A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had signed up for one of those internet dating services. She set up her page with pictures of her home, and her dogs, and wrote about her love for cooking, sewing, and shopping. After the first couple of boring dates with over-weight, middle-aged, depressed men; she decided to change her approach.
She rented a small John boat and hired a photographer to take some pictures of her, down by her uncle’s lake. The caption on her new web page read, “Single, white, Christian female seeks outdoorsy, Christian male who loves the great outdoors.” When she checked her page the next day she had received 52 hits, and a full box of mail. I sat with her as she looked at each response and the accompanying web pages. After a few weeks of emails and phone calls, she had a date set to go fishing with a man named Andrew.
Now, I have to tell you, my friend had never been fishing in her life. She had heard fish tales from her dad and my dad, and all of our friends’ dads, but that was the extent of her fishing experience. She didn’t know a fishing pole from fishing lure, but had determined to do whatever it took to avoid another boring ‘let’s have dinner and talk about the weather’ date. She told Andrew that she had borrowed fishing gear for the picture and he promised to bring everything that she would need.
As we all know, first dates require a lot of planning for that perfect outfit. My friend faced a first date on a boat, in the middle of a murky lake, in high temperatures. She chose her favorite outfit: a pair of capris, a cute polka dotted top, and her favorite flip flops.
Andrew picked her up at seven a.m. and they drove over to Sharpe Pointe. As the car ascended the curves of the mountain, she began to wonder how a lake could be that high. She was pretty sure that all the pictures that she had seen of Sharpe Pointe Lake had hills above the lake, so when Andrew stopped the car at the peak, she started to worry.
“Where’s the lake?” she asked as he began to pull poles from the back of the truck.
“It’s about a half mile down the trail.”
As you can imagine, my friend began to question her choice of clothing for the first time. She had noticed that Andrew had worn old jeans and a t-shirt. He had told her to dress comfortably, but she didn’t realize just how comfortably he meant. At this point, there was no escape so she decided to suck it up and hike the half-mile down, flip-flops and all.
It didn’t get any better down at the lake. The boat that she had pictured with the padded seats and cup holders wasn’t waiting on her near the bank. Instead, she had to sit on the grass, gravel, and dirt in her freshly ironed capris. When she finally got settled, she was handed a hook and told that the best bait was fresh. The dirt between her toes didn’t seem to matter much any more. She had sunken to the level of playing with worms.
The date did get better. After realizing that she had pretty much set herself up for everything that had happened, she decided to make the most of it. Andrew was a really great guy and very understanding. He laughed when she told him how the picture from her web page came about, and even when she told him that she’d never touched a fishing pole. They talked more than fished, and decided that they would try another date where she could wear her flip-flops more comfortably.
Like I said in the beginning, that first date was almost two years ago. They spent many more afternoons getting to know each other on the sandy banks beside the lake. Andrew bought my friend a pair of shoes for fishing, she learned to appreciate ‘fresh’ bait, and I got asked to be their maid of honor.
The wedding took place this afternoon on the grass in front of her uncle’s lake. She and I wore sundresses and, of course, flip-flops.
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