I started this blog last month sometime, and for various reasons it never got finished. When I pulled it up today to refresh my memory, I realized that I need to change the first paragraph. We’ve hit 48 years, and never even had an argument. Are we lucky, or what??
They’ll tell you it doesn’t exist. Love at first sight, that is. It’s probably true, although i can tell you from experience that love at second sight not only can happen but it can last forty-seven and 11/12 years (and counting). Don’t look for it from the guy you met last night at the bar, though.
In the old days there were a lot of places you might run into a life partner: church, the market, school, the miniature golf course. I think all of these are still around, but I don’t know if the good guys hang out there anymore.
When I got smacked in the face with the real thing, I wasn’t even looking. At the advanced age of 21, I hadn’t had any really serious relationships, and the closest thing to it had doffed his sailor suit and headed home to Iowa or Ohio or something. I was sitting on a bench at the Hippodrome, a roller skating rink in downtown Long Beach, feeling sorry for myself, when this tall, skinny guy asked me to skate with him. His eyes looked nice, and he had his own skates, with precision wheels. How could I resist?
We rolled across the floor just holding hands, neither of us being into the dance routines of the more audacious skaters. I concentrated on staying upright, and hoped with all my heart that he wouldn’t decide to vary the routine by skating backward. We rolled around together to the music of Dion, and Elvis, the Everly Brothers and Ray Charles. Since, by the very nature of the roller skating rink, conversation was limited, we didn’t get to know one another except during the breaks when we’d stop for cherry cokes.
I was really enjoying the company of this quiet young man and thinking we were getting along fine. Then a dark-haired, dark-eyed young woman came skating up beside us, called him by a name other than what he’d told me, and grabbed a pack of cigarettes from his shirt pocket. What the hell?? When the music ended, I said, “Thank you very much” and skated my way into the ladies’ room to think this out.
When I came out after a few minutes of contemplation, I’d already decided to ask him (if he was still around) just how involved he was with how many different women. He was still around. He told me the dark-haired interloper was his sister (right!) and he carried her cigarettes just because she didn’t have a pocket. It was lucky for the rest of this story that the skating session ended about that point, because the “sister” turned out to be exactly who he said she was.
I don’t think I’ll finish this one. The sister is gone now, we haven’t skated in years, and the love of my life is still just that. It can happen . . .
I’ll see you again, after the commercial.