The Story of Nick & Kari
Photo taken by Karin Weiss during my first trip to the cabin. Summer 2001
8 years ago tomorrow Nick and I had our first date. Of course many mad props go out to Karin Weiss for her stellar matchmaking skillz. I used to work with Karin at CUES in Madison.
Karin first mentioned Nick to me in the summer of 2000 after she returned from a trip to Georgia for a wedding with a bunch of her husband's friends from high school. Nick and her husband Travis went to Wausau East together. Her pitch was, "Kari- you have to meet this guy Nick. He's hilarious. One of the funniest people I've ever met. And he wears khakis and buttondowns and drinks Cosmo's two at a time" In all honesty- that did sound like my kind of guy (still does). But I was sort-of-half-way seeing someone else so I just put it into the 'someday, maybe' pile.
Fast forward a year. Completely single. I first met Nick in person at an Everclear concert, March 1st at UW-Oshkosh . Talk about random. I'm not sure how we all ended up there since none of us were big Everclear fans. Karin, our co-worker Ann Christianson and I drove up from Madison for the show. He was getting over a cold, but he did dress very well. I was playing it cool. We spent most of the night picking out fashion victims in the crowd. The guy wearing far too much camouflage. The dude with the game ending Mullet.The woman wearing a lace Cross-My-Heart bra which you could see through the buttons of her teal silk blouse. It was low key and felt comfortable.
Back in the Spring of 2001 I was a single gal living alone in Madison. After work I would frequent The Speedway Bar with my friends Jeff Willauer and Pat Knecht. We'd drink beer, commiserate about life and I would sing karaoke. I'm not a good singer but I LOVE karaoke. When I'd get home from singing I'd log onto my MSN messenger to chat with friends. Somewhere along the way I added Nick to my list of contacts and we started talking. Simple topics like music and movies. It was easy. It wasn't complicated. Karin was right, he was funny. We would chat every other day or so. I looked forward to it. I started to think, "hmmm. . . maybe this could be something"
One Friday evening in May 2001 a group of us (once again including Karin & Ann) were at The Capitol Brewery listening to a band. Nick was in town to celebrate his best friend Bill Bodemer's (our best man in the wedding) graduation from college. After the concert Karin suggested we head to the Essen Haus to meet up with them. For those of you unfamiliar with the Essen Haus, they are famous for their Boots. Big giant glass boots full of authentic German brews.
Well, as with too many things in my life, I had a little liquid courage that night. I walked up to Nick, put my hands over his eyes, and said 'Boo'. After a couple minutes of small talk I said something sly like "Hey- remind me to ask you out when I'm sober ok?" Real classy right? I thought I was bold, daring, a take-life-by-the-horns kind of gal.
I woke up the next morning feeling not quite so enthusiastic about my super cool pick up line from the night before. I decided there wasn't anything I could do about it now. Monday evening came around and after a rousing rendition of 'These Boots Were Made for Walkin' I returned home from The Speedway. I logged on to Messenger and got a lump in my throat. He was online. Oh man- this is going to be embarrassing. A message popped up on my screen, Nick: So, about that date you mentioned
The story of our first date will follow tomorrow.