Back in October of 2004, I had braces and Vitaliy had a unibrow. That doesn’t really relate to the story that much, but I wanted to paint the picture for you.
At that time, we were just friends which may have had to do with the braces and unibrow. But more than likely, it had to do with our very first meeting and Vitaliy thinking I was a little crazy. Anyway, our go-to hangout spot was Border’s on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago. We’d either look through photography books together or plays cards.
Vitaliy had taught me a Russian card game called Durak. It quickly became a favorite and we played it all the time. One day we decided to take our competition to a new level and made a bet. Whoever lost the next round of Durak had to treat the other person to dinner. Vitaliy always lost so I knew the odds were in my favor.
A few days later, I found myself on the L headed to China Town. Vitaliy had lost and was taking me to get Korean. I remember being a nervous wreck inside. I could tell that our sweet and safe friendship was beginning to take a turn towards something more romantic which in my mind was petrifying. Though I didn’t feel ready to be in a relationship, I also didn’t want to stop hanging out with Vitaliy. We joked about him losing the bet, but I could tell this was a real date. And for the first time ever I felt nervous around him.
A couple years ago, Vitaliy and I were talking about this dinner. Over the years, we’ve often wondered the date of this fateful night. Then out of nowhere, Vitaliy came across an old receipt from our favorite Korean restaurant in Chicago. I had my doubts, I mean who has a receipt from 9 years ago? Vitaliy does! I shouldn’t have been surprised, he’s a pretty sentimental guy. Sure enough, it was the receipt from our very first date. And that’s when we discovered it was on Halloween.
Along with today being Halloween, it is also the 9 year anniversary of our first date. Vitaliy likes to remind me that it was 9 years ago today that I used chopsticks for the first time. I suppose his romantic sentimental side is a bit selective.
So, Happy Halloween to you! And happy first date to us! Does these mean I get to eat extra amounts of candy to celebrate? I know it does mean we need some kimchi in our life today.