It’s Our Fortieth
by Bella Rum
Norman Rockwell ~ Sunset
That makes four decades of waking up with a guy I met on a blind date.
A friend of mine at work was dating a marine in Norfolk. He wanted to visit her, but he had no car. She told me I had to go out with her friend so that we could double. Yes, I said double. Do they still call it that?
According to her, the friend had a 68 Dodge Charger, an 8-track cassette player, and a steady job. How could I ask for a more stellar recommendation?
I’d never been on a blind date. I wasn’t crazy about the idea, but I felt pressured to do it. My friend’s car was in the shop, and the marine was far from home, and he only had access to public transportation. She needed a way to see this guy. He took the bus from Norfolk, and H provided transportation from that point.
I wore the most fabulous mini dress you’ve ever laid eyes on, and I had the legs to go with it. Don’t ask me what happened to them – the dress or the legs. We went to dinner at a place called the Satellite Club. It was neither a club or a satellite or even a very good restaurant. I had scallops and he had steak. When H told the waitress that he wanted his steak well done (It took years to convince him to go medium.), she walked over to swinging doors, bumped one open with her knee, and yelled at the top of her lungs, “Well done, Rosie.” I swear. H called me the other day and told me he was driving past it. He said the building was still there, but now it’s a crab house.
He turned out to be the polar opposite of my family. My family was big on drama, saying whatever popped into their minds, and extravagant gestures. His family was reserved, even-tempered, subtle. Subtle? What was that?
H was like them. He didn’t have too many psychological wrinkles. He was comfortable with himself, a hard worker, and smart. He was laid back and didn’t seem to be driven by personal demons.
My background was replete with family violence, alcoholism, and general chaos. He was as calming and quenching as iced water in July. To this day, I can’t believe I was smart enough to realize what he was, and more importantly, that he would be good for me and to me.
Like most marriages of a certain duration, we’ve had a child together, buried parents and friends and siblings together, we’ve struggled through terrible times when the testosterone and hormones still fueled arguments and seemingly unresolvable disagreements, we’ve cared for an aging parent together, and we have two incredible grandchildren. Things are good now, but they have not always been, nor will they always be. I can’t say what’s coming. Illness for sure, but who knows what else? Maybe the best is yet to come. I’ve never been good at predicting the future. It always surprises me.
I do know one thing for sure. H and I will be together till the Satellite Club becomes a strip bar. Yep! How do I know that for sure… cuz he can’t run as fast as he used to.
We’ve had a very good run, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone but H.