How Dan & Kacy Met: Our Love Story
Dan and I originally met May 5, 2005, (that's 05/05/05), and ever since we’ve had a truly amazing time falling in love and growing our family together. For the sake of nostalgia, let’s go back to that night for a bit and give you a little more insight into how this all began.
My sister, Ashley, and I were out with friends that evening (in Topeka) to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at a local bar called, Jul’s. It was a Thursday evening and both of us had to work in the morning but we’d decided it was a good excuse to go dancing.
Jul’s was well known as a cocktail bar with a large dance floor at the back. I remember walking into the club that night thinking, jeez, it’s really empty. Then I remembered, well, it IS a Thursday night in Topeka, KS. Ashley immediately took to the dance floor as we heard one of her favorite songs playing. I went to the bar to get our drinks ordered with my friend, Matthew, in tow.
Since no one was there, the bartender immediately placed three napkins in front of us and asked us for our order. He noticed me before I noticed him, that’s for sure. I was looking at Ashley - dancing all by herself - and wondering if I should go join her and allow Matthew to handle the drinks. I politely asked if he’d bring the drinks once prepared (Ashley and I both wanted Cosmos) to our table near the dance floor. He agreed and I excused myself to join my sister.
Matthew was a professional ballet dancer and had been in town for the rehearsals of Metropolitan Ballet of Topeka’s latest show. He was to be the principal dancer and had a dark, mysterious look about him.
Matthew was tall (nearly 6’1”), extremely svelte and we complimented each other well when going out. Plus, men at bars avoided talking to me while I was with him since they thought we were together…which I was completely fine with because I was recovering from a nasty breakup (my first engagement). Since, at the time, I was doing marketing for the Topeka Performing Arts Center as a freelance consultant, Matthew and I became fast friends. And when I say fast friends, we basically spent a lot of our free time going out to clubs, dancing and drinking. That night was no exception.
According to Dan, he had noticed me as soon as I’d walked in the bar. His description to our friends and family was something like this: “This extremely tall, thin, beautiful brunette walked into my bar and immediately caught my attention. She was gorgeous - wearing a bright red top and black, form-fitting pants..and let’s not forget the perfectly applied red lipstick! I was smitten.”
I, on the other hand, was completely oblivious to what was happening. In fact, as I watched Dan talk to Matthew at the bar from my new seat near the dance floor, I immediately assumed Dan was into Matthew! They were laughing together, talking intensely and Matthew had leaned in with a large grin as they chatted about who knows what. (Little did I know until later they were actually talking about me). That’s when I noticed the bartender in a bit more detail. He had a chiseled jaw line, and dark, spiky hair. He was tall, thin and carried himself with extreme confidence…his look immediately grabbed my attention. How did I miss this guy when we walked in? At that moment, Ashley grabbed me and insisted I join her on the empty dance floor. So I did, and figured (sadly, for me) Matthew would be getting the bartender’s number for himself.
After several hours of dancing, Ashley and I begged to go home (Matthew was our designated driver), but he refused. The bar had become busy with more patrons and he was happily enjoying his time being the center of attention for a group of newcombers who were fascinated that he was visiting Topeka, KS as a professional ballet dancer. Ashley & I decided we would leave anyway and he’d either find a ride home on his own, or follow us to the parking lot.
Once he saw we were serious, he hopped up quickly and ran to meet us outside where we were already getting into the car. He shoved a business card in my purse, exclaimed I was an idiot for not going back up to the bar to talk to the man who had been eyeballing me since we’d arrived. I rolled my eyes and told him he had to be joking because the bartender was clearly into HIM, not me. He scoffed and stated his name was Dan and they’d had a long conversation about me and how I was single and we should definitely meet. Matthew told me to call him tomorrow and ask him out. Then, we left.
The next morning, I was at my desk, regretting immediately that we’d stayed as late as we had. I ruffled through my purse looking for some advil and found the business card Matthew had placed there the night before. I paused and wondered…mayyybe that bartender was into me? Should I find out and take Matthew’s advice? He was, after all, one of the most handsome men I’d seen in Topeka. What the hell - I was single again..why not? Plus, Ashley and I needed plans for the weekend and it might be fun to go back when Jul’s was actually busy.
The business card read, “Dan Seitz” and listed his cell phone and email in scrawled ink pen. Being the introvert I am, I emailed him. That way, if he really was interested, it might take a few days…plus, I could never imagine calling someone I never really talked to. My message:
“Hi - not sure you remember me, but my sister and friend, Matthew, were in your bar last night. I have one question before we talk: Was that business card for me or was it for Matthew?”
Not even ten minutes later, I had a response! He had typed:
“It was DEFINITELY for you. Why don’t you and your sister come back to Jul’s tonight and I’ll buy you a drink?”
I took him up on his offer and Friday evening, Ashley & I sat at his bar, fascinated by his flair bartending tricks. While Ashley danced and met up with some of her friends later that night, I found a seat at the end of the bar. Dan continued to serve other guests and I happily “people watched” the rest of the evening. A few guys tried to sit next to me, flirt and ask for my number - all of whom I politely declined and said I was with Dan that night.
The rest is really history. Dan and I continued to see each other regularly for the next six months. Our first real “date” was dinner and a movie (we saw “Madagascar”). We quickly found ourselves in a whirlwind romance and many of our friends kept asking: “So when are you two going to tie the knot?” We would always laugh at them, thinking, we can’t do that…we’re just having fun. Both of us waited for the proverbial shoe to drop - for one of us to do something or say something that hurt the other. But, it never happened. It became our pact, actually: When this stops being fun, we’ll stop seeing each other.
With Dan’s dream of becoming a professional flair bartender, he was offered a job to open the VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s Casino in Kansas City, MO. He moved to Kansas City that fall and lived in a friend’s basement in Lenexa. The following June, my life changed as well. I suddenly realized how much in love with him I really was, so I found a job in Kansas City, rented my house out and started looking for a place to live to be close to him. We decided living together was financially a better move and found a cute, little duplex 10 minutes from downtown. We moved in together June 2006.
Dan proposed September 15, 2006, a significant day in his family (his grandfather’s birthday; his father’s birthday; his sister’s birthday and the day his only full-blooded sibling had passed as a baby). I learned later that he had asked his dad for his mother’s wedding ring in April…long before I had officially moved to Kansas City. He had been carrying that ring in his pocket, waiting for the “right” moment to propose! He had decided that his sister’s birthday party at Jul’s would be the best and most memorable place. He was right. After dinner at an adjacent restaurant, I went to the restroom to freshen up before we headed over to the Jul’s club/dance area. Ashley had followed me and kept looking at me strangely with a coy smile. I asked her what was going on, she said, “Nothing!”
As soon as I walked back out, the entire room had their phones/cameras out and Dan was on one knee. To be honest, I don’t exactly remember what he said, all I know is my head kept screaming “YES!” before he had asked the question. He presented me with his mother’s ring and I cried. We all cried. :)
We were married October 13, 2007, on my grandparents’ farm which is located on the famous Oregon Trail. It was a simple, outdoor wedding…and I wore red. It’s not only my favorite color, but it was Dan’s second wedding and my second engagement so it felt more appropriate (and fun) than white. We didn’t have a lot of money but the day was absolute perfection. We made sure to include all of our favorite people, foods and music. Dan even sang Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” at our reception in Topeka. It was the first song he’d performed for me (on our second date).
He’s been my everything since we met that incredibly random day in May, 13 years ago. Like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs but never anything we couldn’t handle…even having a child with special needs in 2010 that completely turned our world upside down. There are many times, especially after writing this post, that I wonder what my life was really like before meeting Dan. This is how I know we’re soul mates: Time stands still when we connect. Nothing else matters when we’re together and life is simple, easy and FUN. He makes me laugh; constantly challenges and supports me and above all, is one of the most honest people I know. He’s an incredible father to our kids and I can’t imagine life without him. I love you, Dan Seitz…with all my heart.