Daniel LaRusso

Jennifer

The summer of 1984 was pretty magical for me. It was then that I had my first crush. “Karate Kid” had made its way to the big screen, and I was instantly in love with him, there would never be any other. Daniel LaRusso – played by the one and only Ralph Macchio. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this movie. I cannot tell you how many times I have made my children watch this movie-and for the record, the remake is a joke.

In a very memorable scene, Daniel and his love interest Ali, have their first date. Daniel and his mom pull up to Ali’s beautiful house. Daniel makes his way up to her front door, and just as he is about to knock, Ali comes out. There is an awkward exchange between Ali’s parents and Daniel, but no one really cares about that. Daniel and Ali are now off to “Golf N Stuff” for their date, a theme park sort of place. We are then treated to “Feel the Night” by Baxter Robertson while we watch Daniel and Ali enjoy their first date. It was magical, and I knew one day I wanted that. I wanted a Daniel.

October 2002.

I was getting ready for my date with Joe. I mean was it a date? It has to be a date, right, or no? I had no idea what the hell I was getting into. How does one dress when one does not even know if this was a date or not. Alphonso had my boys upstairs in his apartment, movies and pizza in hand. Jessica was off with Sean trying to figure out “where this relationship is going”, so I was left to my own devices, which is always a hit or miss with me. Joe was picking me up around four. He was taking me to The Ram, a lovely restaurant down by the Tacoma waterfront. This is totally a date, and I had never really officially been on a date. OMG!

The way my apartment was set up, there was no parking. Joe had to park his car down in our parking garage and make the walk up three flights of steps. I decided to “play it cool” and go sit on my landing while waiting for Joe. That lasted about three seconds before I needed to talk to someone to calm my nerves. I called my youngest sister, who at the time was going through her own stuff. We talked briefly, and then when I heard Joe coming up the last flight of steps, I quickly got off the phone.

We were both nervous. It was obvious. As we made the “long” walk back down the three flights of steps we did that awkward small talk that I despise. I really had no idea why I was so nervous. I see this guy every day at work, except now, we were not at work. As soon as we got to his car, he opened the door the passenger side for me. Well, that has never happened before, unless you count my father opening the door for me. Joe turns the car on and this song is blasting from the radio. It has a nice beat, and I am grateful for the distraction. Boo-Yaa-Tribe “Ballers Prayer.”

When we get to the restaurant Joe opened the door for me, while gently putting his hand on the small of my back to guide me in. This got to me. Side-note, if there are any single gentlemen out there who are completely bored, and you find yourself  reading this blog, please remember this. When you gently put your hand on the small of the back of your significant other, you get points for that. There is just something about that that makes most women melt. Trust me.

Now it’s time for the actual conversation to begin. He started off by asking me about T. Way to break the ice Joe! It was at this point that I knew I just had to put it all out there. The good, the bad, and the ugly and that is exactly what I did. I put it all out there. Everything. From my first joke of a marriage, to Vinnie’s kidnapping by his sperm donor, to my poor judgement in T, I put it all out there. I did not want any secrets, and I needed him to know what he was getting into by hanging out with someone like me, someone with a checkered past.

The only question he had for me was “Are the fathers of your boys in the picture?”

They were not, and I let him know that, while letting him know I did not need them to be. We had a nice time. Different but nice. On the drive home he told me he would like to see me again if I was okay with that, while letting me know that with him being my boss, he could get in trouble. So basically I had no idea where he was going with this. Is he letting me off the hook nicely, or what?

Joe walked me up to my front door, and shook my hand, while politely saying “I will see you at work tomorrow.” And, that was it. No hug, not trying to go in for a kiss, just a shake of my hand-which left me more confused then ever.

I walked into my apartment and was greeted with a crying Jessica. Apparently her and Sean decided that their relationship was going nowhere and Sean broke up with her. I called Alphonso to let him know I was back, I told him to bring the boys, some ice cream and a bottle of wine. The latter two were for Jessica.

Alphonso ushered my boys in, threw the ice cream and wine at Jessica and asked me “How was your date with your boss?” Because, well, that is Alphonso and he always likes to push my buttons.

I looked at him, wondering if it was a tad too soon, and told him

“I just may have found my Daniel.”

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