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Kelly Alvarado and Matt Young

Love Story: Kelly Alvarado and Matt Young had their first date at The Backyard Public House in Spokane where they made a love connection playing Bingo, Sept. 5, 2015. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Love Story: Kelly Alvarado and Matt Young had their first date at The Backyard Public House in Spokane where they made a love connection playing Bingo, Sept. 5, 2015. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Kelly and Matt met on a first date at a cozy restaurant, The Backyard, Sept. 5, 2015. Before this meeting, only electronic communication had occurred between the two over the weeks prior via the dating website Plenty of Fish. Kelly had told Matt, if he wanted to meet he would have to wait until she was finished with Orientation Weekend. He reached out after Sept. 1. Neither knew what would happen as a result, but both were willing to take a chance to meet in person.

Matt arrived first, fully decked in Seattle Mariners apparel, took a seat at the bar, and tried to project supreme confidence. He experienced many first dates before, but few seconds. After the bartender slung Matt his first beer, he took a swig and clumsily coughed before he could swallow. Bits of beer spewed from his lips as he tried to keep the rest of the suds inside. Finally gaining control, he took an earnest look around to make sure no one had seen, wiped the bar down with napkins, and regained composure.

“Good start, Matt,” he sarcastically whispered to himself.

With Matt fumbling wildly at the bar with the simple task of drinking, Kelly slipped in unseen and secretly scanned the restaurant for Matt on her way to the lady’s room. Always the timely one, Kelly enjoyed that Matt arrived early to the date.

“He looks normal,” she mused.

Kelly just came from Pig Out in the Park with her friends. She worked non-stop over the last month and now it was time to get out and meet someone new. Matt’s online profile sounded impressive, especially the part talking about Matt’s love of reading, but now for the real test. Wearing her signature military green canvas jacket, glasses, and paisley shawl, she approached the bar and met Matt with the most inviting smile.

The two newbies exchanged greetings, and Kelly ordered a trendy seasonal delight, Elysian Octoberfest. Coincidence! Matt ordered the same just minutes earlier. A meeting of two compatible minds ensued; the usual first date topics – work, family, hobbies and friends.

The date was going spectacularly. Matt was impressed with Kelly’s infatuation for sports as she continued her fantasy football draft on her phone throughout the night. Kelly was impressed that Matt liked to read actual books and played hockey.

An hour passed when the bartender enticed the two with the age-old pastime of bingo. Matt reluctantly agreed. Not that he wasn’t having the time of his life, but his streak of saying the right thing was bound to end and he would rather quit while ahead. The bartender slapped the bingo cards down in front of each and it was on! Later on, it came out that if shots of alcohol were purchased, players could receive more bingo cards. Matt and Kelly decided to make it a night, indulging in the colorful substances prepared. As it turned out, the alcohol helped soothe the disappointment of not winning.

After eating a well-deserved dinner, the night was winding down. Matt paid the check and the two strolled to the parking lot to Kelly’s Mini Cooper. Kelly and Matt agreed to “do this again sometime,” and engaged in a sensual hug punctuating a wonderful evening. Kelly turned to open her car door then looked back to get one last look at the man she finally met in person that memorable night. Unfortunately, Matt fled the scene and coasted down the sidewalk now more than a block away nearly out of sight.

And so ended, the first date – the one that started it all. Now Kelly and Matt look forward to holiest of unions as they celebrate their wedding day Sept. 29, 2018.


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