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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Date Contest

Back when I dated Jerida, she had to put up with a lot. I often had a lot of priorities to take care of that I would put before seeing her. I'm very stubborn at times and I would refuse to do things like wear a button-up shirt to an event that called for it. And of course I was never, ever romantic. She would want to go to a fancy restaurant and I would complain that it would be to expensive and I'd have to wear a button-up shirt.

One of the things I loved about her was how well she knew me. Most people would just get angrier and angrier at their partner's lack of romance and it would start causing fights. Jerida decided to appeal to a side of me that she knew she could use - my competitive side

'Let's make it a contest,' she said. 'Whoever puts on the best date wins.' I stared at her like she'd just dangled bait in front of me.
'What do you mean by "best date"?' I asked suspiciously.
'Well, most romantic I guess.' I considered it, but I didn't need to. The decision was made the moment I heard it.
'You're on.'

We decided to set the dates a month away, on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th of July. Neither of us wanted to go first, in case we realized the other partner's date was better and we had to make some drastic changes. Being the good sport that I am, I let her decide. She went with the Saturday. Then I realized something - The seventh of July would mark exactly seven months since we started dating. Absolutely perfect. I could use that and already I had an advantage. With the help of my male friends (my female ones would have gone blabbing to her) I worked out an awesome plan that required a whole week to be put into action. On the 1st July, I began phase one.

I was dropping Jerida off home and we arrived at her house. She went to get out, and I stopped her and said I had something for her. I gave her a small slip of paper with a haiku on it. The words were written in Italian, so she had no idea what it said.

'What is this?' she asked.
'It's the start of our date on Friday. It'll give you a clue about what's coming.'
'What does it say?'
'I'm not telling you. You'll have to figure it out yourself.'
'Oh come on, that's not fair!'
'Sure it is. Good luck.'
She huffed and stomped out of the car, but I could tell she was intrigued because she almost ran up the path to get to her front door. Much later down the track, she revealed a conversation she'd had with Sarah that night.

'The poem says "Little things, Based on seven, Until Friday."'
'That's got to be the worst poem I've ever heard,' said Sarah.
'Oh but when he gave it to me it was written in Italian. so it was originally "Piccole cose, Basati sulla sette, Fino Vernedi."'
'Oh my God, that's so cute!'

So the plan was to give her little gifts that were based around the number seven, for the seven days leading up to the 7th of the 7th, which would be our 7-month milestone. I figured the poem counted as the first one because haikus have seven syllables in the center line. I'm wracking my brain to remember what the other gifts were. I know one was a keychain. Another was a bunch of pictures of the seven wonders of the world to paper her room with. At one point I gave her two CDs - One of the Enrique Iglesias album Seven and another from S Club 7. But then Jerida informed me that they weren't always called S Club 7 and the CD I'd given her was simply from the S Club. That required a lot of hectic reorganisation, but I managed to fix it without missing a day. I gave the CDs back to her on day five with The White Stripes' Elephant added to it with its opening track Seven Nation Army. On day six I got a little bit cryptic. I gave her an American penny I still had from a trip to America in 2004. Pennies are plated in copper... which is something you get for your wife on your seventh wedding anniversary. Plus I made sure it was made in the 1070s for got measure. That was easily her favourite present and she carried it around with her for the rest of our relationship.

On day seven (the Friday), I picked her up from work in town at 4:30 and handed her another slip of paper. I explained to her that we were about to go on a treasure hunt which would lead us to - you guessed it - seven places around the city before leading her to her prize. Her excitement was tangible as I drove her all around Adelaide, helping her find each clue that I'd hidden there throughout the out the day and figure out where it was telling her to go next. It led her to places like the Migrant Monument in Campbelltown, Glenelg beach, a park near her house and finally back into town where the treasure was.

We arrived at the Silver Balls in Rundle Mall and Jerida wondered where I could have possibly hidden the treasure. I'd been keeping it in my backpack the whole time. I reached in and pulled out the first photo we ever took as a couple. It was on our famous trip to the Gold Coast. The rest of us had gone up a day earlier than her because she was still with her family in Lake Bonnie. The photo was taken after we picked her up from the airport and were on the bus on the way back to the apartment. It was framed and had a little note on the bottom that said how much I loved her.

Back in my car, driving back to my house for dinner, Jerida started crying. It's the only time I've ever made a girl cry and thought "YES!!" Is that bad? At my house I'd had the slow cooker going all day, so I almost had dinner ready for us when we came back. I just had to wait for one more thing. At around 7:30, there was a knock on the door and in walked Jerida's little brothers, aged 10 and 13. They were dressed as waiters in a fancy restaurant and they served our meals for us, which we ate over candlelight. We ended the night by watching the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic You've Got Mail and then Jerida's brothers were picked up and Jerida went to sleep in the spare bedroom of our house. It would forever become confirmation that I could be a really great boyfriend if I set my mind to it. I just don't.

So the next day it was Jerida's turn. She'd been working on something for days as well, but unlike on my date, I wasn't going to know what it was until the actual date night. There was a room in her house I was no longer allowed to enter because she was making something in there and it seemed big.

On Saturday, I had picked her up again (she didn't have her license at this point) and she gave me directions on where to go for our first stop. We ended up at an Asian restaurant that I forget the name of. But this wasn't just any old restaurant - there were tiny barbecues in the middle of each table. You'd order your food, the waiter would bring it to you raw and you'd barbecue it over a pitchfork until you were satisfied. It was another example of how well she new me. I love anything novel. To the point that I'll sometimes make things harder for myself because I want to do it in a different or unique way. After dinner, we went to AMF Bowling on Cross Road. It was the place we'd first met. Sweet, yes... But she should have known that would be a bit too cliche for me. I felt like a bit of a douche for thinking it, but it's how I felt. She did make sure I won though, which made up for it a little. Then we went back to her house and I thought to myself "Unless she's built a monster truck in that room and I'll get to ride it through town crushing cars under my wheels, I think I've won this." We entered and she took me over to the mysterious forbidden room. She pushed the door slowly open...

To reveal a giant cardboard box in the middle of the room. It was about the width and length of a kingsize bed and the height came up to my chin. On one end there was a sheet which seemed to be covering something small and in the side that faced us she'd cut a out a working door.
'Did you... build us a fort?' I asked nonplussed. I had to admit spending the night in a fort did sound pretty cool.
'Open it up,' replied Jerida, unable to hide her satisfaction.
I opened the door and ducked inside. It was too dark to see much, but there were blankets on the floor and some sort of silhouette of something on the wall. At the end that had the sheet over it, a square hole had been cut out and a TV filled the space. Jerida came in behind me, shut the door and felt around near the corner for something. She found a switch and clicked it. And all around the room, fairy lights illuminated what turned out to be the Seattle skyline. It looked absolutely incredible, I was speechless for a whole minute. It looked magical and romantic and extremely well-done. I mean, if I'd tried to cut a city skyline out of black card, it probably would have looked like a weird mountain range. Hers looked like it was straight out of an episode of Frasier. I still haven't gotten over it. We spent the remainder of the night watching the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan classic Sleepless in Seattle (which she says was a complete coincidence) while sampling a cheese platter and drinking non-alcoholic champagne. Then we went to sleep, still in the fort.

We never officially decided on a winner, because Jerida thought it would take away from how good the nights were. But the competitive side of me always wondered what an objective panel would pick as the winning date. Sarah apparently thought that Jerida should win because she took me to the first place we met. But 1 - that was my least favourite part of the date, and 2 - technically I took her there. Kelsey thought I should win because I made her cry. I agreed with him, but I'm pretty sure that's just a male's point of view.

Who do you think won?


  1. I am going to balance (not my strong point) precariously on the fence here and call it a draw.
    Both nights are going to be things you remember. Remember with awe. Remember with affection.
    Who could ask for more?

  2. Oh heck, I'm voting, and I vote for you. You went to more trouble and took her all around town. Plus you worked the number 7 like a pro romancer. Well done.

    I'm curious why things didn't work out for you two. But it's not my business. I'm still curious, still hopeful too that you might end up together. ?!

    1. Hahaha I do talk about the relationship a lot don't I? But since we broke up we've both changed a huge amount so there's no way we'd work together any more.

  3. Yup, she definitely knows you... and I call it a draw as well. You made her cry, she left you speechless. Definitely a draw.

  4. You sure knew each other indeed and both pulled off a great one. Hmmm I would go with draw, but then I think yours may have edged her out a smidgen

    1. I wish I had some picture of the fort though, it looked amazing :)

  5. Everybody wins this one. :-)

  6. I think I'm the winner because I got to read about both dates and experience them in my mind, but I didn't have to do any of the work to make them happen.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    1. And isn't that what we all look for in the end? ;)

  7. I'm with Robyn - both dates were awesome, but you win for putting so much thought into the number 7. Also share Robyn's curiosity; maybe it's a girl thing :)

    1. Haha well thank you :) But don't forget that I only put the good stuff on here ;)

  8. You can tell you're real buds when you challenge each other to a date contest. Haha!

    I'd also go with a draw because you both won in the end.

  9. wow - you both stepped up, but I think you won. You got a super Duper D blog post out of it - that's a bonus for us. We win

    1. That was the final part of my plan and it paid off ;)

  10. Oh Michael ~
    What a choice... and yet, you had me at the little Italian Haiku! The treasure hunt was a charm. You even hired her brothers... how sweet is that? Okay, so you didn't put the sky in a box... but you had your heart in the right place... and I'm a sucker for clown wigs. You win!

    1. You're the only person I've ever met who's admitted to being "a sucker for clown wigs". If only more people were like you ;)

  11. You don't get to win just because you made her cry. Women cry a lot more easily than men, sometimes for the strangest of reasons. In truth, she won from the start because she was the one who suggested the competition.

    1. Oh snap! Gorilla makes the shot from downtown, it's a three-point play!


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