Today, November 27, 2013 marks the 14th anniversary of my first “official” date with the young and vibrant Mrs. Jennifer Rose (Hale) Garrison.
Our first date was on Saturday, November 27, 1999. While we had met for the first time back on Friday, May 14, 1999, as seat buddies on a Delta flight to El Salvador for a 14 day mission trip, we did not have an official date until that Thanksgiving weekend some 6 months later.
Our first date was in Louisville on an evening dinner cruise. The boat’s name escapes me, but it has since been retired, but the Captain’s Quarters Princess is the exact same style and shape. Who knows, it may be the very one, I don’t know. The interior looks identical.
We both drove to Louisville from our homes on the opposite side of the state and met up on the Louisville riverfront. Before we set sail, we walked around the Belvedere which was decorated nicely for Christmas.
Jennifer wore an all-black business suit (very conservative even for her standards). I worn a blue shirt, maroon tie, and black slacks. It was cold, but not miserable.
As any respectable young man would do, I reserved our cruise tickets well in advance. (Just for the record they were $50 per person, which was a ton of money for a lowly seminary student.) I can’t remember what we ate, but I do remember it was a buffet-style serving line.
While on the 2-hr boat ride, we did dance on the dance floor to a slow song. Our first official dance together. We probably didn’t have another dance until we were married a couple years later. We aren’t much of the dancing type.
There was no kiss at the end of the date. There has to be some boundaries for the first date, especially with a godly Christian woman. We did have our first kiss about a month later during Jennifer’s Christmas break visit to my parent’s home.
As the evening came to a close, we departed to our separate cars. Jennifer stayed in Louisville with her college roommate, Casey. I drove back to Lewisport.
She still had two more weeks of classes at EKU and graduation. I had to fly back to Fort Worth, TX to finish my first semester in seminary at SWBTS.
14 years ago seems like an eternity. I can’t imagine my life without her. She still makes me laugh out loud. She still has the best one-liners in the world. Just ask her about the Viagra pen. Her rhyming skills are through the roof. She can make up songs about anything, any time.
She is extremely smart and has the ability to be more singularly-focused than any other person I know. She can read a room better than anyone – discerning who is happy, who is sad, who likes who. She can play dumb with the best of them (namely the master of pretending she doesn’t know anything, Mrs. Sheri Taylor).
She is the best tag-team partner any man could ask for. I am glad I asked her out “officially” way back when. I am even more glad she said “yes.”