You know, as I pedal along, or walk at lunch, I like to let as much of my mind wander and relax as possible. I make sure to keep an eye on my surroundings, watch for traffic, avoid those that look sketchy and do my best NOT to become a hood ornament.
Aside from that though, the brain travels along whatever path it chooses. You just never know what it may come up with or what memory will pop into it. During last night’s ride home, the night my Dad met my girlfriend Heather for the first (and LAST) time popped in there. NOWadays it makes me giggle, but when it happened….
I met her early on in my senior year. Since I had a long drive to school each day (we moved out of the district my senior year, out to Rednecklandia (Graham WA) but we didn’t let the district know) I would get there pretty early in the morning.
I was walking through the hallway heading for my first class to finish my homework, when this cute girl waved and said “Greetings and salutations!” That shoulda warned me away, as it seemed strange, but being 16, and a guy, a cute girl trumped most warning signs.
We chatted some that morning, and I found out she had read some of the same science fiction books I had read. This was surprising to me as, back then, I didn’t think teenaged girls (or adult women for that matter) read sci fi. Yes, I know, it is surprising, but there really was a time I was NOT as suave, worldly and knowledgeable as I am today. You might even say I was kinda clueless.
She was in the process of reading another classic, Dune. So, once again the power of a cute girl kicked in,and I stopped on the way home to buy my own copy. We spent most before class mornings together talking about that, and other books. She was also talking to me about the two guys who wanted to date her.
She was new to the school, and within a day of each other, she had two guys asking her to become their girlfriend. She liked them both, and was having trouble deciding. So at the end of the 2nd week, just as I was heading to work, she stopped me to tell me she’d made the final decision.
I was pretty sure she was going to take the first guy, and I said as much. She just shook her head. I was surprised and it came out when I said she was going to take number 2?? Again she shook her head. This next part is crystal clear though.
“So you aren’t going to go out with anyone?” said I.
“Oh, I’ve picked someone!” she said back, smiling.
“Really? Who?” Yes I admit it, I was clueless. And she just looked at me! I’d love to say I caught on quickly, but yeah it took a bit for me to catch on! But I did!
We went out for a couple of months when my dad said he wanted to meet her and I should bring her over for dinner. She was excited to do so, and since he was making spaghetti I was all over it!
So there we were, in his house. And for some reason I was in the kitchen for a while. I may have had to take the garlic bread out of the oven and slice it. But regardless, as I walked in, I heard Heather say clear as day, “Tell me Mr. Valente, how would you like a daughter-in-law?”
Editors note #1: My dad was a drill sergeant in the army. He had a way of looking at a GI that would make him quiver.
This was the one time I remember getting that look…
He glared at me and asked, (loudly I may add) “There something you want to tell me BOY??” He only called me BOY when I was big trouble.
My answer? “It wasn’t me, I didn’t do it, and I have NO idea what she is talking about! I need to go wash my hands!” and I tool off to the restroom. When I got there, I gave serious though of sliding out the window and down the drain pipe
Editors note #2: Yes this was the cowards way out, but it seemed like a good idea at the time so I went with it!
I kept an ear out while they talked. And when I heard my Dad say “Well maybe when he is done with college and has worked for a while, yes I could see that….” I decided it was safe, and went back.
Folks, I have NO idea where this comment came from, I sure as heck never talked marriage (hell I had just turned 17 before the dinner), nor was I thinking past my next test, let alone my future. Shoot, I hadn’t even applied to colleges yet, nor did I know for sure I wanted to go!
The rest of the evening is a blur to me and I have no idea what we talked a, this comment was not brought up again the night, and in fact, my Dad and I NEVER discussed it again. I can’t remember the reason behind it, maybe she didn’t like my response to my dad’s question, but we were broken up 2 weeks later.
I pretty much avoided her for the rest of the school year. The last time I heard from her was partway through my freshmen year at WSU when she sent a letter wondering if we could get back together. (I chose NOT to respond to that one!)
At the time, I did not see any humor in that dinner at all. Now though, I just have to giggle any time I think of it!
And since it makes me laugh, I had to share! Hope you enjoyed!