So, after about date 3 with Peter he emailed me and said that he wanted to see me that particular week but was unable to get a sitter to meet downtown (as venturing to the suburbs was like going to a foreign country for me - at that time). In his email he asked if I would like to meet him in "RF." Hmmm...what/where was RF. I know RL (= Ralph Lauren restaurant - one of my faves) but RF. No CLUE! Ummm, he meant River Forest. It took me a moment to figure it out. So I thought I would take a gamble (knowing that I had no means of transportation to get out there) and said "Sure, let's do it. I'll meet you in RF for take out/chill night" (on a week night mind you). I quickly sent my sister an instant message and asked if I could borrow her fiance's car. Why don't you try a "Zip Car" she IMed - since it looks as though you'll be heading out there more than once. I quickly googled Zip Car and thought okay I'll give this a try. 24 hours later (after surrendering my Illinois license for a driving record check) I was good to go. Mind you that at that point I had not driven a car in 5 years (as I was strictly a cab or public transit gal).
I left work promptly at 5, ran home changed into jeans and a cute shirt and made a pit stop at Molly's Cupcakes to pick up some cupcakes for the girls (note - that I was meeting them for the first time!). I started driving (using my printed out map quest directions) and called my sister. Okay, so I'm en route...will see you tomorrow at 7:00 am when you guys pick me up in the cabfor the airport (note - that we were off to VA to surprise my dad for his 65th birthday).
I pulled up in front of Peter's house. I had just spoken to him and he said that he and the girls were on the hammock in the backyard and I should just come on back. So, with the cupcakes in tow I walked down the driveway and headed to the backyard. I spied the hammock (rocking gently) just as two little heads popped up and said "Hi Dee Dee, Dad...she is here." I then saw Peter pop up as well. The youngest one, Margaret, smiled up at me and asked if I would like a drink - choices = Tab, Diet Coke, water, lemonade. Ummm...TAB (I WAS in the freaking suburbs...don't housewives from the 70s drink TAB?).
I accepted my Diet Coke and the girls took me inside for a tour. Peter just let them do their thing. They were adorably dressed in little dresses and SO CUTE! I immediately felt at home as they took my hand and gave me a tour. After the tour they took me to the kitchen and shut the door (leaving Peter out in the family room). They went to a "pretend" dress up box and gave me a "dress" to wear - while they pretended to get dressed up in fancy dresses. Catherine and Margaret then put on Cinderella and Snow White heels and started circling me. I was cracking up. These little girls (ages 2 and 4 - at the time) were hilarious! Delightful little girls. So girly. I loved it. Peter was thrilled how well all of us were getting along.
Then it was bed time for the girls. I found myself sitting on the couch in Peter's bedroom - squeezed next to 2 little monkeys who couldn't keep their hands off Peter. It was time to read them a book good night. This was when I first learned of Fancy Nancy. My mind immediately wandered to the scene in The Holiday when Cameron Diaz meets Jude Law's two little girls and they are all snuggled together in the princess tent.
The girls eventually went to bed and then we ordered take out. Now, if you haven't used a Zip Car you rent them by the hour and then need to return them within your allotted time OR you can automatically (through the phone) revise your end time. I reserved the car from 6 - Midnight (thinking I had plenty of time to get back to Lincoln Park - as I still needed to pack for my trip to my Dad's). Well, around Midnight Peter went out to move the car but it wouldn't start. YIKES. I called customer service to see what was going on. First of all, they said that I was beyond my time and that they would restart something and the car should start. Well, it didn't. The entire thing was a nightmare. I didn't know Peter that well and had just met his girls and I took a freaking Zip Car out to RF. Who was I? YIKES and I needed to get home to pack. Well, long story short I ended up staying there until 5 am because it started to rain cats and dogs and Peter didn't want me driving home in the rain.
Come 7 am a cab pulls up to my building and I stumble out to meet my sister. My sister and her fiance look at me and tell me I look terrible. I tell them it is a long story and pass out until we reach O'Hare airport.
6 months later we were engaged. The rest is history. Good ole ZIP CAR. We now laugh about the Zip Car "incident."