Mr. Mink and I never actually had our first date. We stood each other up. When we tell people that, they usually demand to hear the full story…
Have you ever moved not knowing many people at your destination? I saw taking a job in Virginia as an adventure. My work was fulfilling, but I was lonely. I didn’t know anyone here and, while people were friendly enough, it was hard to move to being friends. I’m not sure if this is common, but I often wondered if I had made a mistake. I wondered if along with taking my first big risk I was experiencing my first big failure. I felt like Charlottesville was a club into which I hadn’t yet gained entry. Everyone was so happy here that I started to wonder if I needed to change to find happiness. Thankfully, that was when I met Mr. Mink.
Soon after I arrived in Charlottesville, an acquaintance promised me that I’d meet “everyone” if I went with his friends to the opening of the new concert pavilion in town. He was right. I met hundreds of people that evening, including a popular duo who hosted a morning radio show. When one of them called to ask me out, I wasn’t quite sure I knew which he was. I was on a trip for work at the time and told him to email me the time and location of our date and that I’d check my email when I got home that Friday. (This was before everyone had a smart phone.) When I got home, there was no email. I was so sad. I felt sorry for myself the rest of the weekend.
On Monday morning, we realized that Mr. Mink’s email had gone astray. He had been sitting outside a restaurant with a box of chocolates for two hours that Friday night. One of my friends was certain this was a sign that I had to move back to Boston. I decided to take a chance and go on a “second first date” with Mr. Mink. It was essentially a blind date because I still didn’t know which radio host I had been speaking with. We were opposites in some ways, but shared a love of great music, good food, and travel.
As I got to know Mr. Mink, it was as if someone had twisted a dimmer switch and slowly illuminated my life in Charlottesville. We fell in love exploring this small, diverse city with its amazing history, great architecture, and eclectic mix of academics, artists, and musicians. Mr. Mink got me to let go of my city-girl inclinations through hikes along the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Miss Mink encounters her first deer / Photo by Miss Mink
I was happier than I had ever been. By the time Mr. Mink finally asked me to marry him, there was no question about where we would get married. Charlottesville was home.
Mink feet dangling from a cliff / Photo by Miss Mink