He called me on Monday. I was really quite surprised, since I didn’t even know him. Well, I knew who he was, but we’d never had a conversation before. Somehow one of my girl friends let it slip that I thought he was good-looking. You know, nobody does that anymore – calls for a date. We’re so busy with social media and texting, but this was an old fashioned phone call from a boy to a girl.
We talked for quite a while and he asked me out for Saturday night. First to dinner at a place I’d never been before and then to a show I’d never seen. I admit I was nervous. He’s different from anyone else I’d dated. But it was an old fashioned date — the kind where he opened the door to the car and the restaurant. The kind where he let me choose first from the menu. The kind where he ushered me to my seat and made me feel special.
And at the end of the night I knew I had thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I learned a lot about him and learned that he likes to laugh. I ended the evening hoping there would be another date very soon.
It seems like yesterday and I can still remember what his car looked like and what it was like to sit next to him. I can remember that he went to the house next-door by mistake and I watched through my bedroom curtains as he knocked and then had to walk back over to my house. I can remember thinking that he seemed a little nervous too, but that just made him more endearing than those guys that are a little too self-confident.
I can remember how he looked proud to walk into the restaurant and sit with me. We went to a place called The Bounty, a local seafood place out by the lake that I’d never been to. My usual dates were more along the lines of pizza parlors or burger joints. And the show afterward was the Ringling Bros. Circus in the new Superdome, opened just two months and my first time there.
And I can remember after the circus when we walked back to his car, parked on the top level of the parking garage. You could see all the lights of New Orleans from there. And he turned the key in the ignition of his family’s station wagon only to have it not start. “Oh gee, how convenient” I first thought. Until I looked over to see his face flushed from embarrassment. But it did start. And he got me home before curfew. He would never keep me out passed curfew.
And even though it’s been forty years ago, I still remember that the night before I had another date with another guy (though I can’t seem to recall any of the details from that date). But after that night I never went on a date with anyone else. And by our third date, I knew that he would be the one I’d marry and spend my life with. On second thought, maybe the circus was a metaphor for the exciting life we would share together – high wire acts, taming wild animals and lots of clowning around.
Happy 40th “First Date” Anniversary Michael!! LOVE YOU!!