The Cast: Cindy (my future wife and the lady with a car), Erich (one of my best friends and the big idea guy), Richard (the guy with a car and one of my best friends), Kim (an ex-girlfriend and still a good friend), Shasta (a new friend—not the soda), Myself (of course, along for the ride).
My wife would tell of a different first meeting between her and I. She would tell of how—on the night before I remember meeting her—a group of friends drove off to a nearby lake, late at night, to avoid having to pay the entry fee. With the local police officer officer finding us immediately, letting us off with a warning and sending us home. That is what she might tell you. But this is the story of when I remember meeting her for the first time.
On a slow summer day Erich had the idea of going with Richard to his job the next day. That way we could get out of town for a little while, and since Richard worked at an ice cream/burger joint, it could be fun. It sounded fun. It wasn’t. Richard wasn’t any fun. He claimed that he couldn’t just hang out because he had work to do, or something like that. Erich and I sat there in the greasy spoon booths getting bored. There were no customers, except Erich and myself, and we had no money. This was a terrible idea and we still had seven and a half hours to go.
Erich needed out, so did I, then he remembered a girl he had a blind date with. And more importantly, she had a car! To get a hold of her we would need Kim. With the use of a quarter—thank you Richard—and a payphone, we contacted Kim and she relayed our desire for freedom. But it would take some time before Cindy would be able to come and get us. So we settled into a booth to wait for Erich’s former date. I fell asleep but I will never forget what I saw when I awoke.
As the door opened, a little bell on the door jingled, my eyes opened, my head turned to the left to see… A girl, the most beautiful girl I ever saw. The sunlight was streaming in from behind her, illuminating her, as if she were aglow. Her long hair flowing in the gentle breeze. There were birds singing, tiny cupids drawing little red hearts in the air around her gorgeous face and I heard angels sing, “Ahhhhhhh!”. I was so twitterpated and overcome I didn’t know what to do, so I just turned my head and pretended to go back to sleep.
After a little chatting it was decided that we would leave Richard behind—he had work, sorry buddy—and go get Kim—since she did call Cindy—and then go have some fun. We picked up Kim at Shasta’s house, so now there were five. I found half a pot of warm mac & cheese on the stove and asked to have some, Cindy wanted some too. Trying to be smooth and cool I divided the pot in half and we began to eat. I went slow—even though I could have sucked it all down in seconds—and as we ate Cindy crossed the line and began to eat my mac & cheese. How dare she?! She was stealing my food! And my heart. Pretty and a minx. I quickly moved from twitterpated to smitten to love.
The five of us scavenged enough money to pay for entrance of four to the local drive-in, plus change. But since there were five of us someone either had to stay behind or hide in the back under some coats. Kim wasn’t climbing back there, my conscience wouldn’t let me, Shasta was a little big, and Cindy was the driver, so that left… Erich was more than willing to “take one for the team” and climbed into the back before the rest of us could finish our thought.
Feeling crowded, Shasta left the backseat and sat outside at the front of the car. Erich, having once dated Cindy, sat in the passenger seat, a bag of popcorn the size of a 12 year old, between them. I was in the backseat with my ex. That night I learned it is difficult to see a movie at a drive-in from the backseat and why other things happen back there. Kim offered to let me lay my head on her lap so I could watch the movie, Far and Away. The rear view mirror still blocked part of my view and as Cindy tried to move it, it snapped off. Nothing to obscure my view now. Being in the backseat with Kim I tried to make sure it wasn’t used “properly” so I asked for popcorn. I don’t like popcorn.
I spent the rest of the movie asking for popcorn and throwing it everywhere, a few popcorn kernels at a time. This kept my hands busy and prevented them from possibly being held. I later learned after Cindy dropped us all off and went home there was three inches of popcorn all over the floor of her car. Years later, she would tell me of the more, um, interesting places she found it when she changed into her pajamas that night.
After some time of becoming friends, Cindy and I began to date. Eventually, after years of asking, I wore her down and she agreed to marry me. We have been married for over 20 years now and she is still the most beautiful girl I have ever seen. Happy Valentine’s Day beloved.