The blind date
There is a catchy country song that came out a few years ago that ends with the line, “Thank God for good directions and turnip greens.” The cute song tells how a boy, selling turnip greens on the side of the road, steers a beautiful, yet lost, young lady back to the interstate and some good sweet tea (of course, you know I would like that part of the song). Once the young lady gets there, the purveyor of that intoxicatingly sweet beverage is the boy’s momma who steers the young lady right back to the boy in the truck.
And my favorite part is implied.
HAPPILY. EVER. AFTER.
Since today is Valentine’s Day, you might think that this blog is all about me and my sweetie. It isn’t. Okay, maybe a small piece.
As today’s title infers, we did indeed meet on a blind date. Only it wasn’t all things quintessentially Southern like turnip greens and sweet tea that brought us together. Nope it was much more academic than that. And I do mean academic – think Calculus and Chemistry. Two of our professors – mathematics and science – thought we would make a good couple, and they were right. From our first date, we both just somehow knew we would be together. We had the stuff that added up to the right chemistry. (I couldn’t resist a silly pun.) The motto of our alma mater, Mayville State, is “The School of Personal Service”. I have joked for years; it doesn’t get much more personal than picking out your husband for you.
Even through all the ups and downs (and trust me, we’ve had plenty), no one can make me laugh like he can, nor surprise me like he does. At the end of the day, there is no one whom I would rather spend all of my days.
So even though, I love my sweetie, today’s blog is actually dedicated to a woman that I don’t even know.
Somewhere out there in the world is a girl – probably now a grandma – who missed out on an opportunity. That opportunity was a blind date with a Navy boy. Well, if my understood version of the story is correct, he was an Alabama boy, college graduate, and Naval officer stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station. All things dreamy back in the day. Well, maybe not the Alabama part to Florida girls.
The girl I want to thank was supposed to go as the escort – on a blind date with this Navy boy – as a favor to her friend who was dating another Navy Officer. For those of you not familiar with living in a Navy town, this sort of thing happens all the time. Many a relationship have started with service men or women meeting local people. Pensacola is no exception.
Well, except for this day. The woman I do not know – not even her name – got cold feet, leaving her friend in quite a perplexed situation. I mean really – not having a double date for going out with your sweetie could be quite devastating news! I like to think of her looking something like this after her friend’s refusal to even entertain the thought of going on this date.
Not to be known in this story as one without resources, the now only female member of a rather odd three person date decided to beat the path of her co-workers to see if anyone would help her out of this ridiculous predicament.
Lo and behold – there was a willing soul found in the workplace washroom! This unsuspecting local girl who worked at the library of the university was pounced upon by Miss Debbie Desperate in the bathroom.
“Hey! Would you be interested in going on a double date with my boyfriend’s friend tonight? They are both in the Navy.” That last tidbit could possibly seal the deal . . . or break it, depending on how you look at it. A casual conversation that took place over the porcelain sinks with the reflective images of the two girls watching and listening earnestly.
The replacement girl’s answer was something rather romantic and dreamy like, “Um. Sure. Why not! I’m not busy.”
Cue the super hero music because replacement girl just saved the day!
Turns out in the stories of happily ever after, that good fortune of needing the potty at that time and having an adventuresome spirit was a good thing.
Tomorrow, replacement girl and Navy boy will celebrate three kids, eight grandkids they’ve met, three they will meet in heaven, and forty-five years of marriage together!
So today, I am thanking God for cold feet and blind dates!
Note: The events of this story took place in November 1968. Since I wasn’t born (as the first of those three kids) until November 1969, I might not have all of the details exactly accurate. That, and I might be known for having a little bit of a flair for embellishment.
Happy 45th Anniversary to my mom (replacement girl) and to my dad (Navy boy)! Love you both!
And for the record, I adore happy endings!