Those of you who have met or hung out with me in the last three years and change most likely also know or know of my indescribable girlfriend Kris. We have been going steady for longer than any other previous relationship of mine. But where did it all start? How did we meet? Was it love at first sight? The tale begins on an otherwise ordinary night out with my close friends of the time, on the 21st of July 2012…
I had organised a get-together at my favourite restaurant in the entire world – Gino’s. It is a place of many family memories. My mother, my brother, my aunt, and I had all worked at the restaurant. My mother had even owned a franchise branch of the chain at one point. I had been going there since I was one month old, and I felt it high time that my friends join me there. So, I roused my friends, and we met for a late dinner after our regular evening of board games.
We entered the restaurant at about 21h30. We waited for a short while to be seated. When our table was ready, we were met by Kris. I didn’t know it quite yet, but this was the point at which my love life would be forever changed. Even in her work outfit and crusted with the frustrations of an evening’s work, she was the most beautiful girl that I had ever seen. She served us curteously and efficiently. She also showed her charisma and sass, perfectly fitting in with the banter that was flowing around the table. Since then, she has told me that she hated all of us at that point, because we came in late, were a huge table, and took forever to order our food. Clearly the woman is capable of acting nice in order to earn a tip.
As the night wore on, we did manage to put in our orders right before the kitchen was due to close. Most notable amongst these was my one friend’s request to have a calzone (pizza dough which is filled with toppings, folded over, and baked like a pie). This was no ordinary calzone. It was a calzone with four ingredients: bacon, bacon, bacon, and bacon. He was one of the last to order. Many people who had ordered before him carefully pondered changing their order after this culinary revelation, but no-one did.
All throughout the meal, I was sneaking glances at Kris whenever I could. I may have appeared to be keeping up with the conversation of the table, but I was doing anything but. I just didn’t want to look like a creep.
The night wore to an end far too quickly for my liking. We paid the bill (making sure to leave a generous tip) and got in our cars. I came with one of my friends in his small car. The moment I was inside, I began the first phase of the grand plan to woo the waitress. There was little opportunity to reveal my intentions in the restaurant without seeming like a creep. Over instant messaging, however, I could be as candid or secretive as I wanted whilst learning more about the fascinating person that is Kris.
There was one obstacle – I did not have her number. Because I had worked at Gino’s myself, I knew that if you asked the waitresses for their number, they would refuse you, no matter how interested they were. This was a policy of the restaurant, created by Gino himself to protect the waitresses from creepers like myself. Luckily, I had a solution to this problem. I simply messaged one of my friends from Gino’s who was also waitressing that evening and asked her for Kris’ number.
Yes. I asked someone else for Kris’ number. Via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM – long may it rest). I am quite cretinous. Despite this, Kris and I chatted briefly on my trip home from the restaurant. After a few casual back-and-forths, whilst discussing something completely unrelated to romance, Kris dropped the news that I was dreading. She had a boyfriend. I turned to my friend. We shared a short stare. I screamed one word, whilst my hand contorted into a claw around my BlackBerry. CURSES!
The road ahead looked rough for me. Yet, I was willing to travel it. I had navigated my way out of the friend zone before. I was determined. I had never wanted anything or anyone that much in my life. Just over a month later, we were a couple. And we are still blissfully happy, three years later, on the other side of the world. Valentine’s Day may not be something we celebrate, but the general buzz of romance around the world led me to remember the day where my love for Kristen began. Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, everyone.