The First Date

The Wednesday that Luke and Katie agreed to meet upon was hot and sunny and full of expectation. They had spent weeks chatting on dating site OkCupid: Luke showing off his Photoshop skills; Katie linking to her baking blog; each of them trash-talking about their basketball skills. But finally, Katie returned to Boston from visiting her family in New York, and the time was right for their first date.

It was to be a picnic in a dog park near Luke’s home; they would have the welcome distraction of Luke’s sweet husky mix, Cassie, and all of her four-legged friends. Katie, without having a pet to bring along, offered to bring along some sandwich fixings for the picnic. She stopped at Panera to get some bread, and as she walked into the store, Luke called her for the first time.

She sent it to voicemail.

It wasn’t that she wasn’t excited, but those who’ve been dating online know: it’s tough. Expectations start to build, and you hope that the person you’ve been emailing can stand up to the pressure of reality. What if he was actually 4’11? What if he sounded like Mickey Mouse? What if he’s the kind of person who hates to leave voicemails?

Luckily, even though he IS the kind of person who hates to leave voicemails, Luke left Katie a brief, sweet message (in his very masculine voice), so Katie felt confident about the date, even without height confirmation. The three of them (Cassie included) met awkwardly in the lobby of Katie’s apartment building– complete with averted eye contact and absolutely no physical contact– and headed out for the dog park.

When they arrived, they realized that sitting on the ground with delicious sandwiches at a dog park might not have been the best idea, but they were largely left alone, and Cassie felt comfortable enough with Katie to mooch off her chips. In her flustered state at Panera, Katie accidentally bought sourdough bread bowls, which made for very awkward sandwiches; luckily, Luke took it in stride and only teased her about it months later.

They finished their lunch and started walking around the park, and Luke asked Katie if it would be alright to give her a hug.

It was.

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