Four years ago today, Chaz and I were hosting a Friday night dinner party. We weren't dating, but we had started spending much more time around each other over the preceding three weeks, so I guess you could say that we both knew something was up. We had gone grocery shopping the night before - green and red peppers, alfredo sauce, chicken, noodles, and enough apple crisp materials to feed a crowd of seven. We talked as we prepared the food. He told me about a childhood house fire, and I told him about traveling with various musical ensembles. (The house fire was a far more interesting story than the traveling.)
People started to arrive as we were finishing up the cooking around 7:00. We sat down at the table to eat, and I remember thinking that I was disappointed with the flavor of the alfredo stir fry. It was too watery, but I knew I could make up for it with the apple crisp. After dinner, we played some ping pong and explored the house (setting: house-sitting for our boss), and people started to trickle out around 10:00.
Eventually, we were the only ones left, facing a pile of dirty dishes and pots and pans in the sink. Our conversation finally got to a point where we could not longer avoid the giant question hanging over our heads, so we sat down on the couch and started talking in earnest.
After two hours, we had talked our way through a year and a half of confusion, a week of reintroduction, and two weeks of spending time together. He told me how he felt, but in an act of unmerited graciousness, he left the final decision up to me. And in my typical ultra-practical, not particularly romantic manner, I responded, "Well, we went to Ikea together last week by ourselves. I'm pretty sure that was a date. And then we went grocery shopping together by ourselves yesterday, and I'm pretty sure that was a date too. So we might as well admit that we're dating." And that was that.
We didn't tell anyone right away (with the exception of my best friend, who got a voicemail at two in the morning when I was driving home, which explains why we're friends, and my mom the next morning, since I didn't want to freak her out by calling in the middle of the night), but a week or two later we acquired matching sunburns as the result of a kayaking trip and the secret was out.
I even took a picture of the sunburn for my mom.
And four years later, I can safely say that saying yes that night was the best decision I ever made.