Monday Mark Memories: Making It Official
I ended the last memory with Mark and I setting a dinner date to discuss our future. Essentially we were having a "DTR" this was the beloved term we used in Cru to describe a conversation where you "Define the relationship."
We planned dinner for a Sunday Night, which I now think is weird because Mark would have been in church until at least 8:00 pm, but hey maybe we used to eat dinner that late. I was at home in Lino Lakes before dinner, I think I had gone for a run because I remember being in workout gear and walking into the family room. My mom looked at me and said "You can't wear that on a date." I thought this as an odd thing for my mom to say, but reassured her I would get shower and dress appropriately. I remember I wore my navy blue lace dress with a cream colored cardigan. I drove and picked Mark up and we went to the nearby Applebee's. Oddly enough I cannot remember what I ordered. I do however remember the exactly what the waitress looked like, and where we sat in the restaurant. Mark tried to order wings, but the waitress told him they were out of bone-in and only had boneless. He explained to her that boneless wings were not wings, and he would find something else to order. Mark was serious about his wings, and they were not to be cooked in the microwave!
We sat there in Applebee's and we talked, we talked about what it would mean if we were to start to officially date. Mark had already made it pretty clear that he was on a mission to find a wife, but as we sat there he explained it all again. At this point I was somewhat familiar with his relationship with his spiritual father, Pastor Jeff, and he explained that the guidance he was given was not to date unless he knew the girl was marriage material.
Honestly, it was very weird to me to be pursued so intentionally. While I was in school at the U of M, all of my friends constantly talked about how flirtatious they thought I was. I suppose I flirted, and I suppose that guys flirted back, but Mark was so different. I still don't quite know how he managed to balance this outrageous confidence with a shy sweet demeanor. I remember how hard he would work to be respectful. One time he called me while I was doing my lunges and squats after my run, I answered the phone, and he actually told me he needed me to call him back when my breathing was normal. He also used to tell me to make sure I didn't wear leggings or yoga pants when I came to hang out with him, because he would be too distracted. This man just put everything out there, and I still remember how much it continued to surprise me.
Back to Applebee's, we sat there and I listened as Mark explained what was on his heart, and I thoughtfully responded that I understood his intentions and I was willing to move forward. I remember thinking that this might be crazy, this man who is 8 and a half years older than me, who has kids and lives in a house with 11 other men is telling me he wants to marry me and we aren't even officially dating, but still I agreed to move forward.
I drove Mark home, and before he left the car he asked if it would be okay for him to kiss me. I was surprised he asked, but I shouldn't have been, I had recently slapped him for touching my knee. I told him he could and I remember he actually cupped my face with his hands. He kissed me, and after I let my thoughts escape my brain when I said "Oh, that was weird." I really don't know how I didn't scare this man off. He asked "What? It was weird?" I laughed and just had to explain that I had never kissed someone with bigger lips than me. He smiled, probably thinking I was the strangest girl in the world and walked up the driveway.