I almost didn’t go on a blind date with him but I ended up meeting him anyway and it was because of a bird dog. That was 18 years ago this month. Before agreeing to meet him in person for the first time, I saw a photograph of him kneeling next to his 6-month-old puppy. “What’s not to like about a single guy who has a cute dog? He can’t be too bad,” a good friend of mine said as she was encouraging me not to back out of giving him my phone number. At the time, I didn’t know much about Brittanys, but I agreed they were both cute.
We spoke on the phone, a landline, before meeting in person for the first time. We talked about the basic stuff and it seemed like everything was going well but he insisted on knowing what I looked like first. I found out later that he’d been burned before or set-up on false pretenses by a woman that said she looked exactly like Mariah Carey. He said, “Mariah Carey’s second cousin, four times removed, if that,” or something like that. I’m a firm believer that looks aren’t everything, but it was only fair that he had the option of backing out if he didn’t like what he saw.
These were the early days of the Internet, the AOL and dial-up years. Online presence wasn’t so easy to come by. Today if you want to find out what someone looks like it’s easy to just Google their name or Facebook or Instagram search them. The only photo that I could come up with was from the webpage of the bicycle team that I was racing on. It was group postcard photo but it was better than nothing. I told him where to find the photo online.
We agreed on a public meeting place, a brewpub in downtown Boise. He came straight from work and got there first. I came straight from the gym, and when I walked in the door he was expecting someone in workout clothes and he didn’t recognize me at first. The funny or ironic thing about our first meeting was that his co-worker in the cubicle next to his had the same photo posted next to his computer because his wife was also on my cycling team. My blind date had seen the photo of me almost every day for a year without knowing he’d eventually meet the one fifth from the right.
After good beer, dinner, and conversation he invited me over to his house because he was anxious to check on his young dog that had been home alone all day. I agreed to go to this strange man’s home to meet his dog Glenna, and I didn’t even think twice about doing it. It was getting late and I stayed for just a few minutes before I drove back across town to my own home. I liked him. I think his bird dog liked me.
Bob proposed on top of an Idaho mountain inside an old decommissioned Forest Service lookout about 1- 1/2 years later. The following year, on a clear sunny day in August, in-between wildfires that had blanketed the skies with smoke most of the late summer, we got hitched on the top of a different mountain, and after the ceremony rode our mountain bikes down to the bottom on a fun and narrow single-track with family and friends.
Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers of mountain tops and bird dogs out there!