Saturday, May 28, 2011

It Was 40 Years Ago Today

It was May 28, 1971. I was upstairs in my bedroom with two of my best friends getting ready for a first date with an older man. I was 16 and just finishing my sophomore year of high school. He was 19 and had been out of school a year and working in the construction field operating heavy equipment. My mom and dad weren't sure if this was a good idea, but they were willing to give it a try.

We had met the week before at the Port. It's a local root beer stand where all the kids cruised and hung out. Believe it or not, it's still there today. They still have drive up dining in your car and the car hops wear roller skates. The food trays attach to your car window. I kid you not. He actually asked the girl I was with out first. To this day he claims he was just getting information about me.

Whatever the reason, tonight was my turn. I began to hear the distant rumble of his car engine. My God that car was loud. I would learn later that there was no sneaking in late in that car. You could hear it coming two blocks away. My heart began to beat faster and I was nervous. The only older guys I had dated in my limited dating experiences were just a year older than me and still in school. I take a last look in the mirror. My friends say I look awesome in my lime green hip hugger bell bottoms and white sleeveless shirt with lime and yellow trim. My hair is long and flowing and my make up is perfect. I head down the stairs that lead to the foyer which is right next to the living room where he will be waiting.

I got half way down the stairs and I see him....smoking a cigarette!!!! Are you out of your freakin mind!?!? My mother hates smoking and had tried to get my dad to stop for years. This is not the way to make a good first impression. I can feel the blood rising to my face. I just need to not make eye contact with my mom and get him the heck out of there. We say good bye and we are finally out the door.

I begin to regain my normal body temp and breathe a say of relief. I don't know him well enough to tell him he's an idiot. Of course, that will come later. We are double dating and the other couple is in the backseat. I say hello and we are on our way to the 49er Drive In (it's still there too) to see the romantic classic PATTON. Nobody told us that it was a 12 hour movie and I'm late getting home on the first date. My dad is cool about it because we were seeing a war movie. My mom wasn't thrilled, but she wasn't going ballistic or anything.

I saw him the next day and the next day and the next day and every day there after. With the exception of a huge fight in 1972 that lasted for two days, we have never been apart. We got engaged on November 19, 1972 and were married on September 8, 1973. When I think about the time frame, I can't believe that my parents let that all happen. I got engaged when I was a senior in high school and married three months after I graduated at the age of 18. We had our first baby when I was 20 and he was 23.

I think the main reason we have stayed together with no major problems over the years is this. We were so young. We had no expectations of what marriage should be. It was what it was and we were happy. We grew up together and made our own adventures along the way. We built a really good life. We had excellent examples in both of our parents. They had been together forever and were both happy in their marriages. We are still happy together and I am blessed to have that all these years later. I can't imagine my life with anyone else.

My plan for the rest of the day is to convince Dick that going to the drive in is a good idea. It is supposed to rain and I don't know what is playing, but I don't care. It is Saturday, May 28, 2011. 40 years later and I think we need to mark the occasion.

I know that I have posted this picture before, but I love it. It just looks like us. Happy and relaxed. That is pretty much how we are now. We don't fight. What's the point? If we get mad now, it's over quickly. We have a good life. We have four beautiful daughters who have chosen wonderful men in their lives. We have three perfect grand kids that are the lights of our lives.


Life is good and we can't ask for more than that.

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Nancy, this beautiful post makes me so emotional! I love it! what a happy, wonderful love story! (Maybe one of my favorite parts is that I too went to the 49'er and we frequently ate at drive-ins with carhops so I can truly identify!)

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  2. Tears in my eyes !!! Congratulations, you are such a beautiful woman and I am so happy we have gotten to know each other.

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  3. Happy Anniversary! So great that you are still together, not many couples can say that anymore.

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  4. I love this picture too! Happy Anniversary! I agree with the "so young" theory. It happened to us too! Hope the drive in was good... and that you, (dating myself here) got in some good necking!!!

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  5. Great picture! Congratulations!

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  6. Great photo. And a wonderful story that I am so glad I read. Congrats on 40 years!

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  7. I enjoyed this sweet love story. Happy Anniversary!!

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