I don’t even know how we ended up getting married, to be honest.
Ten years later and the first date with my husband still baffles me.
I was nineteen. He was twenty and it was the summer of 2008. The summer before our final year at university and we both came back to London for the holidays.
I am a South London girl through and through. And he’s a North London boy, there’s no denying that, from the way he talks to the way he dresses. He repped North London hard!
He spoke about Wood Green like it was heaven and I spoke about Camberwell like it was home, which it was. South London was all I knew.
So when he asked me to go link him in Wood Green, I can’t even lie I was a little bit shook. But that didn’t stop me from saying yes.
You know that feeling you get at the start of every new ‘relationship’? Yeah, that one. That’s the feeling I got. I felt the need to want to impress him and so I had to say yes when he asked me to come down to north, even though in a million years I knew my mum would say no.
And that she did!
So I emailed him and I said “Hey Suliaman, how are you? Did you miss me? Sorry, I can’t come today anymore, even though I really wanted to see you. My mum has asked me to do something for her last minute. Any chance we can link up another time?” And then I hit the send button.
Our main form of communication back then was email. We both were broke and our T-Mobile five-day pass had run out. It was his turn to buy the next one, so email it was until then.
I waited for him to respond, slightly scared he wouldn’t be interested in me anymore, but when he did, all he said was ‘Kool, kool’, which in his language meant just that.
He always meant what he said.
Then he texted me (yay!! He topped up) saying he was on his way down to Camberwell as he was passing there anyway. This was a lie, but it made him save face, so I allowed him.
I can’t even remember what I was wearing to go meet him. All I know was that I made sure I looked my best and smelled my best.
We ended up going to a Caribbean restaurant on Walworth road. It wasn’t fancy at all, but I genuinely didn’t care. I just wanted to be with him. It was my first time in a Caribbean restaurant. Don’t get it twisted, I have eaten Caribbean food plenty of times but I’ve never eaten inside of a restaurant. He didn’t know this, though. I didn’t let him know this. I walked him through the menu like it was my local. He didn’t cotton on. Remember I said earlier, I was trying to impress him – yeah, this was all part of the package.
Anyway, we sat down, the restaurant was sort of empty and I ordered my usual, curry goat and rice, and he ordered the jerk chicken. Our date was going well. Conversations were robust. The food was delicious. Basically, everything that was ‘supposed’ to happen right on a first date, happened. Then it came to the bill. This part I remember clearly. The food came up to a total of £10. Just £10. I was doing the ‘typical’ girl thing to see if he would offer to pay first. He didn’t. I paid my half and he paid his half. The date took a downturn after that but I am the sort of person who takes a bit of time to process my feelings so I acted like I was cool. I wanted to understand why it bothered me so much.
So I did just that on my way home alone.
And truth be told, I think it bothered me because I kept thinking what my friends would say when I told them that he didn’t pay for me. It was the principle that played on my nerves more than anything. I mean the money didn’t mean that much to me. But as a girl you grow up with the understanding that if a guy doesn’t pay for you on the first date, then he isn’t worth the time or effort. A concept, to be honest, irked me slightly because I had been with guys who would pay every damn time and it went nowhere. So you can see why I was confused.
We ended up going for a second date, and so forth.
I can’t tell you when we fell in love. I can’t even tell you when he asked me to marry him. It was just natural and the rest is history.
I am not sure what specifically this post was for, but I want to be a voice and resource for other people. A lot of people don’t talk about their beginnings be it in their career, their life or their relationships. I wanted to. I want to build a community of people who are not afraid to share their truths. Near and far. Feel free to share and journey with me.
If you have any first date stories to share, don’t hesitate to include in the comments section below. ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ date stories welcome 🙂
Thank you for reading. Thank you for not judging. And thank you for being kind.
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