When the Unthinkable on Your First Date Leads to 25 Years of Marriage

First Date

Yep. You guessed it. I claim fame to farting on my first date. Not only did I do the unthinkable, but I laid the loud and not so proud rumbler right on the guy’s lap. Gawd. Then I pretended nothing happened. He played along until my shoe made a strange noise on the floor causing him to ask me straight up, “Did you just fart?”

“No!” (Like, who’s going to admit that!?)

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“Are you sure?” he grinned like an orangutan.

“Well, not now, but I did earlier,” I mumble-admitted while throwing up in my mouth a little. (Guess I’m the screwball who chose to admit that.)

“Yeah, I KNOW! I felt it and heard it! LOLOL”

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We both laughed until we cried. My tears mostly out of embarrassment and fear of landing another one. I mean, who passes gas on their first date? No one.

While you might be judging wondering why I was sitting on his lap on the first date, keep your focus on the real reverb of the fiasco, which was me standing on the altar two years later saying, “I do.”

Don’t be embarrassed for me. I’m not red-faced in the least anymore because boy wonder and I just celebrated 25 years. It turns out farts are gross, but also legit fire starters. Who knew?

But the real wisdom behind this dating nuance has nothing to do with vapor trails and everything to do with being real—even if by accident. The way I see it, being authentic goes a forever way when it comes to anything in life, especially in relationships. We’re much better off showing our true colors (or smells) early on because then we’ll know whoever sticks around is definitely for us.

After living almost five decades, and being married to the same guy I embarrassed myself in front of from day one, I’ve finally realized there’s nothing to gain by trying to fake it ’til you make it. Rolling with what’s comfortable and comes naturally is vital because that means we’re staying true to who we are.

first date

Think back to your first date. I’m confident your plumbing didn’t have a gas leak. But, how many outfits did you try on before you “settled” at the last second to wear what you thought would impress? We worry so much about appearance as if jeans or dress slacks, boots or sneakers have something tangible to say. Then we agonize over what to say or not to say with actual words.

We all know that choosing to dress out of our element to make a statement results in endless fidgeting and an obsessive stream of consciousness about whether or not we look like a fool. Which is why I’ll be buried in my spirit animal—jeans—heaven help me. When it comes to wardrobes, we need to wear what we love because doing so speaks volumes through positive mojo as we’re more apt to be at peace in our own skin.

As for speech, most of us prefer genuine dialogue over manufactured rhetoric. Like real conversation when two people share from their heart-of-hearts with a spirit of honesty and vulnerability. Again, the people who love us for who we are will stick around for the extended journey.

Trying to impress on first dates and all kinds of first meets isn’t all bad. But if life has taught me anything, it’s that if we can’t impress others by being our true self from the start, we probably won’t impress them long-term either. Eventually, the facades will fall, leaving us standing as is but holding a flag of deceit.

The more willing we are to embrace who we are and show ourselves to the world, the more profound and long-lasting connections we will make. That’s the lesson I learned from my first date—a gift that keeps on giving because blowing up a room with pungent aroma is about as real as it gets, and 25 years is a quarter century of togetherness.

Now I didn’t have any intention of doing such an unladylike action. Good grief. Think, lactose in our shared ice cream. But as horrified as I was in the moment, gorgeous boy laughed it off like it was no big deal. To this day my hubby tells everyone that when I did the deed, he “knew she was the girl for me!” He knew I wasn’t trying to be cool and as it turned out, I ended up being cool to him in the process. I already knew I was going to marry him well before our first date. Maybe gas was my body’s way of communicating my assuredness. (I’m willing to offer up any excuse)

I can’t tell you how many times after meeting someone who’s willing to be transparent I’ve walked away in love and admiration over their choice to be real above anything else. Authenticity shines, and I’m all about connecting with anyone who has the guts to be the beautiful person God created them to be.

If you think my story is bizarre, and it is, a week after the smelly fiasco gorgeous boy one-upped me. We were watching Animal House at his apartment, and when the horse bellowed and died, my guy laughed so hard he let out a massive rip, leaving us both howling on the floor laughing yet again.

Love. 

It’s blind and apparently doesn’t mind what stinks.

Let’s be real and be love.


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Shelby Spear
Shelby is a Christian mom to three beautiful knuckleheads who have left her with an empty nest in which to ponder what the mom thing has (done to her) meant over the past twenty-two years. You can read her open book of revelations, screw-ups, gaffs, and joys at http://shelbyspear.com