It’s been almost 9 years since I met the boy of my dreams at table #1 in Steak n’ Shake. You may think that an unlikely place to someone, let alone your future husband. But SnS was my teenage domain. Like my Central Perk. I did actually work there, though. I can’t remember the exact day of the week it happened on, but we were slammed so it must have been a Friday or Saturday night. It was June 2004. The 50’s music was blaring like always and I was running around delivering milkshakes and steakburgers. I had a very good section that night that included the coveted busy tables in the smoking section (you could smoke in restaurants back then, that seems absurd now). Some of my regulars came in with two other friends and sat at table 1. I don’t have a good enough memory to recall what they ate, but I’m sure it included cheese fries and cherry cokes.
I do recall that the conversation quickly turned to ‘You should date our friend Beau.’ I probably rolled my eyes and laughed, but inside I was certainly horrified. I was terribly shy, still am, but nothing like it was then. I had also just gotten out of a serious and bad relationship weeks earlier. So I remember trying to get myself out of this situation as quickly as possible and standing where their friend Beau couldn’t see me and giving them a stern look and shaking my head no. It didn’t work. They kept on and on, but eventually left and I thought that would maybe be the end of it. Nope. That cute red-headed boy kept showing up on nights I was working. He would usually sit at the same table and ‘read’ The Catcher in the Rye. Sometimes we talked, but probably not much. I wasn’t clueless though. I knew why he was there, but I certainly wasn’t going to make any moves…
One night he had on a A Perfect Circle t-shirt, and I said something like ‘Oh, you like A Perfect Circle? I saw Tool in concert 2 years ago!’. Looking back on that, and knowing that cute red-headed boy like I do now, that may have been the moment he fell in love with me. Also, I guess that was me making a move too. There were more nights of ‘reading’ and his friends talking to me about him. There were other servers conned into getting my phone number. Which, I didn’t give him until he asked himself. Then finally there was a drive all around town at 1am. Just listening to music and talking as much as two very shy people could talk. Then there were actual dates.
I make it sound a little easier than it definitely was. We had some hard times in the beginning. I had an old boyfriend that wouldn’t go away and I had some very conflicting feelings. He waited. For a long time. That was probably when I fell in love with him. I was 17 and he was 20.
I think that’s probably the reason why YA love stories are my favorite. I feel like I’ve lived it. Some people might think it’s impossible to find such an amazing person and start a meaningful relationship at 17, but it’s definitely not. We are proof. It’s been nine years since we met. Yesterday was our 6 year wedding anniversary. Time has absolutely flown by. Now we’re expecting our first baby in the next few weeks. I’m still in awe of my luck. Who knew that table #1 at Steak n’ Shake would change my life forever.