Once or twice, he had met up with me and my friends Leigh and Megan at the weekly wine tasting at a restaurant near my apartment. Not officially a date, but at least we were in the same place at the same time.
It was the night before my birthday. Ted called me at work. "Will Leigh be at the wine tasting tonight?" he asked.
Crap. Why should I be surprised that he was interested in Leigh? What man wasn't interested in Leigh was more the question. She is funny, smart, nice and as cute as can be. Men fall to do her bidding.
I sighed. "Yes," I answered curtly. "She'll be there."
Why had he bothered to call me all this time? Why was he asking me about Leigh? Couldn't he just call her directly? No wonder he hadn't asked me out. I was the person to talk about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Q documents with. She was the one to date. (Not that Leigh couldn't have talked about these things, but she had a lot more work to do at her job. I could goof off a lot and waste time on personal phone calls.)
Fine. I was still going to the wine tasting to see my friends and sulk.
I got to the restaurant. Leigh and Megan were there. Ted was there. We talked and talked and talked and I lusted and lusted and lusted. But still, he would not ask me out. At least here, though, I could lust in person.
It was late. A work night. I finally said, "I need to go home."
He said, "Wait."
Leigh smiled and squirmed with excitement.
He went into the restaurant kitchen and returned with a roasting pan. Leigh ran behind him and brought out plates and forks.
He placed the roasting pan in front of me and removed the lid. Lifted the contents out of the pan.
It was a chocolate terrine. He pulled out a container of raspberry sauce. "This goes on top," he said.
My jaw dropped. I had no idea what to say.
He started to sing "Happy birthday" and my friends joined in.
"Cut it!" Leigh urged.
"I don't have a knife," I said.
Ted reached into his pocket. "I brought this," he said as he handed me a box of mint dental floss. Dental floss is the right tool for cutting cinnamon rolls and for delicate cakes.
Remember how I was unhappy about how Calvin would forget my birthday? Up until a later boyfriend's cool gifts, including a belt sander, this was the best thing anyone outside my family had ever done for my birthday.
We ate our cake, which was delicious. Ted repacked everything into the roasting pan, including the layer of ice on which the terrine had rested, and carried it out to my car for me. "I spent some time in Home Depot figuring out how to engineer this," he said. "It had to stay cool and it couldn't get bumped."
He had 1. remembered my birthday even though I had mentioned it only casually in passing, 2. thought about my birthday and what I might like, and 3. gone through a lot of effort to execute the plan, including involving/invoking Leigh to make sure I would be there.
Tell me you wouldn't be seriously crushing on this.