I’ve had a lot of first-date blunders – wrong time, wrong place and definitely the wrong man from time to time. My most embarrassing first date will always be my very first date of my life.
At a teenage dance club in Mount Vernon, Ohio in 1982 a tall young man sat down next to me and said “You’re not leaving already, are you?”
We chatted for a few moments and he told me that he was home on leave from the Navy. As the night ended I gave him my phone number never believing that he would actually call. Gene did call me the next day and explained that he was only going to be in town for a few more days – would I be able to go out with him on Monday night? To my shock, Mom gave me permission to go out on a school night as long as I was home by 11:00 pm.
My parents weren’t home when he picked me up to go to Columbus that February night with his friend/chauffeur. The date wasn’t exactly the way I expected. Dinner was from Taco Bell and we stopped at a record store where he bought me a copy of Molly Hatchet’s “Greatest Hits” cassette tape. Yes, I said cassette tape.
After the record store, we headed back to Mount Vernon, by-passing my home in Centerburg, to Gene’s friend’s house. We hung out for awhile, watching television until it was time to leave so I didn’t break my curfew. Early February in Ohio means snow-covered roads so we were worried about being late. I remembered a cross-country road that would cut about 5 miles off of our trip and come very close to my home and gave directions to the driver.
As we made the last turn onto the shortcut road, I looked at the clock. Less than five minutes to drive and seven minutes to get home – I wouldn’t be late. Just a few seconds later, all of that crashed down as the car became buried in a huge snowdrift!
We tried to get the car out of the snow but it was hopelessly stuck. We saw a light in the distance and started walking. No one was home at the first house we stopped or the second. After walking almost a mile late at night in February, we finally got an answer at a door. This man had a large four-wheel drive truck and a telephone so I could call my parents and tell them I was stuck in the snow. Mom didn’t sound very happy when she answered the phone but she and Dad would be there soon.
My parents showed up just as all the guys were attaching a chain from the truck to the snow-bound car. Through some twisted sense of humor from the snow-gods the large pick-up truck became stuck also. It took almost 2 ½ hours with my Dad’s short-bed pickup truck to get the two stuck vehicles out of the snow.
At the end of the night, I was certain I would never hear from him again. Fifteen months later, we were married and brought the two most wonderful kids into this world.