50 First Dates: When Sally Forgot What Harry Looked Like

A wedding coordinator walks into a bar … and forgets whom she’s meeting for Date No. 24.


50 First Dates anonymously chronicles the fun, romantic, wacky, bizarre and downright awful true experiences of dating in Honolulu. Check back weekly for new first-date stories, where to go to woo a boo, tips on where to meet people and more!


He couldn’t stop thinking about her, but she couldn’t even remember what he looked like.

the notebook

Gifs: Giphy.com


What I was looking for at the time

Nothing serious, just a fun evening where I would laugh a lot.


How we met

At my co-worker and friend’s wedding. He was one of the groomsmen. I was the day-of wedding coordinator. When I first met the wedding party at a pre-wedding get-together, I believe my first words to him and everyone were, “I just need you to all be in the right place at the right time, and we’ll be all good.”


On the day of the ceremony at a Waikīkī hotel, I was so busy keeping track of the ballroom,  getting ice water to the bridal party during the sunny photo session, keeping tabs on guest check-in, guiding the lion dancers and more that I didn’t really pay attention to the groomsmen. But apparently, he admired my confidence and enjoyed watching me race around the ballroom.




A few weeks later, my friend invited me to a wedding video viewing party at her house. She tried to matchmake, but I wasn’t that interested in dating in general and he kept to his friends. So, after a few hours, I decided to go home. My friend’s husband chased me to the door and asked me if his groomsman could give me a call. I said fine, whatever.


The next day, my phone rang. I picked up and basically the first words out of his mouth were, “Would you like to go to dinner sometime?” Wow, straight to Final Jeopardy. I said OK, but between his early morning work schedule, my late-night work schedule and the holiday season, my first Saturday night wasn’t open until more than a month later. Instead, we agreed to 11 p.m. on a Friday a few weeks later.




Where we went

We met at Ryan’s at Ward Center for a low-pressure late-night happy hour. I arrived after work and suddenly realized I couldn’t remember what he looked like. I had only really met him three times and the day we spent more than 12 hours together he was in a pack of five guys, all dressed exactly the same. How embarrassing.


usual suspects


At that time (did the fact that we went to Ryan’s give you a clue how long ago this was?) we hadn’t exchanged cell numbers so I couldn’t text him. So, I pulled out my phone and pretended to be talking to someone while I walked past the dozen or so people sitting and standing outside the restaurant. Thankfully, he tapped me on the shoulder.


grace kelly


The lowdown

Everything is better over crab-and-artichoke dip and mango mojitos. Conversation flowed easily. We made each other laugh. We were comfortable enough for him to share stories that really should have been reserved for date No. 5. He stayed up past 1 a.m. (and didn’t fall asleep at the wheel on the way home) despite waking up really early. But I still was not looking for anything serious.


On date No. 2, we played shuffleboard at Dave & Buster’s. When I was about to drive away, he ran up to my window, knocked on it and threw a bouquet of flowers into the car. We kept dating for weeks, but I was such a commitment-phobe I would only refer to him as “that guy I know.” And when he sent flowers to my office on Christmas Day because I had to work, I freaked out because it seemed so serious. Until I saw he misspelled my name on the card. 




How did it end/where are they now?

We mark our 14th wedding anniversary this September, just about 16 years to the day from when we met. We made our way back to Ryan’s the day it closed for a last round of artichoke-and-crab dip and mojitos. He still makes me laugh every day and I rarely forget what he looks like.




Check out HONOLULU Magazine every Friday to read the newest story on 50 First Dates and then send your sweet/sad/stupid/scary/silly first-date story to web@honolulumagazine.com. It’s anonymous so no excuses!



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Honolulu Magazine July 2020
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