Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Kirk Report

The Kirk Report

20 Years Ago

Posted: 12 Jan 2010 08:08 AM PST


You know you are getting older when you start to have 20-year anniversaries of important events in your life.

Today, January 12th, is the 20th anniversary of the first date with my wife. We've now been married for 16 years. If you've ever had the pleasure of meeting my wife, the first thing you'll think is that I married someone who is out of my league. And, while still true today, this was especially so twenty years ago.

Back in 1990 I was a poor first-year college student at Cornell and my wife was a popular senior set to graduate one year early. Throughout the first semester of college, we ran into each other everywhere on campus (food court, classroom buildings, mailroom, dorms, events, etc.) sometimes several times per day every day. Our class schedules, for one reason or the other (I think it was God's plan), were very similar.

Whenever I saw her, she would always smile, say something nice, and I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

Yet, there was a problem. She was out of my league and I knew it. So, I spent several months getting to know her through friends and made sure she also knew about me. As I learned more about her, what she liked, who she was, etc. I really thought she was everything I wanted (smart, beautiful, fun and a good person). After three months or so, I then mustered up enough courage to finally ask her out on a date. I was so nervous because I knew if I didn't wait until some time had passed and she had the opportunity to get to know me a little, that she would never go out with me. So I waited for the just the right moment.

During Christmas break that year, I found her parent's home address in the college directory and sent her a small gift (of Charlie perfume) with a note saying that I hoped we would get to know each other better in the New Year. When she called to thank me for the gift, I then asked her out.

My patience and effort paid off as our first date couldn't have been any better. I borrowed a friend's truck to pick her up, had beautiful flowers in hand to give her, and I took her back to my apartment which was also spotlessly clean. I then prepared her favorite dinner (pasta) for her which we ate it front of the fireplace at my college apartment which was very romantic. (For several weeks prior, I made that same exact dinner dozens of times to make certain that it would be great and that she would like it.) After dinner, we then watched a VHS tape of a movie I knew she wanted to see based on a prior conversation. After that, neither of us looked back ever again.

She's told me since that when I dropped her off at her dorm room that evening, she told her dorm roommate that she had just met the man she was going to marry. The first time she had ever thought or felt that way.

Thinking back to that period, it was meant to be and perhaps all of the prep time and work I put into it didn't make the difference. But, then again, maybe it did after all. I will never know for certain, but I'm so grateful today that I put the time and effort both to wait for the right moment and prepare such a special time.

So, why am I telling you all of this? I think there's a life lesson her worth sharing. As I've learned in both my personal and professional life, you simply get out of life what you put into it. Nothing great is achieved easily or effortlessly. The patience I had in making sure it was the right time for us, taking time to get to know her and provide for the opportunity to know me a little better casually, and the effort I put into making for a perfect first date paid off. It set in motion the life we have now and all of the good times we've shared since.

Knowing what you want in life and then having the right mix of patience and preparation will make the difference between success and failure. Once you understand that, anything and everything you desire is within your reach. The good news is that no matter what your heart's desire or how young or old you may be, there is no better time than right now to begin working toward what you really want and making it happen for you and your life. All you have to do now is simply get started!