.
Over the years, I’ve looked for that again.
The poor guy who wanted to walk to some local ruins to “look” at them after a lunch date. Sooo…I made him walk through a Civil War cemetery reading tombstones on the way and then asked him to take cover while I climbed the fence at the ruins so I could get closer and take pictures. The look on his face… 🤣🤣 We’re still friends, but that was our only date. 🤣🤣
The various guys who have said, “What do you want to do for our first date?” “Hmmmmmm…I have a camera…wanna go wander around Walmart and be undercover People of Walmart photographers?” (No one has taken me up on that yet…I’ll probably marry the guy who knows I’m not actually trying to be cute…)
It seems silly, but…that moment stands out because someone liked me for EXACTLY who I was and wouldn’t have wanted me to change a thing about me…quirkiness and all.
And that’s what I’m waiting for.
I’m waiting to find a cow to climb.
(I also just emailed Niall, because hell it’s been 2 years since we talked!!! Not cool, Niall, not cool!!)