Once upon a time, Boyfriend and I had an anniversary yesterday.
(Isn't he the cutest?)
Anyway, so I had planned out this whole day of awesomeness for him (just to prove to him that I'm cool enough for him to continue dating me--don't want him to figure me out yet!). I had little random gifts delivered throughout the day. This took a lot of planning. Seriously. My brain still hurts from getting all the details right and I still have leftover anxiety from all the worrying about whether or not everything would turn out the way I had planned.
It was his job to plan the date for last night. He said it was going to be a surprise. Never really having had a special anniversary date before, I was school-girl-crush-status giddy with excitement.
So last night rolled around after a day of me running all over the place making sure his gifts showed up on time and all that. He had a soccer game, and after that I waited while he showered and got ready (which included camping out on his lovesac for a while--who could complain? I had quite the setup!)
He took longer than usual to get ready, seeming to have completely forgotten we had something planned. Suddenly he rushed out into the living room where I was waiting.
"Shoot!" He scrambled for his shoes. "I just checked my watch... We have to leave now!"
"Um... okay..." I got up off the lovesac and found my own shoes. "What's going on?"
"I made reservations, but I forgot about them--they were for 45 minutes ago!" He rushed me out the door and into the car.
He pulled the car out of the parking lot and sped down the road. "Since it's Homecoming weekend, I made reservations... the restaurant's probably packed by now. Shoot!"
I just nodded and watched as he got more and more frazzled. "Crap, I didn't look up the address... Do you know where the restaurant is?"
"Why didn't you look it up before now?" I asked, trying not to let my disappointment show.
"I'm sorry, babe... Can you look it up on my phone?"
I just shrugged, trying not to let him see how disappointed I was that his end of the anniversary wasn't going so well. I'd spent weeks planning his gifts and the entire day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and he'd already made us late for our reservations and hadn't even checked where we were supposed to be going.
I found the place on his phone and he drove there, but we couldn't seem to find the restaurant anywhere.
He pulled over and took his phone back. "I'm going to call them," he said. I tried to smile, and then leaned my head against the cold window.
I listened to his end of the conversation as his suspicions were confirmed: Our reservations had been cancelled, our table had been given to someone else, and they were really busy so we wouldn't be able to walk in and get a table. He thanked the person on the other end of the phone and hung up with a sigh.
"I'm so sorry, honey," he said. "I guess we'll have to find somewhere else to eat. What do you feel like?"
I swallowed hard. What did I feel like? I felt let down and disappointed. He had put next to no effort into this date. We were probably going to end up eating burgers at McDonald's for our anniversary. I would have to pretend to him that it wasn't that big of a deal for the rest of the night.
So I simply said, "I don't know..." And I'll admit, I sounded completely crushed.
He leaned against the steering wheel and took a few deep breaths. "I'm so sorry, Jess. I was supposed to have planned something. I'm a horrible boyfriend."
"You're not a horrible boyfriend," I responded. But that's all I said.
He pulled out into traffic once more and started driving south. "I think I know of a place... We can check them. But if they're already closed, then maybe we'll just have to get burgers or something."
I said nothing. I didn't say anything for the next ten minutes of the drive. And neither did he.
When he turned left and started heading east, I became confused. I knew for a fact that there weren't any restaurants over on that end of town, so where was he going?
He pulled up to a park. And I nearly choked when I saw it.
Under a pavillion, there was a table set with a tablecloth and candles, dinner and Sparkling Cider.
"Surprise..." Boyfriend whispered, a soft grin on his face.
I was speechless. I lost all ability to say anything. I nearly started crying then and there (but I'm proud to say I held it together).
Boyfriend ran around the car and opened my door for me. We ducked through the rain and over to the table.
He'd made most of it himself. Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. French bread. Fried zucchini.
He apologized for having lied to me and gotten me all upset. He'd just been stalling so that his roommate could run the food over and set it up for us. And so that I'd be totally surprised.
I was still having a hard time speaking, so I just nodded and hugged him tighter than I ever have in my life.
And there, listening to the rain beat on the pavillion roof over our heads, sipping sparkling cider in the night, I shared the best date I've ever been on with the best guy I've ever known. The whole time, I just kept thinking...
He's definitely a ninja.
Sorry for the lack of my-own photos in this one--I was too busy enjoying the night to remember to pull out the camera... Hope you'll forgive me. :)