Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Fresh out of high school; having just graduated six months earlier, I was packed and ready to move my meager belongings to Fort Dodge, IA. Enthusiastic and ready to face the world!
I was full of confidence with only $800. to my name, my Mom and Dad warning me to watch my pennies and make it stretch, for it wasn't much and wouldn't last long, even though this was money I had saved all on my own while working at the Military bank at Offutt AFB. Even back in 1978, it wasn't much to start out with; just being on my own for the first time.
Being raised in a military family, my upbringing was rather strict, I was never allowed to date, or get my ears pierced until I was 16 years old, my curfew even then, was eleven and only twice on two separate prom night dates, did they let me stay out past midnight. Well, here I was 18 and my Mom was gently trying to shoo my out of the nest so to speak, (I still to this day can't believe she was actually encouraged me to leave) but my Dad was having immense trouble letting go of his "little girl"; on one particular occasion, while working as front desk clerk in a gorgeous hotel, I walked in the door late because the rule was you had to balance your drawer within $10.00 or be written up and thus I was 15 minutes late. My Dad over reacted and this just kind of sealed the deal, with my Mom feeling it would be a good idea if I move out on my own.
So there I was, 18 and driving my little cocoa brown Pinto with white leather seats, and heading to Fort Dodge, IA where one of my friends Mike, a old high school boyfriend that had taken me to Senior Prom had moved to, as well. His new girl friend, Wendy, whom later, would become one of my dearest friends would help me find a place to live and possibly help me out with finding a roommate. Having been raised in a very sheltered and overprotected military family. I felt like a new born babe, and just free as a bird, and yet for the first time in my life I was trembling with all kinds of new and exciting feelings of all that lay before me. I was on my own with no safety net and I just hoped and prayed that everything would work out the way I had envisioned it.
I had almost made it to Fort Dodge, after a 4 hour drive, when I needed to fill up, and being young and naive, I filled up my car with Diesel instead of regular gasoline and thus had to make an embarrassing phone call to Mike and having him and a his two roommates to come syphon my car fuel tank out, and finally I was there in a trailer with three guys. Oh, how my folks would have died had they known. I spread out my sleeping bag and slept on the floor like a good girl, the whole time...honestly.
The very first day, after a good nights rest, I showered and dressed in my light blue jeans and a soft pastel pink sweater, I curled and threw my hair back so it looked good and full, and then drove out to the mall to meet Wendy and Debbie, at Woolworth's Harvest House. We were getting along splendidly when I looked up and saw this handsome blond white knight in a three piece suit pouring coffee. I couldn't help but smile, and immediately found myself in a dreamy state of mind. Later, I learned that Denny had told the other Assistant Manager Weiss, that the girl in that booth kept smiling at him, and Weiss told him it was his imagination. haha!
Meanwhile, I... pulling out all the stops, laid my Military bank employee card on the table as bait. hehe! Low and behold, he fell for it and upon leaving he asked the question, "Don't you work at the bank"? and I responded, "why, yes I did" and he said, "I thought I had seen you there". I sweetly acted surprised and said, "Oh, did you use to live in Omaha, too"? It was both funny and awesome seeing him choking and sputtering, in an effort to get out of this one, but the ploy had worked and we had at least had a delightful and charming conversation.
Two weeks later, I turned 19 and had moved in with a nice girl named Val, in a third story apartment that had a speaker system, that went down to the front door of the appartment complex and if you felt you wanted to let your guest in, you would buzz them in, and they could open the door. It was cool!
I wasn't very happy with my job at the bank so I picked up a job working nights at this hot new place called The Rain Forrest, a Dance Club that had a $3.oo per person cover charge. I fit in with the college crowd real quick. It was always easy for me to make new friends as we had moved all my life. Through Wendy, I met Debbie, Dana, Dixie, Val and a number of other nice girls. We were all young and Disco was in...and I loved to dance! I had been going out with several guys and was pretty popular, remember I was free as a bird and living on my own for the first time. Shortly, I found myself going pretty steady with an older guy named Danny (not my Denny) He was a hunk, and we were "thee couple", we started the Disco dancing off every night being the first couple out and everyone else would jump in, it was a thrill, the speckled lights from the Disco ball filled the room, Raindrops trickled down the wall into a gorgeous pond surrounded by ivy and lush tropical plants, huge leather loveseats hung from the ceiling and the music and dancing brought the place alive! I just didn't feel the same about Danny as he did about me and even though he had proposed I had to turn him down. However, we agreed to still see each other and loved dancing together.
Between meeting my Denny in November, and having our first date in February, I ran into him so many times, it was uncanny. Three such times, were very memorable, once in the record department where I was suspicious he was following me ducking up and down in the isles, wierd like, in Woolworths, once in Country Kitchen where he was reading the paper and eating Blueberry pie and finally I couldn't take his peeking around the paper anymore and went over to say "hello", and each time my good friend Dotty would be with me trying to help out, knowing we had an attraction to each. On one such chance meeting, I mentioned that I worked over at the Rain Forrest and maybe, Denny would like, to come over, that it was a lot of fun! Well, this is where he says, "That's not my scene". "Oh", I said, "What is your scene"? "Oh, I like to read, and I bowl on a couple of leagues, and I play golf". This was like music to my ears, as I had been testing the waters of a pretty fast night life and while it was fun to party, I knew I didn't want to live like this the rest of my life. I had always invisioned myself living a faithful, stable, and loving life with whatever guy I married and having oodles of children. I therefore, loved hearing him say he didn't like this scene. I really felt something for this cute, sweet, handsome knight in shining armor, who was a wholesome small town guy and a family guy, but he still didn't ask me out.
Months later, Danny and I had a date at the Rain Forrest shortly after Valentine's Day. He had plans to go pick up his sister who was coming in from Hawaii and so he was going to leave me at the Rain Forrest with my friend Dotty, as he was leaving, he leaned down over my chair and kissed me, and just at that moment, and to my astonishment, my knight in shining armor walked through the Rain Forrest doors and saw us kiss... My heart dropped, and it was as if time had stopped, the one man that I had truly felt in my heart, something bigger than I could even put to words, had a crushed and devastated look that pierced through my soul, I suddenly realized he was turning around to leave and...,
So, it's just the two of us hoping you will join us as it is... to be Continued...
Barb, of A Chelsea Morning thought it would be fun for all of us to join her link and share our "love stories" of how we met and got married. If you want to join us click on the link. It should prove to be a lot of fun!