Saturday, February 13, 2010
The Girl in the Swing
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).
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