First Date


Dating was a very public affair in my family, what with so many young ones under foot at any given moment, as I am the second oldest of eight children. All of the guys who chose to date and then eventually marry the girls in our family, Marsha’s John, my Rolly, Jeannie’s Steve, Kathy’s George (Jody to us) , and Janice’s Al, came from much smaller families. Each of these guys revealed, in later years, some of the panic, if not sheer terror, they felt coming to our house and waiting for that very first date. In honour of the first date that Rolly and I ever had, many years later I wrote him the following poem in which I try to catch a bit of the inner thought processes he just might have been experiencing. He will, of course, until his dying day, deny the bit about taking part in any  giggling:

First Date

I took off my shoes at your back porch door

And stepped in onto the gleaming floor

That you must have polished the day before—

It smelled like lemon pie.

Your little brother began to gawk

At an obscene peephole in my sock

As though it were some bubonic pock

And I was about to die.

Your mother asked if I’d like to sit—

I might have to wait a little bit,

So I sank in a chair where I didn’t fit

And I felt like a sideshow act.

Your brother finally went outside,

Where he pushed against the screen and spied

’Til your mother warned that she’d tan his hide,

So he left, with the screen intact.

It felt like 93° in the shade,

And your mother poured me some lemonade

She said that you had freshly made,

And then she left the room.

Alone at last, I achieved my goal—

I yanked at the heel and pulled the hole

From the toe of my sock down to the sole,

And escaped impending doom.

I wanted to scratch, didn’t think that I should;

When I heard the sound of creaking wood

I glanced around and there you stood;

The room was suddenly hushed.

You were radiant as a summer day,

Fragrant as apple blossoms in May;

Neither of us knew just what to say;

You giggled and I blushed.

Behind us the screen door slammed again

As I put on those dusty shoes and then

Your mother called out “Be back by ten!”

We giggled and blushed some more.

This poem, First Date, is a semi- fictional account of  the melded memories of  several of the guys— glazed over  just a wee bit for flavour— kind of like canned ham! In reality, what actually happened to Rolly, while he waited for me to finish dressing for our date, was that he sat down on the couch rather than a chair and was immediately joined by my baby brother Donny. He, being the affectionate child that he was, snuggled in close and planted a nice big kiss on Rolly’s cheek. Donny loved everybody and everybody loved him. As a preschooler he had very little experience with the great wide world; I guess  he must have figured that this big handsome 6 foot one fella who had come to take his sister out for the evening deserved to be rewarded!

Thinking back on that moment now, I am reminded of II Corinthians 13:12 which says “Greet one another with a holy kiss.”—a totally honest, open, and loving  greeting  of pure sweetness. There was probably never a better example of  it than that !  I look forward to sharing  just such a moment on some bright and beautiful  future day— the day when I shall greet again my two special brothers-in law, John Davidson, and Stephen Smith who have already stepped in onto another gleaming  floor. One that shone for each of them, not from being polished on hands and knees, in anticipation of each of their arrivals, but rather because it is made of  pure gold.

About Yvonne's Musings

Being the second of eight kids born in 11 years to my busy parents ultimately was a real advantage to me. I learned very early that if you wanted to be heard amidst all the noise the best way to accomplish it was to write your thoughts down. My first post to my mother," i hate skool. i cried at skool tooday!" was stuck with ABC chewing gum to the lid of the diaper pail, where I was certain that she would find it. Her attention quickly elicited in me a love of writing that has been life long. Seeking a wider audience I have decided to now, decades later, blog. Happy reading Mom! This is for you!

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