Our friend Steve Lamb posted a blog on this site Jan. 28, 2011, entitled, "Twenty-less Fifth Anniversary" relating how he met his wife Susan, lost her for many years, and then found her again.
Steve, baby, you had the opportunity of a lifetime!
First, you got it right by meeting at a roller skating rink in the 1960s. This was definitely the best place to pick up chicks at the time. You didn't get the "run around girls" or the "only church activity" types at the rink. The rink was an acceptable, family place to go -- often with a brother or two sent along for "company."
Second, Steve, you mentioned white pants, a good approach -- an opportunity to shout, "I care how I look." Personally, I would have suggested dark pants, white shirt (there was no other color at the time), a now-antiquated Cardigan sweater, and most definitely a solid-color tie. At least looking like a gentleman gave the best choice of prettiest girls. Didn't know Susan in those days, but Kay was probably prettier.
But then, Steve, baby, you blew it!
Being an accomplished skater was unnecessary and possibly counter-productive. The good female skaters wanted a guy they could teach, and the average skaters a guy they could keep up with. Never admit to being able to skate any way but forward (this was easy for me, it was actually the only way I could).
Didn't you even know that if you went skating only to meet chicks, the only reason she was there was to pick up boys? Should have asked her for a date -- someplace public, socially acceptable, and out of the ordinary. Did Brazil Indiana have a Planetarium in 1965?
It would have helped to have seen South Pacific before you met the love of your life. If you'd ever heard Ezio Pinza sing "Some Enchanted Evening" you would have known (albeit in retrospect) exactly what was happening.
Some enchanted evening
you may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
across a crowded room
and somehow you know,
you know even then
that somewhere you'll see her
Again and again.
Once you have found her,
never let her go.
Once you have found her,
never let her go!
Of course, I am (quite) a bit older than you, so when Kay and I met at Hodges Roller Rink on Feb. 12, 1965, I may have been in a better position to know I had met the only woman I would ever love. I asked her to go with me the following Sunday, what girl without a date on Valentine's Day could turn a fellow down? As I have written before and said publicly, I never looked back nor to the right hand or the left.
There is another song from one of those boring musicals my parents made me attend, Camelot, which includes lines suitable for any man for as many Valentine Days as made available to him:
How to handle a woman?
There's a way," said the wise old man,
"A way known by ev'ry woman
since the whole rigmarole began."
"Do I flatter her?" I begged him answer.
"Do I threaten or cajole or plead?
Do I brood or play the gay romancer?"
Said he, smiling: "No indeed.
"How to handle a woman?
Mark me well, I will tell you, sir:
The way to handle a woman
is to love her...simply love her...
Merely love her...love her...love her."
Steve, baby, that advice might have gotten you an additional 25 Valentines, it helped me appreciate what is now 47 such days.
David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.