Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 24, 2010

First Date

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

My first date was a disaster. I cannot remember much of the details, but there are several facts about it that I recall that would give me a score of failure.

The schedule was for a Saturday afternoon movie. Transportation, snacks, and all the expected things were not well planned.  Let me give you background.  After knowing the facts, perhaps you will be sympathetic.  Remember, it was my first date.  I had no experience.  And then, after all, I was only in the early weeks of the sixth grade! 

She had been my sweetheart since first grade.  You never spoke of it or declared it, but everyone knew.  It was declared in many ways as I would give her gifts from time to time.  I recall returning from Fort Knox, Kentucky where my dad was stationed during the war,  and I brought her a souvenir.  I was too embarrassed to give it to her, so before she arrived for school, I placed it on her desk.  That mode-of-operation was pretty standard for these six years.

I do not recall how the arrangement was made for the date.  Perhaps, it was only in my mind that it was a date!  I know I did not call her, write her a note, or make some formal invitation to go with me to the movie.  But whatever the method, we evidently agreed to go to the movie together. 

Here is the first of my failures.  We agreed to meet at the drug store!  When we both arrived, we ordered an ice cream cone before going to the movie.  We each ordered separately.  When I got ready to give the ten cents for both cones, Joe, the soda jerk who knew us well, looked at me and indicated she had already paid!  He could sense what was happening, and I remember he teased me about it later.

I assume I paid her way to the movie, but I’m not sure.  What I remember next is leaving the movie and going home.  I  am embarrassed to confess that I did not walk her home.  There were two choices of going home and I don’t remember the choice.  We either separated at the corner and she went the shortest route to her home and I to mine, or we walked up Main Street and at the top of the hill I went to my house, and she continued, alone, to hers!  See what I mean by disaster? 

I recall another first date (if you can call it that) when I was in the eighth grade.  She was going to be in Decatur, about five miles from where we lived.  She was going to attend the Saturday afternoon movie.  I dropped the hint that I might be there also.  I knew all along I would be there for sure!  That Saturday afternoon I arrived a few minutes late for the movie.  I wanted her to be seated, and hopefully had kept an empty seat beside here.  I had planned well.  I knew in my mind that she would grab me out of fear!  The movie was The Thing.  I knew it was scary.  I was all ready for excitement that I had never known!

As I walked down the aisle at the movie, I spotted her.  And there was an empty seat next to her.  I moved in quickly.  We smiled at each other.  All was going well, I thought.  Then I looked to the other side of her.  Who is that person?  An adult?  It’s her mother!  Forget the plan!  It’s just a movie now!

Over twenty-two years later, I would have my first date in Clearwater, Florida with Judith Richbourg! It had taken months to get this date.  She had been serious with a young man.  I began to write her notes and even suggested that “we break bread together.”  That sounded very biblical!  After her young man was out-of-town, she agreed. I left my church between Sunday School and Worship.  I drove the few miles to her church where she left Sunday School so she could go with me to where I was preaching.  Following church, we went to the original and famous Kapok Tree Restaurant.  I remember finding reasons after lunch  to ride to various places.  I did my best to keep her company as long as possible.  Finally, I drove her home since I needed to get back to church.  I was hesitant to ask her to go back with me that evening.  I was not sure how the date had gone, and I didn’t want to be too presumptuous.

But in the evening service as I was making announcements and welcoming guests, there in the foyer she stood.  She had come with several friends.  Of course, after the service, I insisted that I take her home.  It was a long, long trip home.  I made sure that the most direct route would be avoided.  It was an unforgettable evening! You probably know the rest of the story. Fourteen months after that first date, we got married!  And we have been on that first date ever after!

Can you recall your first date?  Enjoy the memory!



1 Comment »

  1. Connor and i both enjoyed this blog! Thanks for giving Connor tips about what “not” to do with the ladies! So glad you figured it out by the time you found Mom. This was really sweet. Thanks.

    Comment by jjr, mo — January 25, 2010 @ 9:21 pm | Reply

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