I met my husband on a Saturday night--March 9, 2002. We went on our first date the following Saturday night, after a week of anxious waiting for me. I could hardly sleep, and didn't put my phone down until he called on Tuesday. Again on Thursday! He took me out nearly every Saturday night after that first date until our wedding on a Saturday afternoon--January 22, 2005. Many of our dates were at Bennigan's in St Louis Park. Now we live in SLP, but Bennigan's has closed. Habtamu and I used to plan our trips to Ethiopia and Europe, road trips around the US, and dream of our future together. We went to Bennigan's right after we got engaged, because we were so dazed we didn't know what else to do! We even chose Theo's name while we sat at one of the high top tables; loved that name, so it went in the vault for when we started a family. Habtamu told me lovely stories of his life as a tour guide, and growing up in a big family. He smiled Ethiopia, I sighed Finland. We used to discuss religion, debate politics and laugh.
This evening we ate Chinese food from the mall in our car with the kids in the back. We were in a hurry as Mari and Tim were on their way to our house for a visit. Leaving the mall, Habtamu said, "I'm so hungry!" Orient Express was the nearest restaurant and the hunger in our bellies screamed "fried rice!" I sent him to the car with the kids and picked up two entrees for take away. He started on his food in the driver's seat while I packed up the stroller. As I slid into the passenger seat, he asked, "Can you eat while I drive?" "Mmhmm." Our ten minute conversation on the drive home was just as enjoyable as those dating exchanges from 5 years ago. Still debating politics, now with Theo and Suvi yelling in the back seat all the way home. I love this new flavor of dating. Who needs Bennigan's anyway?