In October of 2009, I moved to Chicago from New York City, leaving behind my family and my social life. Starting over in a new city was tough and I was desperate to meet new people, explore Chicago and potentially enter a serious relationship. JDate catered to each of these needs and I quickly signed up and created my profile.
At that time, Karina had already been on JDate for some time and was a “seasoned veteran” in the online dating world, if you will. She had not found the right guy for her yet, but she was enjoying the search. As a consultant traveling Monday through Thursday every week, she had enough time for dating but not enough time for a relationship.
On a random Sunday afternoon, I came across a beautiful girl’s profile on JDate. Karina’s profile contained beautiful pictures, sincere insight into what she wanted and who she is as a person. After reading her profile and appreciating her ambition, intellect, humility and sense of humor, I decided to reach out to her. I didn’t know what to expect considering that my profile contained a picture of me posing in a pink footie-pajama onesie and described my current occupation as a professional rodeo clown looking for work. I knew there was a good chance Karina would not respond well to my brand of humor. And if not, it wasn’t meant to be.
Luckily for me, Karina did email me back but before she did (and I would learn this some months later), she had asked her best friend if she could really go on a date with “the class clown,” directly referencing my adorable onesie picture. Her friend simply told her, “If you don’t, I will!” With that, Karina took a step outside her comfort zone and wrote me back. We exchanged a few messages over the weekend and we both noticed the chemistry instantly taking place.
That Monday, I received a call from Karina, marking the first time we had spoken on the phone. She quickly told me how she had dinner plans with a friend, but the friend in question came down with a stomach bug and could no longer go to dinner. Karina asked if I was available to go to dinner at DMK Burger Bar… in thirty minutes. I knew she traveled a lot for work which meant I had limited opportunities to go on a date with her, and also that if any sort of relationship with her could work, then I would have to be flexible with my availability. At that moment I was watching Tommy Boy on network TV, so I decided I should probably take advantage of this opportunity. I told Karina I was ready to go meet her right now, if she wanted. That’s when Karina told me to take some time to “Triple ‘S’, you know sh**, shower and shave? Isn’t that what guys do?” Between that comment and going to a burger bar, I knew there was a good chance I was going to enjoy this date. For the record, yes, Karina asked me out on our first date.
Karina and I went to DMK and we had both agreed to keep the date short; both of us had flights the next morning at 6am for work. However, our JDate messages translated very well into our date and we lost track of time staying at the restaurant until 11pm.
Once we realized what time it was, we left DMK and I walked Karina back to her apartment. I flagged down a cab and we started our goodbyes. With the cab behind me and my heart racing, I made a decision to go in for a kiss. To this day I’m not sure how or why – maybe the adrenaline from meeting someone I truly liked, maybe the nervous anxiety felt before a first kiss, maybe just trying to make sure the cab wouldn’t leave without me – but I gave Karina the worst, rushed, sloppy kiss either of us had ever experienced. It was so bad that Karina said “Let’s try that again…” and we kissed again and even that kiss was miserable. It was as if I was suffering from vertigo – I couldn’t quite place my lips directly on hers and when I did my head was turned to an awkward angle. We stopped kissing, or whatever you call what it was I was doing to her, and she somehow still agreed to see me again that weekend.
The saying is that you will always find love when you’re least expecting it. That saying appears to be true. Neither of us could have expected that an ambitious, career-focused woman would ask out a onesie-wearing “class clown” on a date, and that our date would end in the worst first and second kiss in JDate history, and that horrible mess would be the first date memory for a couple who goes on to get married! We’re just hoping we don’t screw up the kiss under the Chuppah.
Karina and Andy