My First Real Date

The following is my part of the story David began: 

Several nights later, I was just sitting down for my break at Zachary’s Pizza where I worked, when David walked in. I invited him to sit with me. He told me he drove Janis to Fairfax the day before. She was knitting in the car on the way, and as he was going up the ramp onto the highway, when she opened the door of the pickup. He said he grabbed onto her and asked her what she was doing. She mumbled something about losing her knitting needle.

I listened quietly while I munched on my pizza. David sensed that I wasn’t responding and said, “Anyway, enough about Janis.”

I spoke before I thought, “You didn’t come here to talk about Janis, did you?” 

David hesitated a moment then said, “No I didn’t.” After a long pause he smiled and said, “Do you like Chinese food?”

I suddenly realized he was about to ask me out. He was looking at me with those ocean-blue eyes, waiting for an answer. Out of nowhere, I felt tingling sensations course through my body that I had never felt before.

“I’ve never had Chinese food,” I said. “But I sure would like to try it.”

“There is a place near here called The Tiki Garden. Would you like to go there with me on Sunday?”


We looked at one another for a long moment, until I realized where I was.  I said, “I have to get back to work.”

As David left, dressed in his navy peacoat, his slender legs taking long strides up the street, I thought about how this kind of a date was what I had always dreamed of — to go out for a meal at a restaurant and to get to know someone, rather than making out in bed with “dates,” as was done in my home community. The Amish were ashamed to admit that they practiced “bed courtship” and didn’t want outsiders to know about their dating rituals. I used to wonder why they didn’t change them if they were ashamed of them.

As I pushed pizzas in and pulled them out of the ovens the rest of the night, I thought that maybe David went from one woman to another, and that he may have asked me out because Janis had gone back to Richard. But I had never been asked for a real date by anyone before, so I decided that it didn’t matter what David’s relationship with Janis was or was not, I was going to enjoy myself. After all, he wasn’t asking me to marry him, he was only asking me for a date.

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9 thoughts on “My First Real Date”

  1. A real first date, those were the days!!! I am so excited about reading your courtship days! I am so happy for you and David’s life.
    You cause me to smile as I read!!!

    Blessings to you and your family,

  2. I too have wondered why some Amish still practice bed courtships! Seems crazy to me. I thought only Swt. Amish did too but I guess this church did because weren’t you Old Order, Saloma? I’m glad most don’t do that anymore!

  3. Hi Saloma, I’ll be reading this post soon. As a new follower, I have gone back to the beginning of your blog and am working my way forward. Am enjoying every single post.


  4. Hi Saloma,
    I’m also a new reader and really enjoy your blog!
    I can’t understand how “bed courtship” is allowed. I mean, if watching tv or driving a car is too “worldly”, how can they think that jumping into bed on the second date is NOT being worldly??

  5. hijab, no I did not grow up Swartzentruber. Many of the Old Order Amish still practice bed courtship. It’s hard to know who does and who does not — you have to be Amish and have knowledge of the different groups to know.

    Debbie, thank you for your comments. It pleases me to know that you smile as you read.

    Kate, yes, I was Old Order — please see my not above.

    Deanna, you are exactly the kind of reader I love to have — someone interested enough to go to the beginning and read all the posts. thank you very much for doing that, and for letting me know.

    Tracy, I cannot explain it, nor could I have when i was still Amish. Nor can I answer what the purpose is of it. The best I can do is explain the history of it, at least as I understood it growing up. I have several older posts that explain this. I have a search bar on my blog, where you can look up “bed courtship.”

  6. Oh, I wish I could start at the beginning, too, but it would take a year to do that since I read blogs on my phone. I am enjoying your posts though, and would like to order your book soon. Thank you for sharing these posts.

  7. What struck me most from your book in regards to bed courtship was the time when you went to the wedding and were paired up with a boy you didn’t really even know and expected to spend the whole night together just because you were both in the wedding party. I can only imagine the kind of damage that type of expectations and practices would have on a tender young person’s emotional make up . . . I wept inwardly for BOTH of you. How happy I am to read about the respectful way David approached his friendship with you!

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