I was living in Crystal at the time in about a 500 sq foot apartment. It was the time of year where I would sleep on the couch in the living room since that is where the only air conditioning unit was located. This particular afternoon was no exception, as the temperature was in the 90s with very high humidity.
Later that evening I was slated to meet Jen for our first date! After exchanging voice mail messages, we spoke over the phone for the first time the previous Tuesday. We decided to meet for dinner that Saturday at the Chili’s restaurant near her place in Brooklyn Park.
I arrived early, as I always do, and sat in the waiting area. As I was watching a baseball game on the TV in the bar area, I heard a nice, sweet voice behind me say “Brad?” I turned around to meet my date for the evening. I was struck by how she looked like a girl I had known for years and even had a crush on when I was in my late teens. So far, so good! As we were about to be seated, I motioned for her to walk ahead of me. You may surmise that I was being a gentleman. But I have to confess I merely made such a gesture so I could check her out from the back (Forgive me, but I was still in the process of being chipped out of an ice block at that point in my life).
We were seated and began the process of getting to know each other better. I was an old pro at this blind date stuff so I wasn’t the least bit nervous. However, I could tell she was somewhat apprehensive.
As we continued talking after our entrees arrived, we determined that we could have crossed paths any number of times. She and her family moved from Chicago to River Falls, WI in the early 90s, the exact same time period when I was attending UW-River Falls. I also found out her mother obtained an accounting job with S&T Office Products in Vadnais Heights, MN. As it turned out, I was in the same interview pool for that exact job in 1993!
After spending about an hour at Chili’s, I was having such a wonderful time that I didn’t want the evening to end. I suggested maybe we do something outdoors since it was such a pleasant evening. I then came up with the idea of miniature golf. She happened to know of a place called “Lilli Putt” on Coon Rapids Blvd. She then had me follow her to her condo so she could drop off her car and we could ride together. I figured she must have thought I was OK since she wanted the evening to continue and allowed me to know where she lived.
We arrived at Lilli Putt for a round of mini golf. As we got started, I joked “loser buys pie at Baker’s Square afterwards.” I then assured her that I didn’t have one of those fragile male egos that is easily shattered if I lose to a woman in a silly game. We then continued to talk about anything and everything as went through our round. As we went to turn in our clubs at the end of the game, I tallied up the scores and determined that I won by two strokes. She then chuckled and said “Do you want to go to the Baker’s Square on Brooklyn Blvd?” I assured her I was only kidding about the pie thing. But she too wanted the evening to continue. So we indulged in some pie and more conversation until close to Midnight.
I drove her home and walked her to her front door. As we said goodnight, we made tentative plans to get together the following week.
From that day on, we seemed virtually inseparable for the next ten years!