There was an ice storm on Liz’s first day working for the Durham Bulls, and very few of her new coworkers had come into work. It was February of 2003, and having just moved to North Carolina from Ohio Liz didn’t know anyone at her new job. One of the few who had braved it into work asked her to lunch, and though she doesn’t recall seeing anyone on her way out of the building, passed by two men. Liz, not having taken the job in the hopes of seeking out ball players, admits to being oblivious to those standing around the hallways. Thus, anyone standing and whispering about her on her way out the door went unnoticed, even though one of those two onlookers – David – noticed her right away.
Because all of the other interns had arrived 2 months earlier, David had never seen her before, and whispered to his friend “Who’s that?” He knew right away he was interested in meeting her. Matt, his friend and social director of the company, would make it happen.
The next weekend, all the bulls hung out. David worked for USA baseball; an organization that has a partnership with the Bulls. Having grown close to many of the Bulls’ employees, he too met everyone at Matt’s apartment. Liz, however, doesn’t remember seeing him there. At one point, David popped in a tape of USA baseball winning the Olympics. Liz said “Why are we watching this crap”. Not knowing David’s job, she didn’t realize she had offended anyone.
One frigid day in February, Liz was busy at work preparing an event called “Fan Fest”. This would be the public’s first introduction to the Bulls, and her team’s job was to generate excitement about the upcoming season. This entailed standing outside, handing out free posters and letting people walk around the stadium. Liz’s hands were so cold she was having trouble rolling up posters to give out. David came over and they chatted for a bit. He offered to help her with the posters to which she replied “Sure!”… and then promptly went inside to warm up her hands. Remembering the day now he says “You just left me out there! I was there trying to talk to you.”
Three weeks later Liz’s girlfriends from college came to visit, and Liz had everyone over to her apartment. The last time she had seen David she hadn’t remembered his name so he arrived to her apartment with a name tag to impress her. It said “My name is David Perkins, USA Baseball”. It did the trick at hand: from then on she remembered his name.
Later that night he told her friend Melissa that he liked Liz. Melissa and the rest of the college gang, however, didn’t tell her that; Since their first meeting three weeks earlier, Liz had pinned him as someone who preferred overly flirtatious women, and this turned her off from the start.
On St. Patrick’s Day they all went out again to a bar called Ri Ra. At the end of the night she found herself standing next to David outside. He had asked Matt to get other people away from them (especially the girl that had been hitting on him) so they could be alone for a minute. He asked her “What would you say if I asked you out?” and she simply replied “Yeah..?” She was still hesitant, convinced she wasn’t his type. But she thought maybe he’d show her a different side, and was willing to see. She was even a bit flattered thinking that if she hadn’t been showing him any interest he must really like her.
Two days later they went out on their first date to a restaurant called Vin Rouge in Durham. They had a great time, but more importantly, David had arrived at her door not with the usual bouquet of flowers, but with a Michael Jackson greatest hits CD. Needless to say, she was up for seeing him again. Luckily David called her promptly for a second date; A Bon Jovi concert. Through dates (big dates at that. Another “outing” David took her to was Las Vegas), and flirtatious back and forth emails she started to see a side to him she really liked. He was witty, generous, sweet from the start. Despite her growing interest, for the next 3 months she never called him except to return his calls. Though she wasn’t trying to play hard to get, it appeared that way. Their third date occurred at the Carolina Ale House with their friend Matt and his girlfriend. While Liz was in the bathroom Matt told David “She’s not into you. I can read girls and she’s just not.” But at the time she really was. She just wasn’t demonstrative about it and didn’t let her feelings about David show. She recalls being jaded and guarded, due to a broken heart at a young age. Luckily David didn’t listen to Matt. She is so relieved now that he kept pursuing her even though she didn’t show initiative.
One thing she hasn’t told him to this day is that she had indeed been a little interested in the beginning before dating. During Fan Fest she left to get a ribbon to put in her hair. Her mom always put a ribbon in her hair while playing tennis and Liz grew up doing the same for good luck. Even in high school she would have to go look for a ribbon if she didn’t have one. So that cold day she left to go to her car to find a ribbon so that she could look her best for him.
Liz and David got engaged 7 years after their first date and married soon after. They live in North Carolina where David continues to be sweet and attentive and Liz isn’t afraid to show him she feels the same way.