My dad, home from Vietnam for one day, met my mother in a bar.
“He was wearing a suit, that’s what I first noticed,” she explained as I asked question after question about their courtship.
“You fell hard and fast, huh Mom?” my brother asked as my Mom smiled and nodded her head in agreement.
“This was even before I bought the Corvette,” my dad adds.
Shocked, I asked, “Even before you bought her a ring!?”
My Mom and Dad met in April and married seven months later on November 28, 1969. As my brother and I quiz them, wanting to know every detail of how their love came to be, I notice that they look at each other when answering the questions and finish each other’s sentences.
My parents recalled their first date, forgetting most of the details except that at some point they went to Dairy Queen. Most of the questions we ask, their answers are fuzzy. They do remember that there wasn’t an official get-down-on-your-knee proposal.
My mom did recall one funny detail, “Your Aunt Jeanie heard that we were going to go pick out a ring and showed up at my parent’s house wanting to see the ring.” The whole idea of marriage apparently was a surprise to my grandmother.
“When I got home Mother said, ‘well, show me the ring.’ My dad was on a business trip, I think. He called and Mother handed me the phone and said, ‘here, you tell him.”
“Well, what did your parents think, Dad?” my brother and I pressed for the details.
“I don’t think they’d met her yet,” my dad explained.
“You know, don’t you,” I asserted, “that this was completely crazy, right?”
And it was crazy. Meeting in April, marrying just a few months later, both of them so young, not even really knowing one another’s families. But crazy became 40 years, 2 children, and a mostly great life together.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. Here’s to 40 years, and to many, many more.