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The Girl with the Yellow Bag

Tomorrow marks the three year anniversary of my first date with a very special girl. Prior to our date we hadn’t met in person (we met online) and so to avoid any confusion she gave me a very specific directive to identify her: look for the girl with the yellow bag. We had arranged to meet for dinner and as usual I was running a few minutes behind schedule, but I still got to the restaurant early (which I found out later was due to Shantelle sitting in her car waiting for me to arrive first). I remember standing outside watching people pass by with a growing interest, looking for anyone carrying a yellow bag. It was exciting, but also nerve-wracking because I didn’t really know what to expect. And then I saw her.

I hate to say it but life is full of cliches. From the first moment I first saw Shantelle I was enchanted by this girl with the yellow bag (the large yellow purse she was carrying made it unmistakably clear that this was my date). (Shantelle’s note: it’s not that big of a purse!) She was stunning in every way and dressed impeccably in a lovely blue dress. But once I saw her without sunglasses on I couldn’t turn away – this girl was gorgeous!!!

I was a barrel full of nerves when we sat down to eat, but I can honestly say that I’ve never hit it off so well with anyone in my life. Our conversation came so easily and was filled with laughter and good humor. She was exceptionally witty and I thoroughly enjoyed our meal together. What was originally planned as a dinner date stretched on later and later into the evening until all of the shops around us had closed down and we were left standing in the parking lot talking. I didn’t want our date to end, but we eventually had to part ways with the assurance that we would have a second date in the near future. I was elated driving home and remember telling my roommate that I didn’t want to rush into things too much, but I could totally see myself marrying this girl.

For anyone that knows our story, that girl became my fiancee just a few months later and we were married about a year and a half after that.

I knew from the first time we met that I would marry the girl with the yellow bag, but I didn’t want to admit it to myself. Our timeline may not show it, but I actually tried to slow things down at first. I could feel myself rushing headlong into a future with this girl and every rational part of my being was telling me to stop. Before I met my wife I had a clear idea of how the dating to engagement to marriage timeline should run, if I were to even participate. I had rules for how long you should date someone before proposing (at least 1 year), and how long you should be engaged before getting married (at least 1-2 more years). I even had exact specifications for the person that I would possibly marry, as though I was ordering a Stepford Wife (except brunette). I was pretty terrible, but somehow managed to be smart enough to completely ignore my own rules.

But that’s what happens when you meet the right person and -another cliche coming- you just know. I knew she was the one and I knew that I would be marrying her at some point. I knew it with a certainty that I didn’t believe was possible.

I’m happy to say that our relationship has continued to grow and marrying that girl with the yellow bag has been the best decision of my life. I have learned so much from being with her and her companionship means the world to me. I feel both lucky and incredibly blessed to be married to my best friend and I thank God every day for bringing us together. It just goes to show you: sometimes you need to toss your own rules aside and heed the cliches.

Any amazing first date stories to share? What cliches have you found infiltrating your life? Let us know in the comments 🙂

Wishing you all the happy relationship cliches,


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