As constant — nay, fanatical — readers of this site, you’ll recall how yesterday was the 16th anniversary of me proposing marriage to Krissy. Well, today is the 17th anniversary of the two of us having our first date, which for the record, happened at El Presidente restaurant in Visalia, California, followed by dancing at the Marco Polo bar, which is where we had met three weeks previously (that doesn’t count as an official date because she was kind of there with a different date entirely, who she largely abandoned to dance with me, BWA HA HA HAH loser date of Krissy’s).

This means, as those of you with exceptional math skills have already deduced, that I proposed marriage one day short of a year from our first official date. I chose that date because it was a Wednesday, which meant my newspaper was running my weekly column, and my proposal was the subject of the column. However, I had known for some time that I wanted to marry her. In fact, I had known roughly nine months earlier, because after three months of dating Krissy it was clear that a) there was no way in which she was not awesome, b) there was no way I would ever do any better, mate-wise, than I was doing right that very second, so my task for the next 60 or so years would be not to screw up this relationship.

As any guy who has even the slightest semblance of impulse control will tell you, three months is a pretty quick time for a man to determine that he wants to spend the rest of his life with someone, so about seven years into our marriage, I noted to Krissy with some pride how soon it was that I was convinced that she was the person I wanted to marry.

“Uh-huh,” she said, less impressed than I had imagined she would be.

“Well, when did you decide that you wanted to marry me?” I asked.

“Our first date,” she said.

“AAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIEEEEEEEGH,” I said, running terrified from the house — or would have, had, in fact, I had not been already married to her for seven years at this point and had been almost appallingly happy the whole time. Because you know who knows they want to marry someone after the first date? Crazy, crazy people, that’s who. And also, apparently, in data set a completely unattached to “crazy, crazy people,” my wife.

What I actually did say was, “I’m really glad you didn’t tell me that at the time.”

To which Krissy said, “Of course I didn’t tell you. Do you think I’m crazy?”

That statement, or more accurately the strategic intelligence behind it, is part of why we’re still married today.

Lest anyone think that Krissy was overstating her position on the matter, my mother-in-law confirmed that when her daughter came through the door after our first date, more or less the first words out of her mouth were “I’ve met the man I’m going to marry.” Which surprised my future mother-in-law, as previous to this her daughter’s general opinion of men was, shall we say, not nearly high enough to have marriage be part of it. So I have no reason to doubt that, in fact, Krissy had made the decision that night.

In retrospect, it’s a little weird to think that my entire future was falling into place as I obliviously tucked into the El Presidente chimichanga platter, but of course, that’s life for you — the most important days of your existence don’t always announce themselves in obvious ways. At the time, all I knew was that somehow I had managed to get a date with the single most gorgeous woman I had ever met in my entire life, and I focused on not talking with my mouth full, because I wanted to get to date number two. Well, and I did. And got happily ever after in the bargain.

Which means it was a good first date, seventeen years ago today.

84 Comments on “Dateiversary”

  1. Funny thing… I told my entire lab the day after my first date with my husband “I’ve found the man I’m going to marry!!!” And he, a few days later, when asked what he did over the weekend, said “…I suppose you could have called it a date.” *shakes head* I am SO lucky that despite mutual friends he didn’t find out about my declaration until a few months later…

    It was about three months later for him, though, that he decided that I was the one. :) Been four and a half years married, now. :)

  2. I knew after my first date with my husband that I would marry him, and (at the time) I wasn’t the sort of gal would considered herself the marryin’ type. That was seven years ago, and we just celebrated our one year anniversary of marriage. We also are afflicted with appalling happiness, and it’s awesome. Mazel tov.

  3. Congratulations, both on the dateiversary and all the complicated math required to calibrate the proper timeline.

  4. The only reason I know where Visalia is is because my father-in-law was the manager of the Visalia K-Mart for umpteen dozen years before he retired to front a blues band.

    I wasn’t sure if you met Cindy the last day in Phoenix or not. I would have liked for you to meet my family – Sophie is Athena’s age, and Cindy has some very Krissy-like qualities, including that first date marriage radar, and the overabundance of awesome.

    (And for the record, I also knew on our first date. I proposed five days later, and we were married thirty-two days after that. That was almost nineteen years ago.)

  5. Although I knew the moment I actually met my wife that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, it took 8 months to even ask her out. But from there, it was less than 2 months before talking about scary marriage,and a few months from that there was a ring. When you meet that one person, you know. You may not say anything, but you KNOW, right there.

  6. Now I want to hear more about this first real date. What did you do which impressed her so much? (note: haven’t met you at a convention yet, so I don’t know how well you dance)

  7. Man that’s scary. I’ve been dating my girlfriend for over 6 years, and I still get that “Wildebeast staring into the business end of a cheetah” feeling when the subject of marriage comes up.

    Out of curiousity, Did your parents stay married? I think that has alot to do with how little or how much aversion to commitment a person has.

  8. How sweet.
    Keep working at it and it will keep working.
    Not that you should take relationship adive from me!

  9. I believe you have one of the rarest relationships on earth.

    I see how many people will say marriage is wonderful and then rarely if ever speak to me in a positive way about their spouse.
    So I have come to the conclusion that if you what tell your friends and acquaintances about your spouse is positive – you have a happy marriage. Its a sad rarity.

  10. in data set a completely unattached to “crazy, crazy people,” my wife.

    I think this deserves a Venn Diagram. But then I’m a visual guy.

    discussing our own history, my wife said she was “ready” about three months after we started dating. For me, it was about six months into dating where I realized, I could spend the rest of my life with this woman.

    And i mean that from a logistical point of view.

    For me, every relationship before had basically had various issues and arguments and resentments slowly accumulate over time until it just didn’t work anymore.

    Six months into dating, we went on a weekend vacation together, and we had this spectacularly amazing (in a bad way) fight, and the next day she approached me and said “this is all the baggage I brought last night that had nothign to do with you (then proceeded to list them). I’m sorry.”

    At which point, it seemed natural for me to do the same and apologize. And then we had an amazing day together. No baggage. No resentments. No accumulated garbage to get between us.

    And that was when I realized I could spend the rest of my life with this woman.

    I didn’t actually propose to her until another six months after that. We flew back to my hometown, she met my family and friends there, and after all that, when she didn’t run away screaming (I figured she ought to have the right to know what she was getting into), I proposed that night.

    To borrow a great line: “Love wins”.

  11. John@14: “I was me. Which apparently was sufficient.”

    That’s not just sufficient, that’s the only way. If you go to extraordinary lengths to impress someone enough that they marry you, you’ve just set up one of two possible outcomes:

    1) You have to keep it up for the rest of your life, which is hard.

    2) You get tired of it and stop trying, in which case they get dissatisfied and go looking elsewhere.

    You done good.

  12. Hm, slightly ambiguous there. She didn’t tell me three months after we started dating that she was ready to get married. She “knew” three months in, but didn’t tell me until sometime later.

  13. Oh, I love this stuff. Congratulations to both of you guys!

    (I actually proposed to my wife BEFORE WE EVEN MET. She poked or liked or whatevered me on a dating site, prompting me to send a message to her, which was along the lines of, “Will you marry me? Please say yes, because I already told my mom the wedding is on.” And she still made a date with me!)

  14. On a different note, can I propose that we limit John’s access to photo retouching tools for a while?

    That’s a lovely photo of Krissy, but with the color transform that highlights her red, red lips and the background that suggests rivulets of blood trickling down a window pane, well… it makes me wonder if your next book will be a paranormal romance.

  15. I love the stories where people “know” — but they don’t always. I was a month into dating my husband before I even admitted such, and we didn’t get married until 7 years later (to the day). Still think he’s awesome, despite my lack of romantic “I knew he was The One” stories. I think that a lot of it has to do with where you are in your life and your personal development. Neither of us were ready to get married, until we were. And then we did.

  16. Almost ten years ago I flew down to Florida to see my future wife in person for the first time. I proposed on the same trip and we were married a few weeks later.

    I dunno how “crazy” it really is… it’s strictly anecdotal, but I’ve heard an awful lot of long-term married folks say they knew on the first date.

  17. Wait…your first date was on Bloomsday? The same day on which James Joyce set *Ulysses*? The same date on which Joyce first dated his eventual wife, Nora Barnacle? No wonder she said, “Yes I will Yes.”

  18. If I didn’t like you so much, I’d wanna pop you one, ya smug lucky bastard.

    No I’m kidding. Happy anniversary and dateiversary too! :)

  19. It’s nice to know that my wife and I aren’t the only ones who use the term “dateiversary”. And I also asked my wife to marry me 1 year after our first date. I don’t think my wife really “knew” until I asked — the proposal seemed to surprise her, as did her immediate, from-the-heart, response of “Yes!”, judging by the look on her face for about 5 seconds after she said it. But you know who wasn’t surprised? EVERYONE ELSE WE KNEW. Seriously, none of our family members or close friends reacted with “What, you got engaged?!” or “Wow, that was fast!” — it was all knowing smiles, slow nods, and congratulations.

  20. Usually, when you meet someone new they don’t typically make a big impression on you. You might haphazardly categorize them (sometimes in the wrong category in hilarious ways), but they don’t affect you strongly. Very rarely, you meet someone and within a few minutes you realize that you really actively enjoy their company (or just LOATHE them). This was captured very nicely in _Zoe’s_Tale_ when Zoe meets Gretchen for the first time (great scene).

    As long as we’re posting personal anecdotes:

    Once in my life, I’ve had really strong reaction to meeting someone and realized that she could be my future wife (I was 18 at the time, so this was an utterly alien thought). Of course, I immediately asked her out. And, of course, she immediately shot me down (evidently she wanted to say “yes”, but her friend who introduced us had a crush on me).

    Cue seven years of an ever-growing friendship that eventually, once we were both single at the same time, turned physical (and, beating the odds, did not end up in disaster). A year of dating and we were engaged and 6 months later we were married. We just celebrated 15 years together in May. We have four great kids and busy lives – whenever anyone asks how we manage it all, I answer, in all truthfulness, “it’s all about marrying the right woman.” I suspect many here can relate :-).

    So, Mr. Scalzi: Hearty congratulations to you and Krissy on your Anniversary, your Dateiversary, and any other notable dates on your calendar!

  21. Does Kristy insist that you recognize the dateiversary? My wife, Kat, is pretty sure we have two anniversaries, both deserving of gifts and fine dining. For some reason, I’m okay with this. And, as Chris said, I’m happy to see someone else using the term besides Kat & me.

    Of course, mazel tov.

  22. Re: 30 — Yeah Gary, I think the big reason we still have the dateiversary as well as the wedding anniversary is to add those to both our birthdays to give us four guaranteed times per year when we will go out for a really nice meal. :)

  23. I just forwarded this story to my girlfriend of about 2 months, and I swear I have almost no ulterior motive about sharing it with her. I swear it’s just because it’s such a geeky+romantic story and I like to share such things with her and because she’s awesome and the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

    I swear. Almost no ulterior motive at all on my part…

    Congratulations, Mr. Scalzi!

  24. Thank you for giving the rest of us hope, sir. Yes, it IS possible to be a great writer AND not fuck up your home life.

    We need more Scalzis and less Hemingways, I say. :D

  25. True Story…

    My wife decided on a date for our wedding. She said it was the anniversary of our first date. My answer was, “That wasn’t our first date.” You see she refused to call it a date. Really it was only movies with friends in the dorm room with some food and snacks. Sort of a Holiday Party. She came with a friend of hers. Even she was telling us it was not a date.

    My wife’s answer to this? “Well it is now.”

    And you thought knowing on the first date was crazy. ;)

    Oh, and the date for the wedding? December 7th, 1992 – the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. I gave her a big historical book on Pearl Harbor as a wedding present. And for the record, the 19th anniversary is coming up this year. We are going to the Neil Gaiman event at The House on the Rock for it. I intend to win her a ride on the carousel.

  26. Aww. Congrats, you two. :)

    We never even had a first date. He put his arm around me while we were watching a movie (not alone) and we haven’t been apart since. That was April. He proposed in September, and we were married in July, five years ago. He is awesome. (I am less awesome, but he doesn’t seem to mind.)

  27. My husband and I moved in together the first night we even expressed interest in each other (and that wasn’t a date, either). He proposed two months later, we got married five months after that and this year celebrated our 17th anniversary.

    He was so surprised when I said yes but really, it was the only thing my instincts would let me say.

    Happy anniversary, and many, many more.


  28. I knew by the end of the second date that my wife was The One.

    I avoided mentioning this and waited two years to propose because, as certain I was of that feeling, I had known it before. Three times before. And none of those three relationships (all of which became engagements) worked out, so I was not very confident in my certainty.

  29. I knew about 2 weeks after we’d started dating, and right after our first big fight that I’d marry Bryon. But I’ll save that story for the anniversary entry of Writer Tamago, on or around July 18th.

    I guess I don’t find Krissy’s intuition too weird, then. And no, I didn’t tell Bryon either.

    I love getting a glimpse into the relationship of well-suited couples who work at it. Thanks for making me a happy internet voyeur.


  30. @ Dave H on 23 “On a different note, can I propose that we limit John’s access to photo retouching tools for a while?”

    Agree. My first glance at the picture made me think of a vampire picture.

  31. I knew the first time I laid eyes on my wife that this woman was the one I was going to marry. Seeing my wife you’ll realize why. I’m stationed at Lemoore, I’ll have to check out the El Presidente next time I head down that way. Great story!

  32. my entire future was falling into place as I obliviously tucked into the El Presidente chimichanga platter

    Out of curiosity, was that menu item invented for comic effect, or do you actually remember what you ordered on your first date?

    I certainly don’t remember what I ordered on any of my early dates with my wife. My mind wasn’t on the food.

  33. Heh. Crazy people who know what’s what right away ROCK!

    Wife and I met at a party. We’d known of each other for about 10 years (same crowd) but never actually spoken with each other. After party, I took two weeks to get up nerve and ask her out. At the end of our first date (went from dinner and movie to three day weekend) I asked her to marry me and she said yes. Coming up on 11 years married the next Friday after Thanksgiving (easier to remember than an actual date).

  34. Heh. I met my wife in college (’86). She was twelve (almost 13), I was fifteen (almost 16). Romance was not even remotely on my mind, at least not with little girls (actual college-age women, on the other hand). She, apparently, had a crush on me, which survived (I will not say unscathed) my spectacularly unsuccessful relationship with her cousin (who is much closer to my age), which unsuccess and spectacle were entirely my fault.

    She was twenty (almost 21) before we actually started dating, and we’ll have been married fourteen years, a week next Monday. The only way in which she is less than awesome is her taste in men, so I’m spending my life making sure that doesn’t end up biting her in the butt.

  35. I won’t argue with the crazy label, but I proposed to the woman who’s now my wife on our first date (technically, the day before our first Proper Date). She, having previously been married and pretty much given up on marriage, gave me the strangest look…and said yes.

    Thirty-two years so far. (It took us a couple of months to actually get married because we both worked full-time and couldn’t afford the Marriage Penalty at the time: Our anniversary is, thus, really easy to remember–1/1.)

    So, y’know, there’s lots of crazy people out here.

  36. Husband was actually in a four year relationship with someone else when we met. Within a week or so he broke up with her and asked me out the same day. I said no because how can you go from committed to dating someone else in one day?

    We became friends though and started dating a year later. I asked him about the whole break up/ask out thing and he told me that he knew when he met me that I was important to his life and it only took him that week to realize the (very nice) woman he was dating was not the person for him and I was. He asked me to marry him quickly after that. Basically, he had dated the other woman for a long time but never asked her to marry him because even though it was a good relationship, it did not feel right. When he met me, something clicked. Eight years later, life is fantastic.

  37. My bf and I have several terms for our dateiversaries: The Zooversary (guess where we went for our first non-date), The Jelloversary (involves lead singer of the Dead Kennedys, not a dessert snack), and the Brewversary (first DATE-date = Strange Brew at the Castro Theatre). We’ve been together for about four years now, and one day, about a year and three months (give or take a few days) we will have our first anniversary of the sort most people have.

  38. John, I’m surprised you’re still agnostic after reading that. It’s nice to see there’s still magic in the world, sir. I was laughing out loud when I read the Whatever email. That was such a good retelling of The-Date-That-Changed-Your-Life. You definitely found a smart woman there!

  39. El Prez still open. Still has the Chimichanga platter. Weirdly, Marco Polo still open. Maybe this is what I’ll go do tonight?

  40. On a diet, here, so enough with the sweetness overload!

    OK, my turn to tell bizarre story. Met Spice (my wife) when I lived in a dorm (Cooper) that had all of its administration offices in another dorm (Searing). Spice was the person at the desk who pointed us Cooper people at the person who could solve our problems (we had lots, they tore it down a year later.) Those of us who hadn’t graduated were moved into Searing.

    Life went on, my primary encounters with Spice were of two kinds: “May I have my room key duplicate, please?” and her asking me for a cigarette when I was standing in the center office, and then breaking it in half (she did this to anyone who smoked, including her father.)

    I don’t remember what the story was that led to me having a pair of tickets to the concert I took her to. We both had finals the next day, and our first date, although happy, ended early.

    Things happened, and I took her out again. And again. I stopped taking other girls out. … Asked her to marry me, she said yes, we set a date a year in the future. By the time that was approaching, we were seeing other couples who were madly in love getting bitter, nasty divorces. We had conversations about how this could be happening. Her father died, and we canceled the wedding (still a couple of months away, no invites sent.) We kept on living together, though, just not marrying because that seemed to be the big mistake. If we were dating, we would not ignore each other, which was what we decided the problem the others were having was.

    Twenty five years later, we got married.

    A couple of years after that, we were at a wedding anniversary party for another couple who we’d known at Searing. “Oh, I’m so glad you’re still with Spice!” one of the lady guests gushed. “We always knew you’d get married.” “They’re married?” another chimed in, “No one told me!” “Yes”, I said, “but how did you know?”

    “Did you ever notice how none of the girls from Searing would go on a date with you?” “Umm, no, but, well, that’s true! How strange.” (I’d never noticed this while it was happening, there were lots of girls from the other dorms and off campus who’d go out with me.) “We all knew you were too much in love with her for us to have a chance with you.” “What!” “Yes, even when you were living in Cooper.” By now they were laughing. “You were -such- a gentleman. You’d see us coming up the hill and open the door for us, we felt like princesses. But when Spice came up the hill, you stopped being a flirty Marine and became the worshiper of a Goddess. We had no chance.”

    Thirty-eight years, a month ago. She still surprises and delights me, every day. Sorry John, I think I might be luckier than you. But I’ll hope that you two are as lucky as we are, or even more.

  41. I am having a first date in about half an hour. I read this, and it made me both more nervous and more hopeful. Hopefully I can mark this day as a dateiversary, too.

  42. It’s good to know other people use the word Dateiversary. My wife and I celebrate ours every December 27th.

    We also celebrate our kissiversary, which is December 8th about a year before our first date. I kissed her at a party, then acted like a damned fool for a year until I came to my senses and asked her out. It was a life-changing kiss. If ever there were a time when I could say I have seen magic, it would be that night.

  43. Dateiversary May 15th 1979
    Kissaversary sometime during the early hours of May 16th 1979
    Wedding day August 9th 1980

    So, 31 years together. (once I met my wife I just stopped seeing other people)
    30th anniversary in less than 2 months.

    True story. My wife and I were shopping a few days ago and I said “You know, I’m still crazy in love with you.” And she said “That’s cause crazy works for us.” I started laughing so hard we both got funny looks from the other shoppers.

    Congrats John and Krissy, here’s to knowing that crazy works…

  44. Strategic intelligence FTW!

    I postulate that anyone crazy enough to ever want to date me is too crazy for me to want to date. *shrugs*

  45. Slacker. My first date with Nita was Valentine’s Day. I proposed on April 20 and married her on June 12, which being a leap year, fell on June 18. (Just assume that’s an in-joke between me and Nita and move on.)

    We have no clue what day we met because I was doing a standup gig and just happened to talk to her after the show.

  46. Congratulations on your anniversaries. You always speak of Krissy in terms that make it clear you’re still amazed she’s with you, which after so many years of marriage, is awesome to see.

  47. My brother very nearly proposed on his first date with his wife. He was getting ready to do the whole one-knee thing when he realised that was crazy and decided to wait. A year later, he recreated their first date just so he could propose the same way he almost had that first night. Eight years of marriage later, they’re more in love than ever. If they weren’t such amazing people, it’d be disgusting.

    My wife and I, on the other hand… We both told friends, “Yeah, I’m going to be too busy with school when the summer ends, I’ll end the relationship then.” Plans changed. :-)

  48. It’s after posts like these that I wish Krissy had a blog so I could go over there and compare notes. :)

  49. My wife’s and my first date is easy to remember. We went to lunch on her birthday. The proposal was two dates later. She thought I was crazy. I told her quick decisions ran in the family: my parents met on Christmas Eve and married on the following Jan 31. Shortly after that story, she said yes. We’ve now been married 32 years and counting; my parents are at 64 years and still counting.

    @Megan Rose: Consider it all a good omen. :-)

  50. John, I think that reading that, for some strange reason, has shifted my thinking of ‘should I?’, to, ‘Where/when will I pick up the ring’.

    Thanks for that. :)

  51. We also celebrate lunacies– we were married ten years ago, April 15th, and we try to celebrate our lunacy every 15th of the month. It makes us giggle.

  52. Felicitations!

    The story is a bit long to go into here, but my beloved and I met for the first time twice. The second time, it worked. It took us 16 years after that to get around to getting married, but it took us less than two months to be sure that we were going to spend our lives together. We were each pretty sure much more quickly than that; the rest of those first weeks were mostly spent letting ourselves trust that it was real.

  53. Alia @ 68:

    Hey, thanks for the reminder! Today’s our lunaversary! An extra-big smooch when the beloved gets home …

  54. Congrats. Tomorrow is my 21st anniversary. Like you, I keep close track of the date we met, first date, etc. It’s always a special moment when a geeky guy is able to win over the heart of someone he knows is way out of his league. BTW- is there a velvet Krissy painting? (Just curious)

  55. *scribble scribble*

    …with …. mouth… full….

    *looks up from notepad*

    Anything else? Whatever else you did obviously worked seriously, seriously well.

  56. Evil Rob asked me to marry him a month after we started dating. My reply? “You can’t ask me that yet; I’m just starting to get used to the fact that we’re dating!” He then proceeded to ask me on an irregular basis until my mind apparently got used to the idea and I said Yes without thinking about it.

    My mind’s got quite a bit of inertia. It takes a while to change track sometimes.

  57. You know, the “feel” I get off of this entry (beyond “cute beyond words and Unicorn Pegasus Kittens”) is … sort of the feeling I got when I read the “date scene” in Android’s Dream.

    … does she make you feel like you’ve got those special springboots on, Mr. Scalzi? :)

  58. Sometimes you just know you’ve found “the one.” Sometimes it takes several years for “the one” to come around to agreeing with you on the subject. (grin) But I knew at first sight. (double-grin)

    26 years married and counting.

    Dr. Phil

  59. I can’t claim instant knowledge of my spouse-to-be. It actually took me about eighteen months to decide he was the one – I was still ahead of him by almost another year, though.

    The person who knew immediately that we were going to get married was my mother-in-law, who decided I was going to marry her son within about fifteen minutes of meeting me for the first time (a couple months after we started dating). Not being crazy herself, she didn’t mention this until after we were safely engaged.

    My father-in-law, on the other hand, didn’t decide I was the appropriate spouse for his son until about four months back – just after our eighteenth anniversary.

  60. On my first date with my wife, she helped me make enchiladas for a birthday dinner I was hosting. I think there is something to be said for the romantic power of tortillas.

  61. I’m shocked. But I’m grinning. It’s good to know guys can feel that way too. Thanks John for sharing and congrats – really enjoyed reading this post and the many many comments. Gives me faith that one day I will have that one date or 3 month moment and ‘just know’.

  62. I met the love of my life at ConQuesT in 1977 — and he married me a few months after you were our guest at ConQuesT.

    Yes, there is a certain kind of crazy that just works.


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