When I was 16 years old I was asked out on a date that I really didn't want to go on.  I thought I had an "out" when he asked because he originally asked me to go out on my birthday so I said, "oh sorry - I have plans because it's my birthday".  But he wouldn't have it - he said, oh - well how about the day before?Because I didn't want to be mean and couldn't come up with another reason not to go - I reluctantly said "yes".  So on November 12, 1993 I went to school (it was a Friday) and didn't look forward to going on this date.  I think a few of the words I used to my friends were "<sigh> - I have to go out on this date tonight - and I really don't want to go.  Maybe my parents will ground me or something so I can bail out!"

7pm rolled around and I was still wearing the same clothes I went to school in.  I didn't redo my hair and I didn't freshen up my make up (all things women do before going on a date).  I answered the door and there he stood with flowers.  A dozen yellow carnations.  So I think, huh - not bad.  We go to the movies - Sleepless in Seattle - where he lost my ticket and had to buy another one.  He didn't try to hold my hand or make a move - weird.  After the movie we went to this burger joint called "Walters" and I ordered a burger and tater tots - nope, I'm not one of those "I'll just have a salad" type of girls!  After that, we drove around and he taught me how to drive a standard.  At midnight, he took me home and we chatted for a few minutes.  I waited for him to kiss me.  Waited and waited and waited.  It never came.  I walked into my house and replayed the date over and over - I had the BEST time ever.  It was a FANTASTIC date.  I had one of those goofy smiles on my face.  Who would have thought?  A date that I DREADED turned out to be the best date EVER!

Prom - 94 - Amy Lee

Fast forward 20 years later and that boy and I are married and have 2 kids, 3 dogs, a ton a debt and a never ending list of great memories!  Oh make no mistake - there have been fights, heartbreak and stress - but that's all worth it because for the last 20 years I've gotten to go on several "dreaded first dates" with this boy and they all ended perfectly!  So what's the secret to a long lasting relationship?  I have the answer.  It's knowing that the secret changes everyday and you have to change with it.

Wedding - 96 - Amy Lee

Here's to 20 years babe - and to 20,000 more!