A few days ago was the 37th anniversary of the day I met my husband. Mentioning this to a friend, we discussed some of the unsuccessful dating experiences we had before we met our soul mates. I am lucky that none of my dates turned out to be bad men, but a few were poor matches that led to these three stories.
Date #1 was a nice guy who had married very young. I think he was 19 and I was 18 when we went out. His marriage had ended months earlier and he wasn't over the idea that she had walked away. We were going to go to the movies. He picked me up and realized he left his wallet at home so we stopped by his home, a trailer. To have called it a modular home or even a mobile home would be way too grandiose. He invited me in to meet his dog. Nice dog. Disastrous surroundings. He liked to rebuild motorcycles. There were parts all over the living area, including the upholstered furniture. Some engine parts were soaking in the sink. I think I now had some insight as to why his wife left.
Date #2 was also a nice guy. I was working in a restaurant that he frequented on his lunch hour. I knew he was older than me (still 18) but never I thought about age much. Or so I thought. Our date was a movie date. We got there early and were talking before the previews started. In the getting-to-know-you stage of conversation, he made a time reference that I didn't understand. I asked him how old he was. He was 29. Not having an ounce of suave sophistication in me I said "Oh my gosh, you're 11 years older than me!" The awkward moment was broken by the laughter of the two "old" ladies seated behind us who found us more amusing than the ads for candy and popcorn playing on the screen. If I could remember what the women looked like, I bet I would rephrase that "old" part. They were probably younger than I am now! Date #2 and I realized we were destined to be friends and nothing more. We did go out occasionally until he met someone who didn't blurt out what she thought in the show.
Date #3 was set up by mutual friends who were supposed to double with us but for some reason had to cancel. He picked me up, yet again to go the movies, but on the way there was pulled over by the police for speeding. The town we were in is small and known to be strict when it comes to the speed limit. The town was settled long ago by Germans. When the cop pulled us over, Date #3 turned to me and told me to act German, that they'd go easier on us. I laughed, thinking I'd met someone with a sense of humor more warped than mine. Nope. He was serious. Not that acting German or anything else was going to help. He had a backlog of unpaid parking fines and was arrested! The cop asked me if I could drive a stick. I could, but just barely. Bail was set at $25 and had to be cash. I drove his car in fits and starts back to my house to get $25 to post bail. This was 1971 in case you are astounded at the fee. I was a student back then, and part time waitress. I posted his bail with two rolls of quarters and a roll of dimes. The cop at the desk thought this was hilarious. My date wrote me a check, but told me not to cash it before the end of the month since there wasn't enough in his account to cover it. We never went to the show or anywhere else. Ever.
It is hard to believe that hubby and I were only 19 when we met and that it was so many years ago. We had some pretty funny incidents while dating, but none that deterred our romance.