Honey of a meeting
After I read that anyone who remembers their worst date could submit their story, I hesitated to enter my worst date, but then remembered that I really did have a date that I will never forget.
It happened in Lakewood, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, my home, when a very handsome, tall, dark Greek man asked me to dinner. He was such a gentleman that he actually asked my mother if he could take me out. We went out on Valentine’s Day. It was a cold, blustery day with 2 feet of snow on the ground. The roads were treacherous and folks were advised not to get on the roads that night. My date arrived and we slipped down the walk way to his car. We worked our way through the snowy, icy streets of downtown Cleveland to a lovely restaurant where we met his sister and her husband and enjoyed a delicious meal.
When it came to dessert, I suggested we try some of my mother’s Greek pastries. He agreed. We had a language barrier. He could not speak English and my Greek was not that fluent even though I attended Greek school for years. It was a struggle to communicate with him, but we did OK and came back home where my mother brought out a tray of Greek pastries. He picked up some baklava (a favorite Greek pastry with nuts, honey and strudel leaves) with both hands and honey was dripping all over his hands, his jacket sleeves and all over the table. Well, that was it for me. I laughed until I was blue in the face and my mother arrived with napkins a little late and joined in with my laughter.
I think it was a nervous reaction. My poor date thought we were laughing at him, but we were laughing at the incident, not him. To make a long story short, I never did see him again, but learned he married a lovely Greek girl and they had two children and he became a successful restaurant owner in Cleveland. I was happy for him! A year later I met “Mr. Right” and we were married over 40 years. No more dates for me! Happily single living in the land of “Do As You Please!”
A rocky start
During the school year of 1971-72, I had a crush on a charming, handsome, intelligent Tomcat football player who sat across from me in algebra class. Our homerooms were across the hall from each other in Blazer High School Building 2 and another football player who was in my homeroom often allowed for opportunities to have additional interactions. My best friend was in his history class and often dropped hints to him that he should ask me out. Finally in April, I was thrilled when he finally called me and asked me out on a date to go to a movie on Saturday night.
I prepared for the date almost as much as if it were a big dance and was ready in plenty of time. So I waited. I waited and waited, looking out a front window of our house watching for him to come. I was very nervous; I had never had anyone stand me up for a date before. It was about 15 minutes past time for his arrival, when I finally saw his car stop at a house up the road from mine. I watched him get out and go up to the house and then return to his car and head on down towards my house. My heart was relieved when he stopped, got out of his car and approached the front door.
As soon as he rang the doorbell I opened the door and invited him in. He grabbed me into his arms and gave me a big kiss! I don’t even remember if we had time to say anything to each other. Wow! What a kiss! He apologized and said he had a flat tire on the way over then asked if he could wash his hands, showing them to me and I could see that they were black with dirt. After he washed his hands we discussed the fact that it was now too late to make the movie we had planned to see. So we chose another: “The Godfather.” After introducing him to my parents and telling them of our change of plans, we headed out the door to his car.
We had some time before the movie began so we decided to go to the BBF for a snack. It was where Starbucks is now, one of the favorite teen hangouts at the time. We ordered drinks and fries. He went in to get them and brought them back to the car. The front seat of his car was a bench-type seat and it was the tradition then for couples to sit up close to each other so I was sitting in the middle of the bench. There were no cup holders in the car so you just had to hold your drinks. Unfortunately in my nervousness, I spilled my drink right in his lap. I grabbed napkins and began trying to pat it dry (to my horror, I realized what I was doing and immediately stopped). I embarrassingly apologized. At any rate, we eventually headed to the movie at Mid-Town Cinemas about where Planet Fitness is now.
I don’t remember many details about our date during the movie. I know we held hands and sat as close as we could and the theater was packed. The main thing that I recall in the movie was where one of the characters woke up in bed to find a horse head in it with him. Not the kind of thing that a young naïve teenage girl wanted to see. I had mixed feelings about the movie being over as I knew it was nearing the end of our date. I had a curfew and had to be home by 11 p.m. and that was only a few minutes after the movie was over; just enough time to get me home.
It truly was the worst date I can remember experiencing compared to all my previous dates. However, it turned into the start of many years of wonderful dates with this charming, handsome, intelligent Tomcat football player. That was 47 years ago and we are still hanging out together. In December this year, we will celebrate 45 years of marriage!