For a special Valentine's treat, my lovely bride Cindy and I thought that you might be interested in hearing of how we began to be us. (After all, others are doing that kind of mushy stuff with the help of Mr. Linky.)
Therefore, here is the story of US.
I was born at a very young age, the second son to a humble white couple living in the burbs outside St. Louis. I have very few memories of those first few years. However, I do distinctly remember our dog Ginger who ran away and probably got hit by a car. That was fortunate because I was allergic to dogs.
The weird thing about this particular memory is that I found out two years ago that we never even owned a dog named Ginger.
That revelation made me question other memories I thought were real. (Perhaps my parents were never in ABBA? And my grandpa didn't invent Noxema?)
Like most love stories, ours began while singing together in our college's Concert Choir. I was looking especially hot in my black tuxedo, and Cindy was simply radiant in a black, floor-length number with puffy sleeves and a huge bow on the bootie...or maybe no bow? It's hard to remember because I was lost in her long, beautiful curly red hair.
She was so easy to talk to, so friendly. That made her a terrific listener when I talked with her about the girl I had a crush on, Kathy.
"What?" you ask. "I thought this was the love story of Scott and Cindy." Well, into every life a little rain must fall, and my rain was named Kathy. And she fell like a thud one night when I finally got the nerve up to ask about the status of our relationship. I crawled out from under the flaming wreckage, and Cindy was there with the Jaws Of Life to help me grieve. [end of bad analogy]
After the state-mandated 11-hour mourning period, I arranged for friends to talk Cindy into asking me out. The dual reason for that was 1) I was dirt poor and would have liked a better first date than McDonald's, and B) Well, really mainly just that poverty thing. I couldn't afford to wait for my next paycheck from my gig at the cafeteria pot-scrubbing station. Time was of the essence. After all, this was a Christian college, and those types sometimes meet and get married within days; I didn't want to risk losing Cindy to one of them crazy preacher-types before payday.
So the date was arranged, and Cindy took me on a double date with these friends to a brothel (or whorehouse). Before you say, "Way to go, Cindy," I must clarify that this house of ill-repute had been shut down years before and turned into a restaurant, but I believe it still had gaudy lamp shades. You clearly cannot run a brothel--or brothel-themed restaurant for that matter--without gaudy lampshades...and bad wallpaper.
I can't remember what we ate, but since I already prefaced this story with a warning about incorrect memories, I figure I can get away with just guessing that we had steak, lobster, salad, pumpernickel bread and tuna casserole. Again, I could be wrong.
Then, we drove even farther out into the nowhere that is northeast Tennessee and found a dance hall. An honest-to-goodness dance hall with old people and everything. It essentially felt like a roller rink without the 80's music or video games. There, the most amazing thing happened. Some 70-year-old man named Herb stole my date. But at least he had the decency to offer his wife Dorita in return.
First the brothel, now the partner-swapping. This was shaping up to be quite a first date. I had every reason to expect a proposal by midnight.
Well, Herb and Dorita each taught us the various intricacies of the two-step. Essentially, we took a lot of steps, two at a time. But it sure was nice of those two to help us, what with the confusion of all the new math in those days. Eventually, they set us free to try dancing on our own, and we two-stepped the night away.
I must have known in advance that she was going to take me dancing, because I just now remembered that this was the only date I'd been on that I seriously stressed about what to wear. I even borrowed clothes from a roommate. AND I'M A GUY. What guy borrows clothes for a date? That's just queer. I think I borrowed cowboy boots, too, so that counteracts the queerness, right?
Well, back at campus after the date, we went for a long walk. I remember it being misty, or maybe my eyes were just watery from the emotions of the evening. I think I asked if she'd let me kiss her. And I think she must've have said yes, because there's this matter of this being the first and only time I'd ever kissed on the first date.
Of course, finicky Kathy came crawling back two days later after rethinking what a catch I was. Unfortunately for her, Cindy had already two-stepped her way into my heart. The next weekend I took Cindy to a school dance that I had originally asked Kathy to. Since it was so last minute, Cindy needed to find a dress, so of course, she borrowed the one Kathy was going to wear. Does stuff like that happen outside of Christian colleges?
Then we spent the next year and a half driving each other absolutely crazy with the alternating periods of insanity and lucidity that often accompany a match made in heaven.
We were engaged 19 months after our first date, and married 7 months after that. I'll have to let Cindy tell about the engagement. It involved a wadded up piece of used gum, and it really makes me look bad.
Then the wedding was the best day ever with the limos and orchestra and the pope and all.
It even rivaled the day my long-lost dog Ginger came back home.