If you missed it before, you might want to go back and read the first two installments of this series.
The Good Date came almost a year after The Bad Date. Like I said before, Erik and I were friends before we went on our first date. So for a year, we sort of pretended that first bad date never happened. We saw each other around school, at various gatherings, and everything was peachy keen.
And there was AIM. Ah, remember AIM? The glorious king of instant messaging. Where away messages were how you kept track of what your friends were up to instead of Facebook statuses. I remember outlining my entire day on AIM... it's a wonder I was never stalked. Oh wait, actually... hm...
Erik and I talked a lot via AIM. It was the introverts dream come true of getting to know someone. I have always been a much better writer than speaker. So one day, we were talking back and forth on the topic of video games. I told him my favorite game was Goldeneye, N64. Old school. And that none of my roommates would play it with me. WOMEN. He said he'd play, so I invited him over and began the annihilation.
Erik later told me this was one of the greatest moments of his life, to be invited to a girls' apartment to play video games. This tells me, boys are extremely easy to impress.
We played, I crushed, he accepted his loss humbly. I didn't know Erik well enough to know how deep his competitive streak went yet, so it was just casual fun times of virtually murdering my future husband over and over again. Eventually he went home and the AIM chats continued.
Soon enough it became clear that every free moment of both our days was spent talking to one another. I went home for summer break a few days later and the chats continued. After a few weeks, we decided to give that date thing another try and Erik drove from Harrisonburg to Richmond to make it happen.
In hindsight, it must be intimidating to try to "redo" a date by coming to a girl's house and staying with her family, who he had never met, for the weekend. But he did. He even came prepared with a "win the family over" homemade video game where he incorporated all my littlest brother's favorite characters into one video game for him to play. That Erik. What a try hard ;)
This time, we were in my town, so I planned the date. And this is basically how we operate in life now. It just works better :D Because when I plan dates, they involve 12 scoop ice cream sundaes. And playgrounds. And lakes. And jet skis. Pshyeah.
Now, Erik didn't know me well enough to know that I'm not very mechanically inclined, so he probably should have double-checked the jet ski hitch to make sure I'd attached it properly... but ya know, all is well that ends well. And how could he know I had no idea what I was doing?Right? It was an adventure at the very least...
The best part was the night where we lay on the dock of the lake in my parents' neighborhood, talking and talking for hours. That perfect kind of soul-baring talk that only happens when you're shrouded in night. Erik's dad passed away very tragically just a few years before and he told me all about the mix of feelings he still had. And that's the kind of conversation that really shows the truth of a person. I think we both felt that way. I finally felt like I knew the real Erik, not the comedian Erik. Every girl wants a guy who's funny, right? But the funny guy can be difficult to understand. And it took about a year to crack through his loudness and jokes and my quiet guardedness and sarcasm, but on that dock, we definitely cracked. In the best possible way.