Though Steve and Emily Lakatos of Green Bay, Wisconsin met in their 30s, they both found out that it’s near impossible to escape the awkwardness of a first date. And though it didn’t go as well as they hoped, the one who set them up had the feeling that sometimes you just need a second chance.
The couple talked with one another about that experience as part of a StoryCorps Mobile Tour stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
(The following excerpt has been edited for brevity and clarity)
Steve Lakatos: Steve Lakatos, age 43.
Emily Lakatos: And I’m Emily Lakatos. I’m 41.
All right, well, you showed up (for the date) and you just cleaned out your car. It looked very nice. I looked at your eyes, you had a very long beard and very long hair at that time and a ponytail at the back of your neck. But, you had very kind looking eyes. So I looked at you in the car because we had never met each other. You picked me up, and that was the first time we met. Then you wanted to go to this Mexican restaurant in Hammond, Indiana. What was it called again?
SL: El Taco Real.
EL: El Taco Real in Hammond, because you knew that from your childhood. So we went and you had the worst stomach problems and you wouldn’t tell me what was wrong.
SL: That’s true. I was embarrassed.
EL: I was like “What is going on with this guy?” And he kept going to the bathroom and he wouldn’t tell me … so it was kind of weird and bizarre. And to compensate, I just kept talking and talking and talking because I just … I don’t know, you were just being so weird.
You were not impressed because you thought I was this crazy chatterbox. And I was not impressed because I was like, “What is with this guy?” So actually, we didn’t really go on a second date for quite a long time.
But then I was at the clinic — the vet clinic where you worked was my vet clinic (I used) for the rescue I ran, Happy Tails. So, I was there at the clinic and you happened to be bringing out some kittens to the front desk. I was there, bringing in an animal, and you looked at me and you’re like, “Oh, hi.”
And still to this day, I don’t know if you came out there on purpose or if Mickey or somebody sent you out there, when they saw that I was there. I think Mickey sent you.
SL: Mickey sent me.
EL: Okay! That’s the first time you’ve ever admitted that!
SL: She tricked me. I didn’t know you were out there. She said she needed me to bring something up there and then I ran into you. Yeah.
EL: Oh wow, she is good. So Mickey was the one who set us up the first time. And then she created this second …
Anyway, (you) looked at me and you were like, “Oh, yeah. Hey, I remember you.” Then you said something (like), “Oh, I’ll give you a call” or something like that. And you actually did. You started texting me again, which I was kind of shocked about.
I remember telling Mickey after our first date, I was like, “Mickey, I wasn’t impressed.”
SL: I believe that.
EL: But then, I don’t know why I even gave you a shot. So the second date, was that the Gary RailCats (baseball) game?
SL: I think it was, yeah.
EL: Okay. Anyway, we went to the Gary Railcats game and we started talking and we were just having so much fun. We had good conversation. We both think we’re quite clever — I think is what it comes down to — and funny. So we went to the RailCats game and we kind of hit it off. Then we officially started, kind of, dating.
SL: So we married on June 16, 2020. We’re parents of two. Our daughter was just born about four weeks ago at this point.
EL: We can’t believe all the twists and turns that have led us to come to this place with these children. It’s miraculous. And I think we’re both just in awe of it and really grateful.
SL: And, you know, I love you more all the time.
EL: I love you!
SL: I love you, too, Emily.
This story came from an interview recorded at StoryCorps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. During a StoryCorps Mobile Tour stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin from August 10 – September 8, 2023, 110 conversations were recorded and preserved. Excerpts were selected and produced by Wisconsin Public Radio staff.