I follow the hostess as she takes me back deep into the restaurant to be seated with a man I've never met, but who has already spent hundreds of dollars on me. I'm thinking a million thoughts, "what do I say", "how do I thank him for all he's done", "is he expecting something from me for his generosity". We arrive at the table and there sits an incredibly handsome man, very different looking from his picture on Match.com, he's much better looking. I feel myself instantly relaxing, he looks peaceful and comforting. For the first time I am seeing what I felt over the phone and through so many emails. I'm no longer nervous, I'm happy I didn't chicken out.
I sit down at the table and I'm smiling, so is Bob. He speaks first and tells me he thinks I'm more beautiful in person, I'm happy, because I tell him I feel the same, we're definitely off to a good start. We chat a bit, a little small talk and the I tell him how I almost chickened out and went back home, but now I'm so happy I didn't. Then he says something I can hardly believe, even to this day, "I'm glad you didn't, I have that TV you want in the back of my SUV". My mouth dropped, "what, are you kidding me, that thing cost $700 and you barely know me?" He say's, "I know you, and I'm happy to do it for you".
We continue on with dinner, enjoying our time together more then I could have ever hoped for. At one point he reached for me hand across the table, looked at me and said, "do you prefer silver or gold?" I said, "what do you mean?" He said, "jewelry - do you prefer silver or gold?" It made me feel a bit uncomfortable, seriously, I think this man had spent enough on me without worrying about jewelry! Nevertheless, I found myself saying, "gold".
Dinner came to an end, but we were having a wonderful time together and secretly I didn't want our "meeting date" to end. We walked outside and he took to me to his SUV, and there in the back, big as could be was my TV. I was so speechless and even tough I was already physically attracted to this man and was having a wonderful night, I kept wondering what the "price" was for these financial generosities.
We stood by his SUV chatting for a bit, when Bob said what I was feeling "I'm having a really good time and I'm not ready to call it a night, would you like to do something else this evening?" Well... to be honest, I had already planned to go shopping for new bed linens. My new bedroom set was due to arrive soon and I had two things I needed to get done, one was get new sheets and the other was to go the store where I bought the furniture and pick up the lamp I had also purchased, because it wasn't getting delivered. Sounds like a great way to continue a date.... I decided to just tell him I needed to do these things, it was more of a timing issue then anything else, and I really wanted to get my bedroom together because the couch wasn't much fun. In Bob's true form, he was ready to help. He said, "let's go, leave your car here and we'll go get everything you need". So we did. Here I was on my first "meeting date" with this man and he was sheet shopping with me and we were having fun doing it.
I already knew what I wanted, so we ran into Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I loaded my cart with all the items I needed. I had everything but a blanket, which unbeknownst to me was not lost on Bob. I went to check out and it was almost $400.00. I hear Bob say, "let me get this for you".... "what".... "let me get this for you", are you kidding me.... I said, "no, Bob, you bought me a TV, dinner, a hotel, a rental car, my gosh, no, I'm buying my own bed linens... he didn't push the issue, but he was more then happy to pay for everything. I didn't know how to process this side of Bob.
After we got the bed items we went the furniture store and picked up the lamp. Then he drove me back to my car, loaded the items in it, including the TV, and asked me if he could take me on a date the next night. My head was still spinning, but the words, "yes, I would love to see you again" came out with no problem. I liked this man, and wanted to know more.
When I was still in Alaska at the hotel Bob had asked me what kind of dates I enjoyed. I had shared a few of my favorite things to do in St. Louis, and had also included the fact it was the Holiday season and Tilles Park had all their lights up and one thing I had never done was go through there in a horse drawn carriage, but always wanted to. At the time, it was in my mind conversation, I never really gave it any more thought then that. But Bob did...
When I agreed to see him again on Saturday night he said, "good I was planning on you saying Yes, because I've already made reservations for us to go to Tilles park and see the lights in a horse drawn carriage". There I stood once again thinking "are you for real"??? We parted ways in the parking lot with a warm hug, a little kiss, and a "I'll call you tomorrow morning". I got in my car and to this day I can't remember the drive back to Lisa's, my head was just spinning with everything. How could this all be so perfect? Yes, how could this all be so perfect?
I got back to Lisa's and had to get her to help me with the TV. Now remember Lisa.. she's a realist that calls it like she sees it. She went downstairs with me and sees this giant Television in my car and I hear, "are you kidding me, what's up with this guy, did this thing fall off a truck or what?" I said, "I don't know", and proceeded to tell her everything about the evening. She was so skeptical, and so was I, but she was really skeptical.
As he promised Bob called Saturday morning and asked what I was doing during the day. I told him I needed to get license plates for my car and run a few errands. He asked me to stop by his house if I wanted and he would take me to lunch. He told me he couldn't wait to see me again. I felt the same way, I really enjoyed this man, and I was doing a great job ignoring the fact nothing about this was normal... I ran my errands, got my plates and went to his house for the first time. In Bob's true, "let me help you form", he put the plates on my car and took me to lunch. He told me he also wanted to take me dinner after our carriage ride through the park. I was really excited, it was something I always wanted to do. After lunch we parted ways with plans for me to come back to his house later that evening.
Evening came and we started out on our date. We were really having fun, we enjoyed each other immensely and we both had a physical attraction to each other, so aside from the whole "gift" thing, it was wonderful. We arrive at Tilles park and the way the carriage rides work is you buy a ticket for each person in your party that will be riding in the carriage. The carriages held about 10-12 people, so Bob would have needed to buy 2 tickets for us to go for the ride. We parked his SUV and Bob say, "oh I brought a blanket, let me get it". Bob pulls out a brand new Queen sized blanket that was the color of my bed linens and says, "I bought this for you. I figured we could use it tonight to stay warm, and then wash it up for you to use on your new bed, because I noticed you didn't buy a blanket and I want you to be warm". Once again, I'm speechless.... but I won't linger here, because that's just the beginning of the nights surprises. We walk over to the place where you check in only to find out that Bob has bought out all the tickets for the carriage we were to ride in so we would have it to ourselves. So yes, once again my mouth has dropped and I can't believe what he has done. And, I'm thinking, he did all of these things, and made all these plans before he had ever set eyes on me. What kind of man have I met??
The carriage ride was fabulous, the lights were gorgeous, the blanket was warm, it was a fairy tale in the making.... or was it?