I was 24 and engaged to be married on June 15 to a guy nobody … but nobody … liked. I had intestinal by-pass (a great deal like lap-band) surgery a couple of years before, having been fat all my life and no dates.
Now, all of a sudden, after losing over 100 lbs., men were coming out of the woodwork and I didn’t know what to do with them all. Frankly, it scared me. I wasn’t even used to flirting, must less a whole date. So, when I picked out this “loser,” it was apparently a bad choice that everyone could see but me. He had been my first date, ever, and we had been seeing each other for about a year.
I had one really close friend, an older woman, who said, “I’m going to find you somebody before you marry that loser!” True to her word, she set up a dinner for my “blind date” and me, but at the last minute, I chickened out. She tried again, I backed out again. I could see she was determined, and it was only a grill-out, not even a date .. just a simple dinner to meet someone new. Finally, I accepted and went to her house.
I was early, mostly because I was so nervous. I was not one to make an “entrance.” She put steaks on the grill, and I sat in her comfortable padded glider and talked to her husband while we waited on my “blind date” to arrive.
The yard was fenced and covered with greenery, so the drive-way was not very visible, but I could see the top of his head when he got out of the car and headed for the yard. All I could see was white hair from his little over six-foot stature. He was a big guy, and having been a big girl all my life (although not any more), I was very comfortable with a big guy.
He entered the yard wearing jeans, a nice shirt, and a great smile. I was very glad I was there.
Neither of us ate much dinner, but he asked me if I would like to take a ride out to the beach and maybe get a Coke. I said that would be fine. The date had started. We drove to the beach, parked and walked along the wet sand, holding hands, not saying a whole lot. Finally, he took a deep breath, and he said, “I know this is kinda early, but I just have to ask you — will you go steady?”
Wow! He was right. It WAS kinda quick, but I also heard myself saying, “Yes, I will.” And we both laughed and he kissed me lightly on the lips, and we walked back to the car.
From there, we rode around awhile and talked. I told him my current engagement status that was about to be broken; he told me of his past divorce and his two kids. He found a place to park overlooking the beach and we sat and talked until about 3 a.m. Yes, all we did was talk, and then he fumbled a little for words, but he managed to get out, “Will you marry me?”
Marry him! This was our first date, our first meeting. What’s wrong with this picture? I said, “Yes.”
Maybe it was the beach, the moon, the electricity between us, I have no clue. When I said yes, he cranked up the car, and we went back to our friends’ house. We woke them up and told them the news. They were excited and flabbergasted to say the least. They had known us for a long time, just not together. She asked us when, and we had already decided on June 2 — that was the following week! He proposed on our first date, and we were married in that yard the following week.
Did it last? Oh, yes! Two years later we had our first daughter, then four years later, twins – a girl and a boy, plus we had custody of his two boys. Our wonderful marriage lasted 13 years, until he passed away unexpectedly.
Was it love at first sight? I think it had to be. My First Last Date was 35 years ago. I’ve never remarried.
Jo has been a feature writer/puzzle creator for newspapers, puzzle publications, and online services for over 40 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.