But then one summer, there was this cute boy at youth group. I kinda liked him and he kinda liked me. And I was 15. I knew not to get my hopes up, but maybe, just MAYBE my parents would make an exception if he asked me out. And then, one wonderful day, he did. He asked me to go to the zoo, and so with great trepidation I asked my parents if I could go. They said NO.
My 15-year-old-not-old-enough-to-date heart was crushed. It looked like my first date would certainly be when I was 16 after all. Or maybe I'd lost my chance. Maybe I'd be 17 or 24 or 39 or never and I'd end up wearing sweatshirts with cat appliques and dangly cat earrings.
But lucky for me, he did not give up. He asked me out again, and this time, I felt like there was a glimmer of hope. He asked me to a Denver Broncos game. I repeat: this cute boy who I was crushing on asked me TO GO TO A BROCOS GAME. I'd been a Broncos fan my entire life, faithfully
brainwashed trained by my Dad to bleed orange and blue. The zoo? Meh. Broncos? My dad might be on board with that.
And so with a deep breath and my love life hanging in the balance, I asked my parents if I could go on a date. To where? Oh, just Mile High Stadium to watch the Broncos play. My dad's eyes lit up and I could see the inner struggle. Or maybe it was jealousy. Either way, it wasn't an immediate "no" and I was so excited. My mom and dad talked about it and decided that YES, I could go if another couple went. We'd start with group dating since I was a mere 15 years old.
I remembering shaking as I called the boy back and told him that I could go, as long as another couple was there, explaining the group date mandate. "No problem!" he said. I couldn't believe it. I was going to a Broncos game. My first. I was going on a date. My first. My first date would be to a Broncos game? It was like the beginning of a Denver-based fairy tale.
It's hard to believe my mom didn't snap a hundred pictures of me leaving for my first date, but I have no doubt I was decked out in Broncos gear, complete with blue and orange ribbons in my hair. I remember being so nervous and so excited. I remember waving to my mom and dad standing on the front porch as we drove away, and I'm sure they were just as nervous as I was. We were meeting the other couple at the game, so we went straight there.
I don't remember much about the game. I know I had my eye out for #7 and couldn't believe I'd be seeing John Elway in real life. I think we were playing the Raiders, and I think we won, but I can tell you one thing for sure: this group date was not what my parents had in mind.
We found our way to the seats (his season tickets), and I was surprised to see two of his guy friends from youth group there seated next to us. THEM? THEY were the other couple? Yes. A couple of other people. Four of us equaled a group, it's true. No, of course they weren't on a date. They were just there to enjoy the game alongside us. As a group.
Oh, my parents loved that little detail when I got home that night. I think they thought it was a little bit funny (maybe? Mom? Dad?) but they made it clear that it wasn't the GROUP DATE that they intended. Lucky for me, they have a great sense of humor and tease me about it to this day. And I learned that when it's time for my kids to date, I need to be very specific. Especially if they're asked to go to a Broncos game.
But that wouldn't be my only date to a Broncos game. Stay tuned...