Here is the final “best date story.” This has been fun for me–reminiscing about my best and worst dates. Someone even suggested I write a book…maybe one of these days…
This best date takes place in Iowa City, Iowa. Ken and I had been on a couple of informal dates before, but this one felt real. I happened to be driving through his fine town on my way to Bowling Green, OH to find a place to live during grad school. Ken picked me up from my hotel and we set out for downtown Iowa City to eat dinner at his favorite Indian restaurant. Ken was (is) a bit of a weather nerd, and we talked in the car about the coming storm.
“It should miss us–it’s heading north. We’ll be fine.”
We parked downtown on the 4th floor of a parking garage and headed out for mimosas and masala.
As we munched on some fabulous naan, we heard tornado sirens suddenly blare. He looked at me and said, “It’s just precautionary. It’s nowhere near us. We’ll be fine.”
Then the power went out.
Our waiter brought us candles and our meal and left us to our conversation. The waiter didn’t suggest we leave, or seek shelter, or anything. So we didn’t. We sat in that restaurant for over two hours, eating and talking.
At one point, his phone rang. His parents called to see if we were surviving the storm. He assured them we were fine. We were both rather cavalier about the storm, which was odd for me because when I hear sirens, I find a basement; it was odd for him because he’s a weather nerd.
When the rain stopped, we decided it was a good time to get back to the car, so we made our way to the garage. In our path: tree limbs, shards of drywall, nails, glass…
We arrived at the garage, pressed the elevator button and waited. I looked around and finally said, “I think the power is out here too.” I pointed across the street at the dark street lamps. We started up the stairs.
Remember where we parked? THE FOURTH FLOOR. Which wasn’t a problem for Mr. I’m-Training-For-A-Triathlon, but for Ms. I-Sat-At-A-Desk-All-Day, the trek to the car seemed impossible.
I could not believe the destruction I saw as he took me back to the hotel. It was clear that we were lucky. So. Lucky.
He called me the next day to see how my drive was going, and told me he had looked up the path of the tornado.
“It basically circled the block where we were eating. Can you believe that?”
We had survived a tornado. That’s a pretty good date in my book.
This series was fun! I’m open to other suggestions, if you have any…