This Valentine’s Day, our own Jim Hills recounts his first date with his wife, Bonnie.
We had met at a freshman activity, but nothing came of that. I don’t like those activities and was glad when I could escape. I’d been forced into conversation with this girl as part of some sort of social game, and neither of us had much to say. An hour later, I didn’t remember her at all.
But several weeks later, I was walking across campus and heard a beautiful soprano voice floating on the warm California evening air. I followed the sound, looked in the window and saw this cute, petite girl filling up the room with sound. How could that much sound be coming from that five-foot-two frame, which, I noticed, was a very nice frame indeed?
I went in and sat down. She and the piano player looked at me.
I said, “No, please go on. I love the voice.”
She went on a little longer. Then the piano player left, and I stuck around.
I must have asked her out, because Friday evening found us walking to the Dairy Queen. which stretched my budget. I was wearing a white sweater, and ordered a raspberry sundae, a risky move for me in a white sweater.
I successfully managed the purple and white sundae until the very last spoonful, when some of the topping suddenly added a swatch of color to my white sweater.
“Well,” I thought, “that probably ends any possible future with this cutie. Who wants to go out with a guy who dribbles food down his shirt?”
But she didn’t seem to mind. I’d like to remember that she bunched up a paper napkin and dabbed the mess off my chest, but that might be just wishful thinking, I’m not sure.
I do know she has done it any number of times since.
I never dated anyone else. I liked her voice, I liked her laugh, I liked her scent. And, okay, there was that petite, well-arranged frame. I liked that, too.
Her bubbly personality was a nice balance to my preference for a quiet spot under a tree with a book.
We married the day after graduation, 53 years ago this May. Turns out she was a good cook, too.
Would I do it again? You mean like tomorrow? I like her voice, her laugh, and… well, that’s all I’m going to say about that.
In ten minutes, I’ll lock my door here and head in her direction. I like thinking about that.