Scott Spinelli

Couple's 40-Hour First Date Will Make You Believe In Love

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Andrea and Ricky are the type of couple that instantly piss you off.

It's not because of anything they've done, though. In fact, it's actually because of all the things you haven't done... or, more accurately, the things you don't have.

Andrea and Ricky get along effortlessly. They whisper to one another about you right in front of your face, and they're funny, smart, charming and difficult to curry favor with.

While it's never outwardly expressed, you feel like you have to earn the pleasure of their company. Why?

Because all things worthwhile come with effort and time, like a relationship.

I met the two last month at a mutual friend's wedding in New Orleans. Sitting across from them at the welcome dinner, I immediately recognized Ricky from the bachelor party.

He's a stout guy with a big smile and wide-ranging interests and experience: He's been on everything from "Jeopardy!" to "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" to his college football team.

Seated to his left, Andrea caught my eye a bit more: sort of an early Emma Stone look-a-like in an emerald dress. She was as at home making fun of Martin van Buren with me as she was discussing the plight of modern literature education. (She's a teacher, so it was both a career and passion.)

Basically, I had a hard time deciding which of them I liked more.

As drinks flowed, I began to boldly inquire about the beginnings of their relationship. I believe that, like the best superheroes, all great couples have great origin stories. And I wanted to know theirs.

I believe that, like the best superheroes, all great couples have great origin stories.

What they told me was not your run-of-the-mill tale.

The night of the wedding, Ricky jokingly shouted to me above the din of music and merriment. “Spinelli! I just want to have you narrate moments of my life!”

Well, my friend, be careful what you wish for.

Scott Spinelli

Andrea remembers the exact date they met, and so does Ricky, for different reasons.

“It was 4/20," she said. “I know this because my students who had issues with social appropriateness kept asking me to go smoke weed with them. They thought it was legal for the day.”

Ricky, on the other hand, remembers April 20 because it was his first online date.

After mounting pressure from a female friend, he finally caved and signed up for OkCupid. Explaining his initial experience with the site, he used words like “underwhelming” and “embarrassed.” He was less than confident anything positive would come of the whole ordeal.

“Most [profiles] were basically some take on 'I like poetry, laughing, travel, red wine, yoga and books,'” Ricky said. “Andrea's profile stood out, not only because she was beautiful in her picture, but because she made jokes in her profile about things like Pokemon and Bruce Springsteen that made me laugh.”

Three weeks later, they met up.

Had it not been for the OkCupid app sending Ricky a friendly reminder — something to the effect of “Hey, you two have been messaging for a while. Maybe see if Andrea wants to meet up?” — it could have been even longer before they met.

As fate would have it, Andrea didn't care much about the wait. “Life is insanely busy,” she said. “I was OK with [it].”

She knew she wanted to meet up with Ricky and was intrigued right off the bat by the fact that he didn't simply message her with a “Sup?” but, instead, put some actual thought into his conversation.

The plan for the night was a simple, but familiar one: Meet up, have some drinks and see if the chemistry online translated into chemistry offline.

Things got off to a relatively rocky start at a place Andrea bluntly described as “a shitty bar on the Upper East Side.”

They both hated the bar, and the music was blaring, but Ricky wasn't sure if that was the real problem. Could it be that perhaps the spark just wasn't there in real life?

Could it be that perhaps the spark just wasn't there in real life?

Well Andrea knew, even then, that she liked Ricky and had no doubts. So she took him to her favorite bar in the city — a place that's since become their go-to spot.

While walking to the bar, they finally were able to speak to each other without shouting. It was, as Ricky said, “the first time I felt like we were clicking in person.”

At the second bar, the fun and drinking commenced in equal measures.

There were shots, first kisses and toasts to their happiness by a man from Transylvania. And according to both Andrea and Ricky, it was a whirlwind of drunken, fun revelry, culminating in a cab ride back to someone's apartment.

This is where the story takes a fun turn.

Upon arrival at his apartment, Ricky noticed something. In one of the most unintentional leave-behinds in human history, Andrea had forgotten her purse in the cab.

Andrea now had no keys, no phone, no money — nothing.

So they spent the night together, and in the morning, Ricky led the charge to see if her purse could be found. They ticked off the normal checklist: call the phone, call the cab company, send emails, offer to buy a Metro card, etc.

But Andrea had no immediate interest in finding her stuff.

She said,

The next morning, I mainly felt hungover, and Ricky was kind of stressing me out over my bag by being a decent human being and assuming I was in a place to be a functional adult. He asked me what I wanted him to do, and I said to take me to breakfast. I didn't particularly want to get my life together and go back to the real world yet, and I really didn't want a date as nice as that one to end with lost item logistics, so we put it off.

Who hasn't wanted to put off something stressful by eating? Even someone like me, who hates breakfast, likes that plan.

And thus began the odyssey that would define the rest of their marathon date.

Every handful of hours, Ricky dutifully checked in with Andrea to ask if there was anything he could do to help, and Andrea continued to be OK with going with the flow, having fun and putting off finding the purse.

After breakfast, they went to the park and ambled around for hours.

Ricky explained,

We would walk for a while, find a nice bench, sit for a while, and then, go walk some more and find a new spot. The weather was perfect. One vivid memory I have is when, at one point, we came across some cherry blossom trees in bloom, which, when there was a breeze, blew the pink petals around us like a snow globe.

By the time this was all over, it was approximately 6 pm. Despite Ricky's growing concern that Andrea would eventually just want to go home, he didn't want her to get back to her place, only to have to sit outside if none of her friends were there.

Upon Andrea's invitation, the two trekked back to her apartment, and as fate would once again have it, her friends were there.

Before we go any further, a quick check of the scorecard: At this point, we're nearing the 24-hour threshold. This date has now lasted longer than the life span of the mayfly.

For point of reference, the entire "Trapped in the Closet" series — all 33 chapters —by R. Kelly was only about two hours.

At approximately 8 pm on Saturday, Ricky got a phone call from Andrea's cell phone.

It was the cab driver who had her purse. He would be in Midtown Manhattan in about two hours at 10 pm.

Now, with more time to kill, they basically decided to hit the reset button on the previous night's festivities. Instead of a loud, shitty bar, they opted for Thai food in the Bronx and another dive bar to celebrate the retrieval of the long-lost purse.

That night ended the same as the previous night, except this time, all three members of the caravan — Andrea, Ricky and purse — made it back safely to Andrea's apartment.

Though the date finally came to an end by noon on Sunday, Andrea and Ricky's story clearly didn't end there.

What makes this whole thing so amazing isn't that Ricky and Andrea agreed to meet again for dinner that week or that Andrea honestly didn't think the length of their first date was that crazy at the time.

What blows my mind about this is that they're still together, happy and awesome to be around.

What blows my mind about this is that they're still together, happy and awesome to be around.

Who among us hasn't had a wild first date story to share? I'm not that interesting of a person, and I can say I've done all of the following on a first date: Fallen asleep? Check. Sex? Check. Make friends with everyone at the bar and stay there for eight to 10 hours? Check.

Hell, I'm sure some of you have even done the 40-hour (or close) date thing.

But the better I got to know Andrea and Ricky, the more it made sense they'd have some sort of incredible meeting story. Peter Parker didn't become Spiderman by sitting down for bland conversation over coffee with a mutated spider. Awesome couples, like superheroes, have awesome stories.

So while neither Andrea nor Ricky can leap tall buildings in a single jump, a 40-hour first date is pretty heroic compared to the rest of us.