Sunday, July 13, 2008

Meeting The Hubby

The year was 1975, March 23rd to be exact. I was approaching a full year of being out of high school and I had absolutely no direction. I was working at a kitchen gadget store, The Fair Annex at Utica Square, an open-air outside-mall, making nothing. It was a hole in the wall place, literally. The store was a side store down a long hallway that was probably not 8’ wide. It was tiny and there was no future, none. In my era and the small town I was from the attitude was you get married and have children, not necessarily in that order, and so that was my plan for my future, the problem was finding the guy. If you got out of high school that was a plus but there was no push to even go to college, especially if you were a girl. My grandfather offered to send my little brother to college but did he even think to offer me the chance, no. Did my brother take the chance, briefly then he ended up working in a machine shop like our father and our other grandfather, not that it was bad but I felt that he was still stuck in that small town. My future was bleak really. I was destined to work retail, a checker for the rest of my life.

My parents had gotten hooked on CB radios and they started making a lot of friends in the area and our house was called the BA Parking Lot. This guy, Lyndell, who graduated a year before me and his wife, Jana, became friends with my parents. I never ran around with the guy in school, but he and his wife soon became a fixture in our house. Jana and Lyndell lived in a little house in Tulsa and the “younger” group of people would often hang out at their house too.

I was spending most of my time in the evenings “dragging” Main with my friends or by myself and meeting up with guys on the corners of the local convenience store or Tastee Freeze. Occasionally, I would go out with one of the guys but there was really no future in them. I never really had a serious guy in my life, at least on their end of the relationship. In my mind I was always Mrs. Somebody but they were never the right match. One evening Jana and Lyndall were having a birthday party or something and they made sure I was to be there. I showed up in my bell bottom-hip-hugger jeans and halter top, no bra, bare foot, and my straight hair hanging down past my butt, my usual attire. I was well endowed and had lost a lot of weight so I was pretty tiny, about 115 pounds, mostly in the bottom half. I was a wanna-be hippie and I fully admit it.

My brother and I came in my car, a 1969 Chevy Malibu, chocolate brown with a white top. I was very protective of it since I was still making payments on it. He later drove it home and I was not happy about that but that also left me without transportation. There were a lot of people there and one of the couples who showed up was Gail and Kelly. They were newlyweds and were friends with Jana. Gail had gone to junior high and high school with Jana. In fact they had all four gone to school together some time or another. Gail and Kelly also brought a guest, R. He was tall and skinny and the best was his long blonde hair, I loved it, just my type. He was very cute and had a fantastic smile. Later I found out that they practically dragged him there. He was supposed to call and meet up with his old flame and possibly get back together with her that night but Gail and Kelly insisted he come and meet this girl, even though they had never met me they knew I had to be better than what he was about to go back to.

We played volleyball outside and after the eats we all went inside. R and I settled down on the floor and played cards. I’m not sure what we played but I beat the socks off of him. I was and still am very good at cards. I spent a lot of time playing solitaire. Not much of a social life. We laughed and talked and had the best time. He was so darned cute. It got very late, about 2 or 3 a.m. and I needed to go home. I wasn’t about to spend the night there, my parents wanted me home so what was a girl to do. R offered to take me home in his cute little orange Volkswagon super beetle complete with a sunroof. I climbed into his little bug and immediately sat on my crossed legs with dirty bare feet showing and sang to the radio all the way home along with some conversation. He pulled into my driveway and asked if he could call me. I said yes and he got into his glove box and got a little spiral notebook and pen and took my name and number down. I was impressed with his readiness with the proper stuff to capture my info. He went around and opened my door and then escorted me to the door and then he kissed me very lightly on the lips. I was absolutely on cloud nine.

The next morning, I should say afternoon since I slept in till about noon my phone rang and it was Jana. (I had my own line I bought and paid for.) Jana was pumping me on what I thought of R and on Gail’s end she was talking to R and what he thought of me. They were playing matchmakers big time. Jana told me that Gail told her that R said I was build like a brick shit-house. He liked me a lot and I liked him a lot. Back and forth the phone calls went and then R called me. He asked if I would like to go to the zoo and then maybe a movie.

I of course said yes and the first date was set. He showed up and met my parents and my bro and sis. We had a wonderful day at the zoo. Later we went to see The Great Waldo Pepper with Robert Redford. He then took me to his house for a glass of his mother’s famous sweet iced tea. I met his brother S and his mother.

It was an awesome day and I was in love. It was love at first sight. He was nice. He was fun and he made me laugh and still does. He was a gentleman, a big plus, and he called me back. Most of the time with other guys I would go out with once and that would be it, they never called me back. I was so upset most of the time that they never took the time to know ME, the real me. R took that time. After that initial meeting we talked every day when we weren’t with each other. We were in love. He was just the most wonderful and gentle guy and I couldn’t stand not being with him. We would spend literally hours on the phone with each other when we were away from each other and it soon became evident that would be together forever.

That first meeting was March 22, 1975. He told me he loved me May 23, 1975 and by June 23, 1975 he had asked for my hand in marriage after talking to my father. We were married January 23, 1976. Now he is known as The Hubby.

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