Or how did we ever stay together long enough to get married?
The genesis of my relationship with my spouse was…inauspicious, at best. We met at my parents house one weekend when I was home from college. She was a guest at my younger sister’s 16th birthday party. My first thought upon seeing this particular guest was “Dang, Sis! Where have you been hiding her?”. I made sure to speak to her and we shared some witty banter throughout the evening. I remember it as witty banter, anyway. My part of the conversation was probably more along the lines of lame jokes and incessant babbling. Witty banter sounds better, doncha think? At the end of the evening, as the new-found object of my affection was leaving, we finished our conversation thusly:
Me: So, do you live around here?
She: Just off Whatsit Road, about 5 miles.
Me (sarcastically, but secretly hoping for an affirmative response): Oh, so you’ll probably be hanging out here alot then, huh?
She (sweetly): Why ever would I want to?
And she walked out the door. At that exact moment -well, that moment plus the time it took for the intense pain in my ego to subside - I knew the chase was on. I would date this girl, and date her I did:
Date the first:
I took her to the zoo. A nifty first date idea if I do say so myself. We would be in a large crowd of people but at the same time alone with each other. Nice and safe. Plenty to see and do. If there is a lull in the conversation there’s no need to wrack the old noggin for small talk to fill the time - just talk about the animals. We were both having a good time. Things were progressing very well as we approached the monkey exhibit. This was before “natural enclosures” made it to our zoo. The monkeys were still behind iron bars and close to the patrons. Really close. Just out of arm’s reach (I’ll bet you think you know where this is going, but read on). Just as we made it to the front of the crowd one of the simian residents decided that now was the appropriate time to approach the bars and seek relief. Or release, as the case may be. Maybe he found my date as attractive as I did. Whatever the reason, he began to furiously, uhm, spank his human. Wild monkey solo sex, as it were. And there we were on the front row, boxed in by the crowd. Unable to beat a hasty retreat, so to speak, but wanting desparately to change the focus of the moment, I tried to think of a diversion. Any diversion. Right. You try to divert attention from that. It ain’t easy. All I can think is “She probably thinks I set this up on purpose! She thinks this is my subtle way of getting into her pants on the first date! A simain subliminal message!”. On the bright side, we did manage to escape before the grand finale. I don’t remember the rest of the date. It’s all kind of a blur from there. And I never asked her what she really was thinking during the nature lesson. I’ll have to do that someday.
Date the second:
Bowling and a movie. Pretty standard dating fare. Bowling to break the ice and a nice dark movie theater for snuggling. We were to the point now where snuggling was a potentiality. Is potentiality a word? Anyhoo, bowling went well, the ice was broken and we were in full date mode. The nearest theater was a one screen only place. Neither of us knew anything about the movie, but we didn’t really care. It mattered not what was showing on the screen, we were going for the purposes of snuggling! That was my thinking, anyway. We settled in and began wathing the movie. At the precise moment that the snuggling was set to begin the scene on the big screen showed a gang if thugs mugging an old lady and cutting off her finger to steal a ring. In closeup. Followed by a scene of a skinned dog hanging in a shower stall. I think it was meant as a warning to one of the other movie characters. What it really meant was that the snuggling mood was over. Two dates, two disasters. I’m batting 1.000.
Date the third:
A local state park. Fun in the sun, walking beside the lake, sitting along the creek at the grist mill. And just to show her that the skinned dog thing was really not my style, I’ll take her to the petting zoo at the park. No monkeys there. Just tame deer, rabbits, a famous groundhog and other animals whose lack of an opposible thumb would make masterbation dificult if not impossible. I’m a genious! Once agian the date starts well and after a while I’m ready to play my trump card. Off to the petting zoo we go - where a bird promply shits on my left shoulder. The deposit slowly makes its way from my shoulder to my elbow as my mind frantically churns out options for getting out of this mess before she realizes whats happening. Restroom? None around. Water fountain? Nope. Ask her for a tissue? How? “Dear, may I borrow a tissue to wipe the bird shit from my person before it makes it’s way to my fingertips?” Don’t think so. Ignore it? Not an option. All this while trying desparately to inconspicuously keep my left side out of her view. Try an experiment. Pick someone close to you and vow to not, under any circumstances, let them see your left side. Be inconspicuous. Can’t be done. Eventually I had to fess up. 3 for 3.
We did eventually get married and have remained so through 16 years and 3 kids. Looking back, though, I really don’t understand how. Apparently, love is not only blind but stupid and has no sense of smell or decorum. Lucky me.