I had some catching up to do in the world of dating relationships! After just one date in high school that was a bust, I needed to get moving! So, now that I had my dating shoes on I was ready to dance! So, let the quest for Prince Charming begin!
Along the way there were a lot of frogs! Too many to mention but these are some of my favorites!
First, there was Randy, who told me he wanted to marry me, but at a friend’s wedding he started talking to another gal behind us in the buffet line, laughing and joking, having a great time! He later told me it was a good thing he met me first because she was pretty cute and he could go out with her! Zap! One frog gone!
Or Bill, the handsome college upperclassman that I asked out for dinner at “turn about” weekend. I told him I wanted to get to know him better. So, he decided to fulfill my wishes and proceeded to talk about HIMSELF the WHOLE TIME, without ever asking me one question about me. When he got done with his monologue, he said, “There, you wanted to get to know me. There you go!” “Check PLEASE!!!” Zap!
Then there was Tim, with his very expensive home in Chicago ( if we had gotten married, I could have stopped working and stayed home) and the sports car he would not take out in the winter weather. He refused to remove the ice from his front porch, saying that the salt or a shovel might ruin the new wooden porch! We came back to his place, after using MY car and the thought occurred to me, as I clung to the railing of the porch, willing myself to the top without slipping on the ice, this guy needed to be zapped!
In college I would take the bus from Chicago back to school and one Sunday night, as I was sitting on the bus, waiting to pull out of the station, the driver helped a blind man maneuver to his seat. I recognized him from school and in a moment of kindness or maybe it was just craziness I announced, “He can sit here!” So, John and I spent the next three hours getting to know each other. Our first date was to see a movie – well, actually I watched it and told him what was happening. And the movie? “If You Could See What I Hear,” a movie about the life of Tom Sullivan, an actor who is blind. John kept saying, “That’s just like me!” What was I getting myself into?
It was January and when we left the movie theater it was blizzarding! And I had never driven the route from the theater back to school. But, no worries. John knew exactly how to get us back. Yes, the blind man knew how to get back! I know! Amazing! I didn’t have the guts to tell him that the electrical system in the car was not the best and the windshield wipers were not working – at all! He asked me if I could see and it took all I had to NOT say, “Oh, about as well as you can right now!” Dating a man who is blind is quite an experience, especially when I would, without meaning to, run him into a tree, only to hear him say, “Would you watch where I’m going??” I learned so much from him and my world was larger after spending time with him. But, once I moved home and away from campus, it seemed that I was not high on his list of priorities. I guess you could say, “Out of earshot, out of mind.” So, I said goodbye, once again. Zap.
I met Rick in dance class. I remember seeing him across the room and thinking, “He’s probably not a Christian, so just walk away!” I avoided eye contact but he came over anyway. He introduced himself and then asked me how my weekend was. I then realized I had a way to let him know where I stood spiritually. “I was at a women’s retreat with my church.” “Oh, really? Which church?” So, I told him where and unbelievably he went there too! This was good! Very good! We got together outside of class for various reasons and the attraction grew. And then he told me he wanted to be straight with me and that he was going to church only as a spiritual seeker. He wasn’t sure what he believed but couldn’t say he believed in God. After realizing my assumptions were WAY off base, I had to let that frog go. But, not until we had one, long awaited kiss. I expected fireworks, tingling, a rush. But there was NOTHING! Hmmm, was God trying to tell me something?
Jeff and I met at his cousin’s wedding. We started to talk, and talked and talked until the wee hours of the morning. As he said goodnight, he gave me a quick peck on the lips and was gone! I couldn’t sleep that night – I was hooked. Even though we lived three hours away we saw each other constantly. We talked of marriage. My family loved him, his family loved me, it was great. Except for this little nagging voice in the back of my mind. We weren’t matched spiritually. He was raised in the church and would say he was a Christian. But, that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted someone whose life was in Christ, completely. I wanted a man who would seek his heavenly Father’s direction and wisdom in making decisions. I wanted someone who would lead our family in prayer, Bible study, and serving. And that wasn’t Jeff. When we finally parted ways he told me that I couldn’t bring him up spiritually but he could bring me down, and that’s what he had been doing. So, we said goodbye, once again. He called my mom a couple of years later and told her he was married. And that when it’s right, it’s really right. I didn’t zap this one, just lovingly let it go to another pond.
And then there was Paul. I knew him from the singles’ group at church. We talked here and there. And I found him very attractive. I had hoped for a long year he would ask me out! A year! FINALLY! He asked me to a movie Saturday night. Earlier that day my sister, brother and I had planned to go and record some songs for the surprise 25th Anniversary party we were planning for my parents.
On the way to make the recording, we were in an accident. This was before seat belts were a law so I flew forward, putting my teeth through the dashboard, splitting open my chin with blood all over the place. The paramedics put me on a backboard and took me and my sister to the hospital. Now, remember, I’ve been waiting a year to go out with Paul. A year! So, I asked the paramedic if I could go on this hot date I had. My sister could not believe that was all I could think about! But, I had waited a year!! This was a big date! The paramedic said he thought it would be ok, as long as I didn’t do any heavy kissing! Good!
We got to the ER and just to make sure, I asked the doctor if I could go on my hot date. He too, said, as long as you don’t do any heavy kissing! Then he put a 5″ bandage on my chin over the 5-6 stitches. There you go! The date was on! I called Paul when I got home and told him what happened. He said no problem. He could come over and watch TV. I begged my dad to let me go out on this date. He finally agreed as long as I wore the neck brace they sent me home with.
So, here I am on this date, bandage on my chin and neck brace holding my head up! I was so pretty! We got to the movie theater and some people were crossing the driveway. They did a double take and quick-thinking Paul reached over and started to pretend to hit my arm. The look on their faces was worth the laugh! But then we realized we were at the wrong theater and we drove back to my parents’ house to sit and talk in the car. Well… Paul talked, and I tried to stay awake. I’m not sure if the pain meds were kicking in or Paul’s voice was lulling me to sleep. All I knew was, I couldn’t keep my eyes open! I knew it had to be the meds or the stress of the long day, until I talked with my friend, Mary, who had gone out with Paul once. She said it was just once because he was so boring to talk to. All I can say is, there was never any heavy kissing with that frog!
So, does Prince Charming exist? Was this quest all in vain? Would I ever find my soul mate? I just wanted to be like Cinderella and find true happiness! Lasting happiness!
We are so surrounded by fairy tale notions that don’t quite align with real life. A book that helped me look differently at my relationships during this time was “The Cinderella Syndrome: Discovering God’s plan When Your Dreams Don’t Come True.” by Lee Ezell. I highly recommend it!