First date: Super Bowl Sunday 1991

I often tell the story of how I met and fell in love with John. It happened at the same time. It was my second day at The Honolulu Advertiser as an editorial assistant for the copy desk. As a copy editor he was tasked with training me. He had me at hello. Two years later, I had him. Can you imagine waiting two years for a guy?

That’s how long it was before he asked me if I wanted to go to a Super Bowl party with him. He was the best man of Neal and Kay Kasamoto’s wedding, and they were having the party. Kay and Neal lived in Mililani and that day they made all kinds of home made pizzas. They were fabulous. I don’t remember who was playing, probably Dolphins, right? I am sure I was the only person who didn’t know anyone else there, but, like I always try to do, I relaxed and enjoyed myself and the people.

That was our first date, and we have been together ever since. I wish love were as easy for others. I do hope it is, but I know there are struggles. My parents, for instance. They never should have married. Life was tumultuous by the time they fell apart when I was a teenager. I moved out with my mom, and I escaped by joining the service. I probably should have stayed to help her, but as an 18 year old, I needed a quick out. I had no idea she even cared, but when I looked back after she dropped me off at the U.S. Air Force recruiting station in Philly, I saw she was crying. It surprised me. As a mom, I now know why. Back then? It was all about me.

I don’t pay much attention to the Super Bowl unless the Eagles are playing. And these days without cable at home we don’t watch it anyway. And really, I only watch it for the commercials, which can be seen online now! Here in Hawaii, Super Bowl Sunday is almost as celebrated as Christmas, so it’s a nice anniversary for us. People set up the barbecues, set up the folding chairs and tables in the garage, set up the kegs and fruit punch jugs, arrive all afternoon with foil trays of fried rice, noodles, ribs, teri chicken, rice, sushi, sashimi, chili and macaroni salad.

The big screen TVs are set up in the garage, or they gather in living rooms. Tonight as I was cooking the stew outside on the grill, I could hear the roar of the crowds throughout the neighborhood. Steelers came to the game after half time and gave the Pack a run for its money. Funny. I love hearing the neighbors when they cheer for their teams. You should hear this ‘hood when University of Hawaii football is on! It’s a HOOT!

Super Bowl Sunday is our First Date Anniversary. It’s also the 1-year anniversary of my popping my Achille’s tendon. Some anniversaries are good, some just need to be acknowledged, and we all must continue to grow. I had a good time making the stew on the brand new grill today. Usually we don’t celebrate a meal, but in this case, it was a fine way to break in the grill. It even rained while the stew simmered inside.

@postaday 37, #postaday2011

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. I enjoyed your post, Paula. Thanks for sharing such a nice story. And congrats to you and John on the anniversary of your very first date!

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