Butch/Femme Romance: The Fairytale First Date Cinderella Would Envy

It was the first date that little girls who watched Cinderella on repeat dreamed of. We didn’t meet in the woods while I was singing to adorable woodland creatures, though. We met navigating through all kinds of other creatures on Tinder.

It was New Year’s Day when we matched. And it was 8 days later that we met in person on our first date. We spent the week texting until all hours of the night. She finally cajoled me into a phone call, which turned out to be really fun despite how much I despise talking on the phone.

She lived three hours away and asked me out for that fateful Saturday night just over a week after we had “met” online. All she told me was to wear a little black dress. I matched that with pearls and a vintage mink. I figured if you’re going to do it, might as well do it all the way. I spent the day at my hair and make-up artist’s studio talking about all the possibilities.


Could she be the one?

Would she look like her photo?

Would she sound like her call?

Would we hit it off?

Was I about to be sold into white slavery?


She said she would send a car for me. And at 7:00 on the dot, a beautiful, black Escalade pulled up. Inside were Godiva chocolates and a bottle of champagne. My hair and make-up artist took down the driver’s name and phone number and photographed his car and license plate.

“Can’t be too careful,” he said.

“I agree completely,” the driver said with a laugh. I wasn’t sure if that was a good sign or a bad one.

I climbed inside, the driver offering his hand to help me make the step. And he jumped into the driver’s seat.

“Where are we going?” I asked.

He smiled broadly. I could see his expression in the rearview mirror.

“She made me swear I wouldn’t tell you,” he said. “Shall I open the champagne.”

“No. I’m too nervous to drink.”

“That’s why you need a drink,” he laughed.

I finally relaxed at that point. Sort of, anyway. I no longer feared being kidnapped. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what the night might hold.

When we pulled up to the restaurant, the driver said, “Hang on a minute” and I could see he was texting. “I can’t let you out yet,” he said. My eyes must have gotten as wide as saucers at that moment because he quickly added, “Don’t worry. It’s a good thing.”

I realized I was holding my breath and told myself to stop being weird. This wasn’t an episode of Law and Order SVU. Not yet, anyway.

“Ok. Here we go,” the driver suddenly said. He hopped out to open my door.

“Have a great time,” he said. “And breathe.”

I got out of the car and walked into the restaurant. It was a super fancy steakhouse and you enter through their equally fancy bar. There was a man playing a grand piano and I swear everyone turned to look at me when I walked in. They all seemed to smile and watch me scan the room. Suddenly I saw her.

She was even cuter than her photos. So dapper in her velvet blazer. We hugged and it was like I could feel how nervous she was. Strangely, that made me less nervous.

“You look stunning,” she said.

“You look amazing too,” I replied.

“Shall we?” she said, pointing in the direction of the host stand. I started to walk and felt her hand at the small of my back. I melted. I could already feel this was something. 

I slid into the booth and patted the seat next to me. She slid in beside me and just like that we started talking – about everything. It was so easy and so natural and so – ugh this sounds cliché, but – so right.

“Can I kiss you?” I asked. It came out of my mouth before my brain could stop it. “I need to know. I have this thing. The click and the crave. That’s what you need in a relationship. First, you have to feel like you click, which we clearly do. But the only way to know if the crave is there is to kiss.”

It was.

“Can we do that again?” she asked. “I don’t feel like it was my best.”

“If that wasn’t your best, we’re in even better shape than I thought…”

We kissed again and then talked and talked. So much that we barely got our order in before the kitchen closed and then we barely even ate. We were both too excited, too nervous, too enthralled.

After dinner, the driver picked us up. He was smiling like crazy.

“Good?” he said.

“Good,” we both said at the same time, laughing.

We went to a bar to catch a drag show where she had reserved us front row seats. The show was long over after our lingering meal. So we had a drink and then went on to her planned stop number three. The gay country and western bar. And that’s when it was all over for me. She could dance. Really dance.

She taught me to two-step. We lined danced. And when the music turned from country to club, we danced to that too. When they announced, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” we made our way back out to our car service.

“Would you like to come back to my hotel?” she asked, suggesting we partake in the chocolates and champagne. “I have a three date rule. No sex until after the third time. That allows enough time for the crazy to come out. So you’re safe,” she teased.

“Too soon,” I said. “But I’m having brunch with friends in the morning and I would love for you to come.

“Perfect,” she said.

Although we were downtown extremely close to her hotel, she rode with me to my house outside of the city.

“I’m going to a wedding next weekend. Would you like to be my date?” she asked as we drove.

“I would love that.”

“It’s a country and western wedding,” she said.

“Oh wow. What does one wear to a country and western wedding?”

“How about we go shopping after brunch?” she said.

“Fun!” I said. A girl who likes to dance and to shop, I thought. This could be serious.

She dropped me off with a perfect kiss at my front door and we kept texting late into the night. The next morning she picked me up for brunch and then she took me shopping. I felt like a princess as she sat in the dressing room and patiently waited for me to come out in each outfit. We were both in pretty deep already. But when I started our shopping spree by first scouring the sale rack, I think I won her heart forever.

“My kind of girl,” she said with a grin.

She headed back home to Houston after that. I was living in Dallas at the time. The two cities are several hours apart. She asked me that week if I would like to go to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for our third date if we had fun at the wedding. Of course I said yes.

The wedding was another perfect date, two-stepping late into the night on a wooden dance floor constructed outside under the heaters in the middle of a  little faux Western town that the wedding couple had rented for the night. One week after that, we ended up going on a cruise that I had been invited on as a media guest at the last minute. We spent a night in Florida after the cruise and then headed for Mexico for another five days.

And now, almost three years later, we’re married. We tied the knot on March 17, 2018 at The Astorian in Houston with 150 guests and my father, a Rabbi, performing the ceremony. It was one of the most magical nights of my life, right up there with that first date, which I will truly never forget.

The best part is that it wasn’t a one night only performance. It was an example of her constant thoughtfulness and style and ever-romantic heart. I am truly a lucky girl and far luckier than Cinderella, because this is no fairy tale.