It was a normal work day. I was on an errand and stumbled into his furniture just like the dozen or so stores before that.
I had one thing on my mind; to find a chef. You know the one? The six foot tall wooden chef that held a chalk board sign? It was the one that every Italian restaurant in the city wanted to get their hands on in the early 2000’s. I had literally been to a dozen different stores that day looking for this seemingly elusive chef and had had zero luck. However, employees at three other stores had told me to stop by Ziegler’s Oak Furniture before I gave up. So there I was, walking through the door of yet another furniture store.
I approached the counter with the building dread that I wouldn’t find what I needed and I would have to crawl myself back to my office, back to my boss, empty handed. My boss, who had finally let me out of the office to work on some staging of my own. Looking for that chef for a retirement home dining room was all I had on my mind. Getting out on my own was something I’d wanted for months. This was my chance to prove myself, I couldn’t blow this opportunity. As I walked into the store, there was only one person working behind the counter at the time. As I approached, he turned my way and it was instant sparks… at least for me. This was the most handsome man I had ever laid my eyes on. Zach. The man that would later become my husband. It was a big moment.
Zach walked me around the store as he showed me piece after piece that didn’t quite match what I was looking for. After a brief time he opened a side door and pointed to a business across the street. As I leaned in to get a good look out the opened door I could smell his cologne in the air, it smelled divine. (Insert drool here 😉 ) I took a quick glance across the street, there stood the chef I had been looking for. I stepped back again not wanting to linger for too long.
We searched through a catalogue for an item number as I pointed out the exact Chef I had in mind to order; but and I barely remember hearing his words as he explained the ordering and shipping processes of the store. I was so nervous, my heart was beating into my throat with little to no sign of slowing or stopping. I know for sure I looked ridiculous. At least I felt like I looked ridiculous. What was I there for anyway? My mind was a complete blank.
A few minutes later my order was in and paid for and I was on my way.
Back to the office having completed my task.
That afternoon, I received a call at my desk. It was him. Not about the the order I had placed, but to ask me on a date. A real date. Have I mentioned that I had never been on a really real date before this? I was young and naive… I was only 22 at the time. I’d been out before, but it was never really real dating. Not a real one where the guy comes to your door and picks you up in his car and takes you to dinner. My experience of dating up until this point in my life was groups of girls hitting up the club or bar scene late after work and meeting up with a group of guys where we would all hang out together. Not a date. I had even been in relationships before where we never really went on real dates. We had dinner or went to movies, but it was never formal dating, more just hanging out. So here I was beyond ecstatic that this was actually happening to naive little me.
I accepted the date and a week later we met at his store after work.
Yes, I know it wasn’t him picking me up for like it should have been, but it was also my Great-Grandmothers birthday. I had already made plans to I spend a few hours with her right after work which gave me time to meet up with Zach later that evening for dinner. It was great. We went to this little known pizza place in the basement of an old hotel in downtown Spokane called Catacombs. Man how I wish that pizza place was still there. It was the most authentic Mediterranean pizza I have ever had still to this day… but I digress.
It was the perfect first date. Pizza and beer, which I was not ashamed to eat in front of him cause seriously my friends, if you can’t stuff yourself with pizza and good beer in front of some guy on a first ‘date’, you shouldn’t be on a date with them. Never, I repeat, NEVER let anyone make you feel like you can’t or shouldn’t eat too much pizza on a first date, or any date for that manner. Pizza is life! You be you! No matter what!
Our date must have gone well because we kept seeing each other and, much to my parents dismay, we ended up moving in together just two short months into our relationship.
And we have never. looked. back.