Other than her first name, I don’t remember much about Mona. I don’t even remember her last name. I do remember she was a short and petite girl. I don’t remember what her face looked like. I would not be able to pick her out of a lineup if I had to today. I don’t remember how we met or how many times we went out, but somehow, strange as it sounds, I was engaged to her. If you would like to speak about God intervening in your life, this would be a case study. God changed the course of my life by ending this relationship. He knew I was young and stupid and lonely; he knew this was not the girl for me. You would probably not know the man I am now, if I had continued with Mona. Who knows what I would have been, probably a prisoner in the state prison.
My brother knew someone who had a friend that they thought I should go out with. I agreed thinking that this would be a one night event. Blind dates were new to me. The arrangement was to meet at the friend’s apartment and then go to a drive in movie. I arrived at the apartment a little early and waited for my mystery date to arrive. Her name was Teresa Baskin.
Many of you may only think of me as I am now; dashingly handsome, dignified, suave and brilliantly witty. But that was not the case on a warm night in May of 1970. Poised for greatness, on my 165 pound boy like frame, I was fashionably dressed in a pull over Henley shirt, two toned light and dark green striped bell bottoms that resembled a Rush Springs watermelon and a pair of ankle high boots. Back in the day, I had a lot of black hair that stopped at my shoulders. It would have gone lower, but it began to curl at my shoulders. My sideburns were trimmed at my jaw line. I’m sure many thought I was Robert Wagner in the title role of “Prince Valiant”. What a heart stopping image I must have cut. How I kept women from hitting on me constantly I will never know!
I was seating in an easy chair flipping through a magazine, when I heard the knock at the front door. The friend opened the door and my date entered. I’m sure she thought that I was rude by not standing when she was introduced to me, but I could not stand. I was stunned, for before me was the most beautiful girl in the entire world! People write songs about girls that look like her. Blond hair, classic beautiful features of chocolate mink colored eyes, a straight narrow nose, an incredible smile framed by wonderfully shaped lips, and an enviable chin and jawline. As not to embarrass any one, I will just say she had a curvy figure that sent me over the edge. Do you remember in the Disney film “Bambi”, when Thumper meets his girlfriend? That was me! My heart was doing what Thumper’s feet did.
I keep thinking, “This girl is going to go out with meeee, with meeeee!!” Well, at least she would one time! I would have to step up, no – go beyond my game! If I had an A+ game, tonight was the night to bring it.
She wore a white blouse with a plaid skirt, a crochet vest, and buckled shoes with a two inch heel. She brought a scarf to wear in the form of a men’s neck tie. She said she didn’t know how to tie a men’s neck tie and asked me to tie it for her. The only time I had ever worn a neck tie was a year earlier to have my senior picture taken. I told her I would try. The closest I got was tying it in a square knot. She frowned and said, “I could have done that!” And I’m thinking, “I wish you had instead of me.” Without looking at the scoreboard, I knew from this one little thing, that I had fallen behind on the count.
We left for the movie. I don’t remember the movie, but remember it was at 14 Flags drive-in on Western. We talked and I found out she was going to Central State College, in Edmond and was majoring in Art Education. I took a quick tally of how I compared to her; she was beautiful, I was pathetic. She was smart and getting an education, I was an average guy and getting $3.25 an hour. She apparently was creative; I didn’t know what I was! I thought she must be rich! I envisioned her living in a two story brick house with white ionic columns and a circle drive and a separate garage with service quarters above the garage. I lived in a duplex without hot water. I took cold showers because I didn’t have the money to pay the deposit for natural gas service. I had a Safeway shopping cart in my kitchen used as a clothes hamper. The summation of the tally was I didn’t stand a chance.
After a few verbal probes, I discovered she was looking to be entertained. With the right motivation, I can be entertaining. I highlighted my best feature- a weird sense of humor! By the end of the date, I had made her laugh thirteen and a half times. The half was just a chuckle, so I didn’t get full points for that. I felt like I had gained a point, which pulled me back up to zero.
The date came to an end. She had been entertained for a couple of hours. I had been changed for a lifetime. It seemed she was the one for me, but I’m sure she didn’t feel the same for me. I had never done any long term planning and didn’t have any real dreams, until I met Terrie. Now I wanted to plan my life with this girl beside me. What would I have to do? What would need to change to make her love me? She seemed to represent everything that I could ever hope for. She was beautiful, educated, sophisticated, a supporter of a sarcastic sense of humor. Her smiling face brought warmth and peace to my heart.
I could not keep her off my mind; the thought of her captivated me. It was like a powerful army had overtaken an inferior force. I had to surrender to her. In these thoughts, I became aware that I did not love Mona and I would need to end it with her. So I went to where she was to tell her our engagement was off. Now you may think this sounds bad, but Mona was in St. Anthony’s Hospital at the time. It’s not like she was under an oxygen tent or in an iron lung, she had something like appendicitis or something like that. She was alone and awake, so after asking how she was doing, I told her my news. It may have been her medication, but I’m pretty sure she looked relieved as I spoke. So saying goodbye, I was now free to give myself to the pursuit of capturing Terrie’s heart. And pursue her is what I did!
Thank you for your likes and comments. I hope this story helps you recall that wonderful feeling of love.