Dana and I had our first date on August 4, 2006. We went to see the Will Ferrell movie “Talladega Nights”. I bought the tickets beforehand and was very nervous.
Dana and I had taken our French 30 class together in the spring, but he didn’t even know my name then. My best friend Catherine and I chatted extensively in French about Dana while sitting across the aisle from him, but he didn’t speak very good French and so my secret was safe. The truth was: I loved him from the first day I saw him.
On the last day of French class, while Dana was with the professor doing his verbal final exam, I scribbled my email address and “ne m’oubliez pas” on some paper and hid it in his French grammar book, the Bescherelle. With my heart pounding, I passed him on the way to the professor’s desk for my own exam, feeling hopeful that he would find my note, but also terrified he wouldn’t.
I figure it was fate that he and I ran into each other in the parking lot after school. As he was graduating grade 12 and I was only finishing grade 10, we may never have seen each other again. I blurted out “Read your Bescherelle!” then leapt into my Jeep Cherokee and drove away with a flaming red face.
As luck would have it, Dana did find my note tucked in his Bescherelle. We started emailing and MSNing back and forth with many emoticons to express our growing affection for each other. These were complicated times, as you can imagine.
So August 3rd rolled around and we were on MSN, and somehow it seemed appropriate that I should say that I loved him. Terrified that he would reject my love, I quickly added “like a brother”. Long story short, somehow we still ended up with a date planned for the 4th to see “Talladega Nights”.
I can’t even remember what I wore, but the date was lovely and I was ecstatic to be on a date with Dana. After the movie, we went for very large Frappuccinos at Starbucks, then with a curfew extension, went for a walk around Muskoseepi Park. Words can’t describe how happy I was to be on a date with my dream guy.
The rest of August flew by – with basically a date every day, meeting both the parents and all the friends, and quickly falling in love – all the while trying to cram as much in as possible because Dana was off to Calgary to attend Mount Royal in September.
Since I had to finish high school (annoying I know) Dana and I faced two unbearable years of long distance. He was home every long weekend and the first summer, but after that his folks moved to Calgary. The drive between Calgary and Grande Prairie is about eight hours, or seven if you’re speeding. We spent hours, days, months on the phone, sending emails, and packages.
So why am I choosing to tell you this long-winded story on February 4th?
While we endured our time apart, we looked for reasons to celebrate each other and our love, and to find happiness when we were both sad to be apart.
We always marked the “6 month” anniversaries, so February 4th holds a special place in my heart and calendar.
Dana is such an incredible man and I’m so honored to be his wife. I’ve always been so impressed at his ability to be everyone’s friend, how he’s so intelligent and quick to catch on, and how he “takes the bull by the horns.” (If you want something done, ask Dana!) Dana is extremely loyal and very caring, and always goes out of his way to make sure I’m happy.
The past five months of his layoff have been incredibly hard for both of us, but I continue to marvel at his ability to keep his chin up and just roll with the punches.
Whatever is to come in the next six months, I know we can handle it. Happy 9 ½ year anniversary Dana – je t’aime!