Happy Friday Y’all, and happy Meet-a-versary to my dear Chef Hubby! That’s right, a year ago today (Nov. 6) we went on our first date. It’s also ironic because in a weekly Shalom Bayis email that I receive from a famous dating/marriage coach, Devorah Kigel, she mentioned that it’s important to plan a date night with your husband and reminisce about when you met. And the hubs and I have been doing that for the past week! It’s really crazy to look at our day-to-day lives now and think that just a year ago we were anticipating the first meeting with our possible, future spouse.
I remember it like it was yesterday. The hubs was flying in from Chicago to go out with me in NJ. I figured that since he was specifically flying in to go out with a girl that he had never met (your’s truly) that I might as well look extra nice. So I took the day off work to get ready. I got my makeup done and my hair blown out, and I was counting down the seconds on the clock to meet this mystery man who had literally flown 800 miles just to meet me. Based on the advice of our shadchanim and rebbetzins, we had decided to date the “old school”, shidduch way and not speak on the phone before we met in person. From experience in many walks of life, it is COMPLETELY different speaking to someone on the phone and meeting them in person, and since you hope to marry the person, if he’s the right one iy”H, it’s probably a good idea meet in person rather than speak on the phone, as you will end up living with this person rather than having an online marriage. BH, it was clearly the right decision for us.
As we are now married, one year later, we like to look back and laugh at some of the funny things that happened on that first date. I had to pick him up/drive to our date destination because since he was in from out of town and I had a car, it would be silly to ask him to rent a car himself. So I drove up to the house where he was staying and anticipated the moment when he would walk out of the house. I mean, is this how guys feel when they pick up girls?! He came out, got in the car, and I proceeded to casually mention that “I can’t really talk and drive at the same time. So don’t feel awkward!” I thought I was clearing the awkwardness by doing this, but a year later, I am told that it’s a good thing we had a great convo and, both preferred vanilla over chocolate, as the date went on ;).
BH, Date 1 on November 6, 2014 turned into dates 2 and 3 that weekend, which then turned into many phone conversations and 4 trips back and forth from New Jersey to Chicago before we got engaged almost 2 months later. You may be reading this and thinking that we’re crazy. I mean, how can you really know if this person across the table/country from you is meant to be your husband/wife in just 2 months? Well, by no means am I any sort of “relationship expert” but IMO, it takes a lot of experienced advice from a few rabbis/rebbetzins that you trust, emunah (trust) in H-shem that He is leading you on the right path, LOTS of davening (praying), and truly knowing yourself. It was a very hectic 7 weeks, but a year later, we are very happily hosting our neighbors for Shabbos dinner and theming the meal “Soy Rice to Meat You”. **Sidenote: Chef hubby is cooking Shabbos, he came up with the clever pun, and we’re both very happy this way. I just get credit as the wife :).** It is truly amazing to see how your relationship with your husband develops over time. I now understand when people say that love grows — that you don’t have to be “in love” with your spouse on your wedding day. Because looking back from Date 1 to a full year and lots of life-changes later, our relationship is a completely different ball game. I feel so blessed that H-shem led me to my other half, and I daven that everyone should merit to find and marry their basheret in the right way at the right time. Here’s a little snippet of our year. Try not to gag ;).
To conclude, an analogy: This year has been like a box of chocolates. We definitely didn’t ask for every chocolate in the box (as noted by the mostly half-eaten ones), but since we’ve gone through the box together, not only have we made it, but we’ve had a great time along the way. We only hope to share a lifetime of chocolate boxes together! Have a wonderful Shabbos, y’all!