I’ve reposted this from last year, so now it’s 36 years since I met and married the love of my life!
I had rushed home from work and hurriedly jumped in the shower to be sure I had time to redo my make up and pick out just the right outfit to wear. First official date with a new older guy and I wanted him to sit up and take notice, but not assume I was more experienced than I was. That’s expecting a lot from clothes, I know, but I wanted to look just right! Because I took the train to and from the city, it was past 6:30 before I got home and I’d asked him to pick me up around 7:30. And I still had to feed the cats and blow dry my hair…
He got there right on time and since it was early November, I’d finally decided to wear dark brown velvet slacks, a clingy coral scoop neck top and brown boots. The look on his face when I opened my apartment door assured me that I had made the right choice. We went to a club that had live music and he found us a quiet table and ordered drinks.
I was starving, but I didn’t want to seem like I expected him to buy me dinner, so I drank my drink, we talked and danced some slow dances and talked and laughed and, after a while, had another drink.
Now I’m the first to admit I’ve always been kind of a lightweight with alcohol, but this was a Friday night, I’d been up since 6 a.m. and the last time I’d eaten was probably around noon. I’m not sure if I actually ate or had a diet soda and a cigarette, which was sometimes lunch, I’m ashamed to say.
After two or three drinks I was feeling a little light headed. My sweet date noticed that I might have been getting a little woozy and asked me if I was feeling all right. I sheepishly admitted I hadn’t had anything to eat since lunch and wasn’t much of a drinker.
He felt terrible because he assumed when I told him not to pick me up until 7:30 p.m. that I’d already eaten dinner and just wanted to get drinks. He kept apologizing and suggesting places to go eat, but I was so flustered that I told him it was late and I didn’t think I could eat anything.
By the time he got me home, I was feeling better and we ended up steaming up the car windows a little bit, until somehow he got his watchband caught on the waistband of my velvet pants. Setting me carefully back in my own seat, he told me sternly that was it, he was walking me upstairs before things went any farther that night.
And a little less than seven months later, we got married on a beautiful day in May, 35 years ago today! We still laugh about our first date and I promised a friend that I’d write a post about it.
So thanks for all the wonderful memories, sweetheart, and all the great ones we still have to make!
We have my husband’s family reunion coming up over Memorial Day weekend and we struggle each year to get everyone to participate and even how to go about arranging it. Like a lot of families, we have people living in many different states but we always travel to Tennessee, which is where the family began.
This year one of the things I’m bringing is Milky Way cake, from a recipe passed down from my mother-in-law that my boys always request for their birthdays or holidays. It’s so good and holiday calories don’t count, right? 🙂
Does anyone else do a family reunion and have any ideas to pass along? How do you handle the food?
Here’s the cake recipe:
Milky Way Cake (makes one three layer cake)
8 regular size Milky Way bars
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup pecans (optional)
1/2 t. baking soda
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
Cream one stick butter and sugar and set aside. Melt one stick butter and candy bars in double boiler until candy is melted. Beat eggs into sugar and butter one at a time. Put baking soda in buttermilk, then add to melted candy bar mixture (take off of heat). Add chocolate mixture to butter and sugar and beat, then add flour a little at a time and beat to combine. Add nuts, chopped, if using.
Put into three round 8 inch pans, greased and floured, and bake at 325 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes.
(You will need to make this recipe twice for each recipe of frosting and to make two three-layer cakes)
2 ½ cups sugar
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
1 stick butter
6 oz. chocolate chips
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff
Cook sugar and milk over medium heat (until soft ball stage) about 3 minutes after it comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Add 1 stick butter, chocolate chips, marshmallow fluff, beat until smooth. Cool until almost cold before frosting cakes.
The cakes freeze well, frosted or unfrosted, wrapped well in plastic wrap and then foil.
You can find earlier excerpts from The Reunion here
“Brian, I do understand, but Casey’s what, 18, 19? And she is going to be out from under her parents’ roofs pretty soon anyway. You won’t have a lot of say so when she’s away at school, especially what she’s doing at night or on the weekends. It sounds like you did a great job raising her and now you’ll have to trust her to make good choices.“
Whoops, she knew she’d really stepped into it when his smile thinned and his eyes narrowed. “And you know this from your vast experience with child rearing?”
“Wow, sorry, of course not. No kids here. I didn’t mean to overstep. I haven’t even seen you in years and here I am giving you advice on your teenager –“
“No, I’m the one who’s sorry. I just apologized for how I treated you years ago and I’m being an ass again. Of course you’ve got opinions about how teenaged girls act. You were one. Your ideas are probably worth more than mine.” He looked up at her and she could see the sadness in his eyes. “It seems like Casey’s gone from being Daddy’s little girl to this almost grown up overnight and I hate it. I mean, she used to care what I thought and talk to me about everything!”
“Oh, Brian, I’m sure she still cares. Maybe it’s different for girls, this breaking away from being someone’s child and learning to live on their own. I know it was like some huge declaration of independence for me. It’s why I wanted to go out of state to college – get as far away from the little town and my parents as I could. Otherwise, I’d always just be mom and dad’s little girl.”
He looked down at his dinner plate and struggled to regain his composure. Just thinking about the recent issues with Casey was enough to drive him crazy. And here at dinner with Jen was not the place. He should be focusing on her.
“Forget I said anything about it. I’m sure she’ll come around.” With an effort, he changed the subject. “So tell me what you did after you went away to school.”
And Jen proceeded to tell him about how his not taking her to prom was actually a good thing because it had served as a catalyst to get her to change her life, come out of her shell, take care of herself by eating better and exercising and caring about her appearance. And that led to a boyfriend and then another whom she married after graduation and lived with in the Chicago area. But the marriage only lasted four years and even though she dated now on and off, it seemed as though she’d not found anyone she wanted to keep seeing.
“So it’s just you and Jack now?” he asked, his eyes teasing.
“Oh, yeah, and he’s a sweetheart for sure. And the perfect speed, too. He’ll do walks around the block or the neighborhood, but then he’s more than happy to snooze next to me on the couch while we watch a movie. He’s a real snuggler.”
“A real snagger is more the word I was thinking,” Brian laughed. “I still can’t believe he stole my underwear while I was coming out of the shower.”
“He does love a good game of chase!” Jen laughed. And when she saw the glint in Brian’s eyes her breath caught. Apparently he wasn’t upset with her anymore.
“Well, who doesn’t love a good game of chase?” he leaned forward and casually picked up one of her hands, running his fingers over hers. She was aware of how much larger and harder his fingers were, a little roughened from the carpentry work, obviously stronger than hers. Now that she thought about it, everything about him was larger and stronger than she remembered.