My partner and I had been together for only a month when she planned a date for us.
I was having a rough time, and she went above and beyond to surprise me.
We are about to celebrate our first year together, and I can't wait to see what she plans.
I didn't think I could handle any more surprises, but thankfully, my partner came up with a date that was just what I needed.
At the time, my partner and I had been together for only a month. I had no idea what to expect, as she gave me no hints on what was to come. So I looked between her GPS and the streets of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, trying my best to guess.
I assumed the date would consist of one activity and a meal at a sit-down restaurant. I was wrong.
It started with a private pottery session
For the element of surprise, we walked for at least 10 minutes from her parked car to the first location. When our surroundings aligned with the pin on Apple Maps, I stared at a black fenced door with a taped-up paper for how to get into a burlesque studio with the same address.
Before I could ask, she read my mind, "Don't worry, it's not burlesque."
I followed her into the building and up the stairs into a lobby. A woman in a dark-brown apron covered with what looked like beige water asked whether we had an appointment or scheduled a workshop. I can't remember exactly what was said, but after she left, I turned to my partner for confirmation: She booked a private pottery lesson.
For the next couple of hours, I watched the instructor closely to learn how to work with a potter's wheel. It's safe to say that my partner was a natural. My distant knowledge from a middle-school pottery class did its best to keep up. The white and blue bowl, or maybe cups, now sit in my cupboard beside Ikea plates.
We then took self-portraits
I was too nervous to eat much, so we ate takeout from a renowned Vietnamese-Cambodian restaurant in a parking garage. She savored her food despite the time crunch for another secret activity.
My partner guided me through Chinatown into the International Village Mall. I glanced at a directory and zeroed in on a cat café. I know she would adopt one if given the chance, but it was the only business that caught my eye. It would definitely be a date to remember.
She instead took me down a dimly lit hallway and entered a business with a smaller room, whose inside was hidden by a black curtain. We were excessively asked to wipe our feet when we came in, and all my partner said was, "I found it on TikTok."
The person working pulled back the curtain to reveal a roll-up paper backdrop and a monitor next to a camera on a tripod. Two stools and an iPad with posing ideas were off to the side.
The worker handed us a remote and explained that we had 20 minutes to take self-portraits. We laughed through classic prom poses and snuck in a couple of extra photos after the timer went off.
We ended with a bakery trip at night
As we drove to my place, giddy from the day, she took a detour to a bakery. There was less than an hour before closing, but we managed to buy two warm, salted egg croissants. It was a delicious way to end the date.
Since October, we've had more surprise dates, including dinner reservations and a day trip to Squamish, British Columbia. I'm not normally one for adventure, but as my partner and I are about to celebrate our first anniversary, I trust that whatever surprises are up her sleeve, I'm more than ready for them.
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