Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Girl in the Swing

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be married to just one woman. I had and still have no desire to play the field in search of some green pasture which incidentally does not exist and to my credit I still believe this.

In my immature late teens and early tweens I dashed to and fro like my peers, checking out this flower and that, but always in the back of my mind I had it in me to settle down and prove my worth to one and only one lady. In 1976, I met her. I was 24 and she was just 16.

Now before you break your jaw as it slaps your knee, let me explain. I met her in church and we did not begin dating until she was 17 and then a “date” meant getting a bite to eat after church and then I would drive her home and ne'er a kiss was exchanged until we were engaged. We both embraced fundamental Christianity and still do to this day and because of this, we practiced restraint.

On Valentine's Day in 1977, I asked her to be my Bride and this is how I see her today. I would love to say that I rode up on a white steed, or did something terribly romantic, but the truth is, we were both under the weather and I asked for her hand on the telephone.

Although I have uttered a lot of words in my life, both good and bad, I had reserved “I love you” for the woman I truly loved and after telling her those words numerous times the day before, I realized she was “the one” and while chatting on the phone that night in 1977, I unexpectedly blurted out that I wanted to marry her and that’s the rest of the story. She accepted and 7 months later, 2 weeks shy of her 18th birthday, we stood at the altar inside Peace Tabernacle on N. Main Street and became husband and wife.

On our first “date” we left service kind of late (as Pentecostals are known to do) and being hungry and thirsty and naïve, I thought I would impress her by taking her to Alexander Drive to the new drive-through hamburger joint named “The Varsity” located where Knowlton Ave. intersects with N. Alexander Dr. Now at this time I was jogging about 5 miles per day and with all the singing and “amen’s” at church service, I was powerful thirsty...and ravenous for some burgers and fries

Wanting to impress this young lady with my ability to drink large quantities of soda, I ordered Varsity’s largest drink, a 44-ounce full sugar Coke and 2 cheeseburgers and large order of fries, to her small diet-drink and no food order. I owned a sub-compact car at the time, as I do now and as the window employee handed the extra-large drink down to me, it tipped and landed topside down in my lap. Ice cold, sugary Coca-Cola quenched my bravado, my ego and my pride in one exaggerated nanosecond.

That was our first date and now 32 years later, we still laugh about it. In our purity, we met on a regular basis in her front yard and she would sit in the large tree swing her Dad built and I on the ground and we would talk about our future, or rather I would talk and she would listen (that pretty much went out the window about 20 years ago).
She is still my girl in the swing and my Bride. I am a clod and she is my Princess. I have many detractors, but to my knowledge, she has none. May God have mercy on me if I ever find myself in the single mans shoes again, because I will need supreme guidance to recover from the loss of her and hopeless to find another...girl in the swing.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bert,
My wife and I will celebrate 35 years this August! I know how you feel, thanks for sharing your story. DB

Anonymous said...

I'M PROUD FOR YOU BUDDY HAPPY VALENTINES SIR! Ken

Anonymous said...

God bless you both. Like me, you married far above your station! JF

Anonymous said...

Bert, lovely tribute to your wife. Congratulations to you both!
Trevia

Anonymous said...

The girl in the swing. Yes you did good. I guess you made up for lap dance with the "COLD" drink. Of course then a cold drink wouldn't stop a ''HUNGRY Man'' after a Varsity anyway.

Steve Liles

Anonymous said...

Bert.............that was the sweetest thing you could ever do for my sister on Valentines Day!
Love you, TT

Anonymous said...

Bert, that was wonderful. JL

Anonymous said...

"Ice cold, sugary Coca-Cola quenched my bravado, my ego and my pride in one exaggerated nanosecond." LOL IKE

Anonymous said...

Bert, you're a great man and awesome writer!! Glad to call you both friends! Love y'all! BM

Anonymous said...

Bert - that was so awesome and sweet....you really are one of the good guys - unfortunately, you guys are few and far between. You're such a great writer - you should write a book of your life starting with that story :-).
Love you guys! Sheila

Anonymous said...

Bert, that was so super sweet!! =) What a mushpot! lolol I love it! KH

Anonymous said...

I loved this valentine write up. Suweeeeet! LM

Anonymous said...

Awesome! GW

Anonymous said...

May God Bless You Both With Long Life & One Another !!! RB

Anonymous said...

Aw... that's very sweet Bert. You and your wife and are so very lucky, or I should say blessed. CE

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that beautiful story I love you both so very much. DT

Natalie said...

What a sweet Valentine tribute!! You two are an inspiration :)

Anonymous said...

You are a talented writer. Thank you for sharing such a sweet, tender story. LM

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful story! Thank you for sharing. ND

Anonymous said...

Bert- what a great read for Valentines Day- Have a great day all you lovebirds!....Debi

Anonymous said...

You so eloquently captured the magic of true love in this tender love story, BB. How blessed you and Sandra are to have found the perfect life mate in each other. Deev

Anonymous said...

Aaaawww! You made me cry! A good cry though! :) JL

Anonymous said...

Bert, I bet you made her cry when she read this. I also bet her friends cried also as all women hope they find true love and not true lust which is what most men search for.

Your blog about the "Girl in the Swing is worth pitching to Hallmark. It is what they are searching for for their movies, cards and commercials. Many of the Hallmark stories are based on truth and touch the inner soul. It is quite hard for me not to cry while watching the Hallmarks movies. CK

Anonymous said...

That was really good. My brother in law, Bob Downing, has a blog spot also and writes some great stories---events that have happened in his life.....stories about people in his life----reminds me of what you do .....both of you need to write a book :-) love, BT

Anonymous said...

That is beautiful. You both have been blessed and are a blessing for all of us. And in the words of someone else, "May you live long, and prosper! IMD

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this, Bert. I would love to meet your bride someday--what a treasure she is--what a love story--the way it should be. SW

Anonymous said...

Bert, I agree true love guided by God is truly great. I know how you feel. I too am very blessed with a wonderful wife. BE

Anonymous said...

IKE: that sentence stuck out for me as well. Although the whole story was beautiful. I actually teared up. That is what love is supposed to be, but so seldom is. Ya'll are an inspiration to hapless souls such as myself! Don't screw it up kid! LOL SG

Anonymous said...

I loved this story! From the heart and history all in one! Thanks for sending this to me! Love, Tif

Anonymous said...

Like our Dad. One woman men. Great telling. Bruno

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap....I did that same drink thing on my first real date....It was with Loretta Bass at the Peace Tabernacle Christmas Banquet, and that tall glass of ice tea was just too darn slippery....lol. TB

Anonymous said...

Wow, I remember some of your dating years. You both still look so great. I wish everyone could have the kind of love that both of you have. CM

Anonymous said...

Awww, Its like SHREK!! BP

Ms. Johnston said...

Oh, Bert...where are all the men like you? She is truly a lucky girl. God bless you both.

mfhy2k said...

That is great. My wife and I will celebrate 20 years in August and I'm thrilled to see others that believe in only one person.

What, me read? Isn't that a 4 letter word?

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