Oh, my goodness. It truly was one of those “across the crowded room” moments that singers sing about. But the truth of it was…Tim had been High School Football Team Captain and Boyfriend of the Head Cheeleader/Homecoming Queen, and I had been an honor-roll dork who edited the yearbook. True, four years had passed since graduation. College had been good to me, but the dork-factor is a hard one to lose. And Tim was already one smokin‘ fireman…
It was a mini-reunion Christmas party when our eyes met across the pool table. Actually, I was semi-comotose on a couch. Not alcohol; I was recovering from a cute little bout of pneumonia. Right then he came over to sit beside me. Fate. Karma. Serendipity. God’s will. What ever you call it, and I knew I needed to see him again. And again. Since these were the days when dinosaurs walked the earth and “nice girls” didn’t ask guys out other than to be your plus-one at your cousin’s wedding, I had to quickly concoct something to ensure future contact. And so I did. I announced to everybody present that the next bash was to be on New Years Eve at my apartment. Tim agreed to be there. With a sigh of relief, I contented myself that I’d see him again in just ten days.
But he woke me up the next morning, asking me out on a date. A date! I’d probably been on a hundred such things, but this one, with somebody I’d known for years but didn’t know at all, was the most unnerving. I knew it had to be one special event, so I picked a sure thing for a first date, a Burt Reynolds movie. He was popular at the time, a man’s sort of man as well as eye candy for me. The perfect combo.
I sat through the harrowing adventures of four hapless canoers, kind of regretting I hadn’t picked a comedy, when we came to the Main Event featuring poor Ned Beatty. Dork Alert: at that moment, I realized that either Tim would never speak to me again…or he’d love me forever.
Fortunately, he selected the last choice. If you haven’t seen the classic movie, rent it and remind yourself that this was some fool’s first date choice. But it must have spun some kind of magic. We never dated anybody else after seeing it, and it’s now thirty-three years, two kids and one grandson later.
A Southern California native, Tanya Hanson honed her writing skills during the fifteen years she taught high school English. She’s published in Western Romance but the sophomore slump has been a long one, yet she (and her amazing critique partner, multi-pubbed and best selling author Charlene Sands) refuse to give up!