When Mommy was living in the cold, cold city of Minneapolis in a teeny tiny apartment she had decided she was tired of dating. Because sometimes boys can be frustrating. Daddy was living in a condo with Mac the Dog, and was also tired of dating.
Mommy decided to just focus on her girl friends. She went to a party one weekend night where one of the main attractions was the game of Catch Phrase. You know, that game with the buttons you insisted on pushing over and over, causing that ANNOYING beeping sound.
Mommy noticed a cute boy had arrived but didn’t think much of it. That is, until she correctly blurted out the correct answer to the 80s rock band Guns n Roses‘ lead singer (Axl Rose). The cute boy nudged Mommy’s arm and said “atta girl!” Mommy suddenly felt all fluttery inside, possibly because this was the first and last time she would get praise for knowing any bit of music trivia.
The party moved to a German bar where weird things happened like drinking adult juice out of a large glass boot, snuff and dancing. Later, Mommy felt kind of sick so Daddy kissed her goodnight. Mommy was a little embarrassed that she wasn’t feeling well, and as she drifted off to sleep, she thought to herself “I can’t date this boy because this would be our first date story.” Boys, life can be funny sometimes.
Then Daddy didn’t call for THREE days. Do not let three days go by if you are interested in a girl.
Daddy almost lost out on Mommy by inviting her to another party with people she had just met. He would later learn that this is about the worst scenario in which to get to know Mommy. He later committed a similar offense by making Mommy watch “Dead Silence,” a horror movie about people getting their tongues cut out. Mommy won’t even watch Law & Order: SVU, so this was Mommy’s first clue that she liked Daddy.
Fortunately, Daddy wised up and took Mommy out on a “proper” date at a fancy restaurant… at Mall of America. Mommy could tell when Daddy looked at the menu that he hadn’t anticipated the cost of a single entree. She also knew that he was totally playing a game by forgoing the cheap chicken breast and ordering filet mignon. Mommy played the game, too, and ordered the only slightly less expensive scallops. That ended up being a pretty pricey night for Daddy, but boys, a girl you want to pursue is worth it. Luckily for Daddy, Mommy really likes diners with burgers, fries and shakes so the rest of our dates were much more affordable.
I still remember the exact moment when I realized I loved your Daddy. Not just liked hanging out with him and having someone to wander the Target aisles with, but that deep down, pit of your stomach, knock the breath out of you kind of feeling.
Back then, it was all about Mommy and Daddy. Daddy frequently made his “gourmet” dinner of spaghetti with Italian dressing, tomatoes and black olives (until he learned I hate black olives). Mommy wrote letters to Daddy and hid them in his suitcases when he’d go on business trips. We spent many nights getting Jamba Juice and walking around a small percentage of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, watching movies (until Mommy fell asleep halfway through… every time) and spending Saturday mornings at a bagel shop drinking coffee, reading an actual newspaper and talking. (Talking without interruption…sigh…) We traveled to the mountains, to Broadway, and to meet Nonnie and Grandpa for the first time where Daddy burned bacon, flooding the house with smoke.
Within a few months, we knew one day we’d be married (and less than two years later, we were.)
If you learn anything from the love story that began this family, let it be this: love should be easy. Don’t misunderstand me: relationships are hard work and require sacrifice, forgiveness and intentional choices. But, when Mommy and Daddy argued, I knew it would always work it out. I knew that given the choice, Daddy would prefer to (and still does) spend his time with me and vice versa. I knew we had similar values and goals, the same understanding of our relationship intentions.
We text more about grocery lists and daycare pickups then we do about feelings these days. I remember to put a letter in Daddy’s suitcase only every six months. We’ve been challenged in ways I never anticipated when your non-sleeping selves came into this world. But your Daddy is, and will always be, my best friend. That part will always be easy.
To read more from our “How I Met Your Father” series, click here.