I had just bought a house and moved back to my hometown in July of 1998. By January 1999, I was separated from my ex-husband, living alone, having fun remodeling my old house, and excited about being single.
Mom called me after work on Friday and told me that her friend Bonnie was looking for someone to go out to eat with that night–and mom wasn’t available. She told me to give Bonnie a call.
Bonnie said, “I’ll pick you up and drive, but you have to pick the place.”
“Okay”, I said and then I called Mom again. “Mom, where do you go to eat around here?” I asked.
“Why don’t you go to Hubbard’s Rapids, they’ve got good fish,” she said.
So Bonnie picked me up. We talked and talked on the 20-minute drive to the restaurant. Walking in the door, we went to the bar to get a drink and ask for a table. Bonnie was surprised to see someone she knew there. “Craig, what are you doing here?” she said to the man at the bar.
Turns out that they had talked earlier in the day when he called to find out if her son was doing anything that evening. Her son, Rob, already had plans. So, Craig had stopped in at the restaurant to get a meal to go and was having a drink while he waited.
Bonnie looked at me. She looked at Craig, and then back at me. “What to join us for dinner?” she asked.
“Sure,” Craig immediately responded.
Now, she didn’t ask me, but the only hesitation she had was due to a conversation she had with her son, Craig’s friend, a few weeks prior. When she asked if she should set Craig and me up on a date, Rob didn’t think it was a good match because, as he put it, “Craig is a putz.” (Yeah, Rob was a really “good” friend…he was actually the best man at our wedding!)
Throughout dinner, Craig, Bonnie, and I laughed and told stories. We didn’t want the night to end. After dinner, we went to a little bar in town called “Cocktails” until bar time.
Walking out into the parking lot in the wee morning hour, Craig asked if I wanted to come to his house to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. I declined–I already had family plans. I told him that I had to cut my cousin’s hair. Which I did. But I did give him my phone number and the relationship began…
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