The best (and worst) first (non) date in history

I have been on a lot of dates over the last couple years. Some have been really great and led to more get togethers (see purple by moonlight), while others have ended when I just could not think sitting through the rest of dinner with that person, much less a walk or a movie. I even had an allergic reaction to some one's perfume 10 minutes in, the shortest of all of my first dates.

Dateline yesterday, January 23. I had asked a friend to accompany me to a play and dinner afterward. And later, the plan was to sit back, have a few drinks and some great conversation as we always do and always have. But this just isn't any friend. If you are a regular reader, you will know this person as "Purple". And with history being what it is, we each made sure the other knew that it was a platonic get together, or as we termed it, the "first non-date". I think we both started yesterday pretty excited about getting dressed up for a day at the theatre (the director had told me it was pretty formal dress) and the great time we usually have. I went to work in the morning, then home to get into my buttoned down shirt and tie. I toyed with the idea of the trench coat for a moment, then hung it back up and went with the leather. Then it was off to pick her up.

When she came down the stairs I suddenly felt a little under dressed. A little black frock with a pink sweater, a beautiful necklace and leather coat merely enhanced how great she looked (yes I am a fashion commentator lol). Always a beautiful woman, all I could say was wow. We headed out, chatting and listening to Cash on our way to the Little Theatre off Broadway. I paid the guy at the box office and we found our seats.

It didn't take long to notice that none of the other patrons got the dress code memo. The guy sitting across the aisle from me was wearing a flannel shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes. And next to Purple and I, he was the best dressed person in the audience. We laughed about it just before the play started.

The show itself was really good. Directed by my friend (and attorney) Mark Narens, Catch me if you can was a story of murder, suspense, and intrigue. Add the comedic touch and really big twist at the end, and you have money well spent to see it. The only downfall - the actors smoked onstage as part of the show. A cruel tease to the nicotine cravers in the crowd. Guess where we were at intermission.

Afterwards we headed to Applebee's for dinner. Now, regular readers know how I can be at dinner. And Miss Purple, well she loves to play as well. After sending the forks back for being uneven, then the steak for being undercooked, I am pretty sure our waitress began avoiding us all together. It was pointed out to me that the server probably didn't know how to take me. After all, I am weird and a bit of a dork. But we had a blast and both agreed that it was the best non first date we had ever had. We finished our dinner, did half a lap around 270, and headed back to her house.

When we arrived, her 2 year old daughter (who we will call little monkey) met us at the door. Always a bundle of energy and smiles, she is a momma's girl through and through. I have always admired the interactions between the two of them. Purple noticed her daughters rosy cheeks and slight fever and gave her some children's medicine. As the little girl sat and watched TV, we chatted at the dining room table with the babysitter. About 5 or 6 minutes later, she went to check on her daughter and the night drastically changed.

When her mom sat and started talking to her, little monkey did not respond. Very unusual for her, and I watched as Purple tried again and again to get her to say something. A blank stare is all that came from the little girls eyes. As an RN, she immediately identified the issue. A spiked fever and trembling limbs were signs of a febrile seizure.Within minutes we were in the car on our way to the local children's hospital. As I drove Purple held her daughter, encouraging her to vomit and trying to get a response. The drive seemed to take forever, though it was only a matter of minutes. Red lights were blown and once on the expressway I maneuvered the traffic like Earnhardt at Daytona. I had been through a very scary incident with John-Michael when he was the same age. I could see my friend in a panic and remembered that feeling. We arrived at the ER and I dropped them off. Little Monkey had indeed gotten sick, and I needed to go back to their house and get both of them a change of clothes. I rushed back to the hospital to find Mom holding daughter and them talking back and forth. It was a great sight to see, considering less than an hour earlier she had been rigid and catatonic. I took the little one so Purple could make a call as she couldn't get reception in the waiting area. This little one smiled at me and patted my cheek, then turned her attention to a couple of play things her mom had gotten out of her purse. It was the best moment of my day.

Then we waited. For hours. As the little one, who was feeling better and better, played in the alcove we had camped out in, her mom and I chatted about hospitals, waiting areas, and a hundred other topics. She had been very unimpressed by what she had seen so far from this hospital staff, as they seemed almost dismissive towards her. At some point monkey asked for a drink, and I set off to find the Subway restaurant located somewhere in the building. I walked for what seemed like a mile, only to come across the sign to point me in the right direction. Down Stairs. A lot of stairs. Ironic, considering that the project I am on right now has me cursing five flights of stairs fifteen times a day as I go up and down. But for her, it was a very small sacrifice. I found the juice I was looking for and headed back. Upon my return, I learned she wanted some yogurt. I smiled, knowing I was going to repeat my journey. It was my pleasure, though, as in that moment that little girl could have asked me for a new car and I would have gotten it for her.

When her name was finally called to go back, I waited in the car while mom and daughter sat in the exam room. They waited for the doctor for more than two hours, frustrating my friend. Being a medical professional, she understood the busy night. But to only encounter a couple of staff members for a total of a few minutes made her think of how all of the other families must have felt. I, on the other hand, started the car and listened to the radio til I fell asleep, waking up when Purple called to tell me we were good to go. It was 2 am.

We took her home and mom put her to bed. It had been more than 6 hours at the hospital and we were both beat. We talked for a little while over a beer. She expressed her frustration with the hospital and some talked about some small victories she had gained that night, and I told her that she was amazing to watch. She was like two people when it all happened. On one hand she was a mom who was very concerned about her daughter, on the other her nursing instincts kicked in and she knew exactly what to do. It was awesome, and I can tell you I would have been lost in that situation.

We agreed that this was a unforgettable day, and tried to come up with a title for this very blog. At 3:30 in the morning we said good night. 6 am comes awful early and I knew that I could not be late to work. I was in bed at four, banking on that 3 hours sleep. But at 5:16 am a sub-contractor called me and I have been up since. Have I mentioned how much I love my job?

Here is to hoping that non date number two is a lot less eventful than this one.

Yeah, that was and hour and fifteen of sleep. Time for bed. Good Night All................


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