Today, Rufus, my dear sweet kitty, would have been 23 years old. Insane, Right? In 15 short days, it will be 6 months exactly since I lost him.
Today is also 10 years since Mike and I started dating. I know you don't celebrate "dating" anniversaries once you're married, but I think this one is a pretty snazzy milestone.
So today is a very bittersweet day for me, while celebrating our milestone, we'll also be celebrating Rufus' life - and what he brought to our lives. It still amazes me the impact his loss has had on me. When you procure a pet, a lot of people don't realize what they'll do for them.
Anyway, in celebration of our 10 years together .. wow, that's insane - 10 years .. I thought I'd write a little but about our first date :) hehe.
Here it goes .. Technically, our first date was March 31st, we saw "Remember the Titans" at "Chunky's" (which is now Smitty's) in Sanford, Maine. The movie wasn't the greatest 'date movie' but we had a good time anyway. He was playing with the silverware on the table - a WICKED pet peeve of mine - I put my hand over his to "silence" it - sort of. Let me give you the lay out of "Chunky's" .. They have seats from cars - like Lincolns, I believe - that recline, roll and all that fun stuff, instead of theater seats. There is a long table in the middle. Each table seats 8 people, you can sit next to someone, but when the movie starts, and you turn your chair to watch it, they end up behind you. He sat across the table from me. It's a place where you can order a meal (alcoholic beverages ARE available as well, though, back then I wasn't 21) and watch a movie. Dinner and a Movie becomes a one stop shop.
OK So - he was playing with the silverware, and I placed my hand over his to sort of stop him ... He glanced at me from the side and sort of smirked. He slid his hand out from under mine, and instead, put his on top and sort of squeezed a little. That was the first time he ever tried to hold my hand.
See, we'd been hanging out since the end of January. I had worked for his parents (briefly) in their now bankrupt and closed FIRST restaurant (a blog for another day I'm sure) and he had worked for mine. It was his first "non-kitchen" job, and as near as I could tell, he was enjoying working there. We, along with his "cousin", used to go out for drinks, wander around stores and choose stupid DVDs to enjoy at other times, etc. In hindsight, he was too shy to go out with me because of our nearly 5 year age difference, the fact that we each worked for the others parents, and it was his way of hanging out with me (sort of pre-dating) ...
After weeks of this "pre-dating" his cousin, who isn't really his cousin, but some how related and it's easier just to say "cousin" - trust me, it really is .. anyway, after weeks of this, she finally said she was 'busy' and we'd have to either reschedule, or go without her, we didn't reschedule - we went without her. Though, we changed the plans - it was supposed to be drinks and hanging out, instead, we went to "Chunky's" and enjoyed dinner and a movie. Well, I don't think we enjoyed either, but it was our first time out together, and it ended with him finally sucking it up and asking me if we were now considered "dating" ... men! Well, at the time ... Boys!
Once his initial shyness was over, and the first date was done, and a success, we were pretty much inseparable - for two people who each worked 2 full(ish) time jobs ... it was as inseparable as we could be.
Now, don't get me wrong, we've had our share of ups and downs, and there were times when we weren't sure we couldn't make it, where we weren't going to last together as an "us" .. but here, 10 years later, we stand - together, married, happy, and in love .. more and more in love each every day. Cheesy Right?
We've also instilled the habit of cooking together - even including Emily - and somehow, it tastes better when we all three, cook together. We have date night (and we don't always go out - we do make time for just us) and often play board games, card games, or just sit - and read.
Happy 10 Years Bub. It's better than ever, I can't wait until our next milestone.