A Slice of Orange


My Last First Date: How to land a husband on the first date

June 8, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

By Leslie Kay Ashe

  1. Don’t call it a date. I mean, if you’re “just friends,” then it’s not really a date, even though after nearly a year of this whole going-out-after-work-with-the-crew thing, you didn’t feel like inviting anyone else to come along this time, and even though you’re seated in a dark, secluded corner of an upscale restaurant. But that’s definitely NOT a date.
  2. Choose the garlic-chicken-alfredo pizza. Because it’s not date, so who cares if you have garlic cheese breath.
  3. Cross your legs in the middle of dinner and whack him with the heel of your shoe right in the shins, which causes him to spill his beer all over his food and his lap (and leaves him with a bruise that will last for more than two weeks).
  4. When dinner ends, decide that you’ll both swing by the bar to see if anyone else is around. But since this isn’t a date or anything, decide to drive there in separate cars. (But since it’s snowing out, he suggests that just to be safe, you should follow him pretty closely.)
  5. Pretend not to pay any attention to each other at the bar and instead laugh it up with your girlfriends while sneaking nonchalant glances out of the corner of your eye.
  6. Make an unintentionally loud announcement that it’s getting late and you should really be heading home, but purposely avoid saying “good-bye” to him on the way out, and then pretend you’re not disappointed when he doesn’t follow.
  7. Get a flat tire half-way home. Sit in your car for ten minutes with your cell phone in your lap wondering if it would be just too obvious to call him.
  8. When he shows up to help and he admits that he doesn’t know how to change a tire, laugh and say, “That’s OK. I do.” And when he says, “Then why did you call me to help?” Just shrug and say, “Why not?”
  9. Have him keep track of the lug nuts as you put on the spare and try not to notice how good he smells sitting so close to you. And when you turn to say something to him and suddenly he kisses you, say to yourself, “So, yeah, OK. Maybe not just friends.”
  10. On the way home, finally admit to yourself that you’re madly in love and you’re going to marry this man.

Leslie Kay Ashe is the pen name of an unpublished Orange County author who would rather die than put something so personal in her own name.

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My Last First Date: Puppy Love

June 8, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Imet my husband at the dog pound. I was working there in dog licensing, and he came in to do an audit. Since I was eighteen years old, and he was twenty six, professional and handsome, I really didn’t think he’d be interested.

But consider my competition—they were all dogs!

Finally, Dan asked me to lunch one day. My excitement may have dimmed a bit when we ended up at Burger King (don’t think I’ve let him forget that), but I didn’t eat much anyway (and don’t think he’s let me forget that). All these years later, I don’t remember what we talked about, except that he asked me out on another date.

Eventually those dates turned into two decades of marriage. On our twentieth anniversary, we were sitting around the dinner table with our three sons. We had finished dinner and were just chatting. My husband asked me to get out the Halloween candy.

“Stay out of the kids’ candy,” I told him.

The boys laughed, and said, “Dad can have some candy.”

I sighed. This is the last of the Halloween candy dumped all into one bowl. I got up, pulled the bowl of candy out of the cupboard and handed it to my husband.

Dan handed the bowl back to me. “Pick what you want first.”

Okay, so yeah, I might have a little problem with chocolate. I had been avoiding looking in the candy bowl to resist temptation. Dan and the boys know this, and of course, they are Chocolate Enablers. I gave in, looked in the bowl and blinked in surprise. A small square wrapped box sat on top of the candy. Suspicious, I looked up at Dan. “We said no gifts! We went to dinner and the comedy club to celebrate our anniversary! No gifts!”

By this time, the boys are squirming all over. “Open it Mom!”

I pulled out the box and opened it. My husband got me a beautiful anniversary ring inlaid with diamonds. I was shocked, overwhelmed and I loved the ring. I put it on and it fit perfectly.

When we married, we were buying a house at the same time and so we skipped the diamond engagement ring to get matching gold bands. I tried to tell Dan how much I loved him and the ring.

“I wanted you to have a diamond ring,” Dan said simply.

The boys were so excited. They had been in on this all along. They knew their dad was buying me the diamond ring that we hadn’t been able get when we got married. We sat there at the table that evening and told the kids the story of the dog pound and our first date at Burger King. They’d heard it before, but it still cracked them up. As for me…

I may have met my husband at the dog pound, but I got a real gem of a man.

Jennifer Apodaca is the author of The Sex on the Beach Book Club and the Samanta Shaw mystery series. You can find her at www.jenniferapodaca.com.

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My Last First Date: Better Late Than Never

June 7, 2007 by in category Last First Date tagged as

By Gillian Doyle

Friday the 13th was my lucky day. In the final minutes of my last day of a two-week stint as an office temp, Mr. Tall and Gorgeous asked me out on our first date–a concert on Sunday, the 15th.

On Saturday, my dad’s Chicago cousin and her family came to stay with us in L.A., eager to see all the tourist traps. I must have been drifting through some sort of euphoric fog because I have no memory of their visit.

Except on that fateful First-Date Sunday.

My dad had taken his relatives to an amusement park for the entire day and were not expecting to come home until late in the evening. Of course I didn’t go because of the BIG DATE.

At five o’clock, I was dressed to kill and ready for the doorbell to ring, wondering if Mr. First Date would have trouble finding my address. Our house was on a very busy four-lane boulevard. It was also so close to the freeway on-ramp that cars accelerated like a jet taking off from LAX. It was so bad that first-time visitors to our house had been known to whiz by with the flow of traffic and find themselves in the next suburb in the blink of an eye.

I had stomach-churning visions of Mr. Dreamy Date, dazed and confused in Pico Rivera, searching helplessly for an opportunity to turn around (not an easy trick), then finally heading back toward my house, only to discover the impracticality of parking across the street. Over on that side, the off-ramp from the freeway shot Indy drivers onto the boulevard faster than the Jet pilots on my side. NO one crossed those lanes on foot.

Okay, so now the guy was ten minutes late. Maybe he’d made a second pass and missed again. Maybe I should’ve told him to come around to the alley where everyone else parked.

Nooooo…Mr. Knight-in-Shining-Armor’s first impression of my humble abode would NOT be a pot-holed alley lined with graffiti-scrawled cinderblock walls and smelly trash cans.

Twenty minutes late.

Oh dear lord, please don’t let this be happening.

It’s bad enough to be stood up, but worse if it’s a FIRST date! What could be worse than that? Being stood up when your dad has his Illinois cousin visiting so that your personal mortification becomes a pathetic anecdote spread throughout the entire family, far and wide, retold at holiday dinners in Chicago and beyond!

Thirty minutes late.

I heard voices at the back door. My dad and his relatives were home early!

Panic! I had honestly expected to be long gone when they came back – either on my date or … well, anywhere else but home so I didn’t have to face them.

As they came in the kitchen, I glanced around. No where to run. No where to hide. Oh good god, why me? WHY ME?

I think I had been wearing a red dress. I don’t know for sure. I just remember thinking as the heat rose to my cheeks that the bright pink flush of embarrassment might not be noticeable. Maybe they’d think it was the glow off the dress. Yeah-right.

Needless to say, everyone stopped when they saw me. Their smiles froze. Awkward silence. Then hellos all around. They shuffled into the living room, saying what a great time was had by all at the amusement park, and it was too bad I’d missed it. And had they realized I’d still be here when they got back, they would’ve insisted that I come along in the first place.

Yeah, well…I did have a date to get ready for.

Ah-yes, “the date”. (Did I detect a wink between my dad’s cousin and her husband?)

Then she said, sweet as you please, with a tad of empathy thrown in, “Looks like you’ve been stood up.”


I know I didn’t say this out loud because there were no gasps of shock and their eyes didn’t pop out.

Instead, I kept my smile firmly in place. Still, I have no recollection of anything else I may have said or done as the minutes ticked by.

Finally the doorbell rang.

Saved – literally! — by the bell.

And, yes, we had gotten our wires crossed. According to him, he was right on time. (I soon learned he was—and still is– a man of his word and always, ALWAYS on time!)

Our date was a John Denver concert under the stars at the (then) open-air Universal Amphitheater. The music was wonderful, the night perfect. It was just chilly enough to snuggle together for warmth. Many years later we met John briefly through friends, and had the opportunity to thank him for making our first date so memorable.

As time went by, I realized that my dad had brought his relatives home early for personal reasons. He had been eager to meet this young man that his little girl was going to marry someday.

Multi-published author Gillian Doyle writes paranormal suspense. She invites you to drop by at her blog and say hello.

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My Last First Date: Next Time, You Pick the Movie

June 5, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as

Oh, my goodness. It truly was one of those “across the crowded room” moments that singers sing about. But the truth of it was…Tim had been High School Football Team Captain and Boyfriend of the Head Cheeleader/Homecoming Queen, and I had been an honor-roll dork who edited the yearbook. True, four years had passed since graduation. College had been good to me, but the dork-factor is a hard one to lose. And Tim was already one smokin‘ fireman…

It was a mini-reunion Christmas party when our eyes met across the pool table. Actually, I was semi-comotose on a couch. Not alcohol; I was recovering from a cute little bout of pneumonia. Right then he came over to sit beside me. Fate. Karma. Serendipity. God’s will. What ever you call it, and I knew I needed to see him again. And again. Since these were the days when dinosaurs walked the earth and “nice girls” didn’t ask guys out other than to be your plus-one at your cousin’s wedding, I had to quickly concoct something to ensure future contact. And so I did. I announced to everybody present that the next bash was to be on New Years Eve at my apartment. Tim agreed to be there. With a sigh of relief, I contented myself that I’d see him again in just ten days.

But he woke me up the next morning, asking me out on a date. A date! I’d probably been on a hundred such things, but this one, with somebody I’d known for years but didn’t know at all, was the most unnerving. I knew it had to be one special event, so I picked a sure thing for a first date, a Burt Reynolds movie. He was popular at the time, a man’s sort of man as well as eye candy for me. The perfect combo.


I sat through the harrowing adventures of four hapless canoers, kind of regretting I hadn’t picked a comedy, when we came to the Main Event featuring poor Ned Beatty. Dork Alert: at that moment, I realized that either Tim would never speak to me again…or he’d love me forever.

Fortunately, he selected the last choice. If you haven’t seen the classic movie, rent it and remind yourself that this was some fool’s first date choice. But it must have spun some kind of magic. We never dated anybody else after seeing it, and it’s now thirty-three years, two kids and one grandson later.

A Southern California native, Tanya Hanson honed her writing skills during the fifteen years she taught high school English. She’s published in Western Romance but the sophomore slump has been a long one, yet she (and her amazing critique partner, multi-pubbed and best selling author Charlene Sands) refuse to give up!

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My Last First Date: Lost at Howard Johnson’s

June 4, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as
By Jacqueline Diamond

I nearly lost my husband at Howard Johnson’s.

We met at a singles event and arranged to get together the following Saturday. As a fledgling reporter, I’d somehow snagged two free passes to Disneyland. They didn’t include the parking and, being young and cheap, we didn’t want to pay to park two cars. So we arranged to meet at a nearby Howard Johnson’s where we could leave one for free.

That was in the days before cell phones, but what’s the big deal with meeting somebody in front of a hotel?

Problem: He assumed we were meeting in front of the restaurant. I assumed in front of the lobby. Or maybe I’ve got that backwards. Anyway, you couldn’t see one place from the other.

I waited. And waited. Even went to a phone booth and called his house, but no one answered.

Was this guy just another unreliable jerk? I honestly didn’t think so. Fortunately, I hung around just a little longer and Kurt, having the same positive expectations about me, decided to take a final swing through the parking lot in his pickup.

Hooray! We were delighted to see each other. And we had a great date. Ate dinner overlooking Pirates of the Caribbean (that was included with the free passes. Otherwise, we’d have dined on hot dogs). Went on the Matterhorn and hollered all the way down.

We’ll celebrate our 29th anniversary in October.

Jackie Diamond Hyman (w/a Jacqueline Diamond) is the award-winning author of more than 75 novels. Her first e-book, Touch Me In the Dark, was released last month by Triskelion Publishing. You can find her at www.jacquelinediamond.com.

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