Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Part III Green is not my color

After our snow cone date I sent Ron an email thanking him for the evening. I didn’t feel any pressure or have any expectation of seeing him again. We just continued emailing each other off and on for the next few months. Nothing was ever mentioned about getting together again and that was just fine with me. Then around the second week in December Ron called me and invited me to the Nutcracker ballet. He told me he had 2 season tickets to the ballet and would I like to see the Christmas production. I said sure and the following Saturday he picked me up and we drove to Oklahoma City to the ballet. He was a perfect gentlemen and I had a wonderful time. Our conversation was minimal but I wasn’t uncomfortable with the silence. He played Christmas cd’s in the car and we sang along to all the familiar carols. He drove me straight home after the performance and we exchanged a quick good-bye at the door. It was perfect, no pressure, and no expectation just a nice evening with an old friend.

The following week he took me to hear Manheim Steam Roller and the Oklahoma City Symphony. After the performance we took a drive through the city to look at Christmas lights. I was having a wonderful time just getting out and doing things with a great companion. I finally got the nerve to tell my daughters I’d actually been going out with someone but promptly informed them that it was not a romantic relationship but just an old friend. They were actually very encouraging and said they were happy to see me getting out of the house. I had really dreaded telling the girls and definitely underestimated them. I failed to realize they were grown up. I never dated when they were younger because they were so possessive and wouldn’t tolerate anyone they considered an intruder. I rarely rocked the boat by going out with anyone. Now, here they were, all grown up and giving me dating advice. They even went so far as critiquing my wardrobe and selecting clothes they thought would at least bring me into the current century.

The Christmas season ended and Ron and I picked up with our email contact and an occasional phone call. Although we never went out again I was still enjoying our occasional talks. He was a great listener and we talked through some difficult times that year. I was able to share my grief when a dear friend committed suicide. It was wonderful to have someone to listen to me and help me work through my unanswered questions and pain. It was easier because the relationship was not complicated by any romantic interest by either of us. I wrote to him about my daughter’s move to another state and how I was going to miss her. He was the first I told when she told me she was in love. He was also one of the first I told when she announced her engagement and upcoming Vegas wedding. So in July, the day my other daughter and I were flying to Vegas for Julie’s wedding, I wasn’t totally surprised when Ron showed up on my front porch. He brought me a silver dollar to bet on his behalf in Vegas and to extend his best wishes to my daughter. I was happy to see him again even though we had never really lost contact.

When I showed my daughter the silver dollar on the plane she teasingly exclaimed, “What, is it Christmas time already?” She was referring to Ron being a holiday date only. But Ron surprised us both by asking me out in September. He just called out of the blue and invited me to go to the state fair. I was excited to go since I hadn’t been to the fair since I was a kid. He purchased tickets to Disney on Ice and we had front row seats to Monsters Inc. It was very cute and at some point during the show he uncharacteristically slipped his arm around me to ward off the chill of the ice. After the show we walked around the fair and through the mid-way and ending up at a karaoke show under a pavilion. I was sensing something had changed between us but it was so subtle I couldn’t be sure. Ron had always taken my hand to guide me to and from the car but this time he would take my hand and linger a bit longer than usual. We decided we would dare to ride a few rides before leaving the fair and I chose what I felt sure would be tame. We rode the monorail with its bird's eye view and the giant farris wheel. Ron however decided we should ride a giant wheel that spun its passengers faster and faster while tilting on its axis. I thought I could handle it so I was game until I found myself strapped in so tight I couldn’t even turn my head from side to side. The wheel began turning picking up speed all while beginning to tilt until you were literally parallel to the ground and the passenger standing across from you. The ride had barely begun when I began talking to Jesus. The rider across from me didn’t know whether to be afraid of the ride or me. Ron was laughing so hard at me I could hear him over the sound of the wheel and my own screams. At some point I began bargaining with the Almighty and swore I’d never say or do a mean thing again as long as I lived if He would just get me off this wheel of torture alive. When the ride finally ended I was a lovely shade of green and sick as a dog. Ron was still having trouble controlling his laughter so we decided it was time to say good-bye to the fair.

It was about a 45-minute drive back to my house and just enough time for my stomach to finally come to a complete stop. Ron helped me from the car and walked me to the door as he had done many times before. I opened the glass door and put my key in the door and as I unlocked it I turned around to thank Ron for the evening. With no warning what so ever he pulled me close and kissed me. It wasn’t a peck goodnight but a real kiss our first kiss. I can’t describe it other than to say that for the first time in my life my knees actually buckled beneath me. My response was as unexpected and as big a surprise as him actually kissing me. So there, standing on my porch with my knees weak and my heart pounding, I knew that everything between us was about to change.


kenju said...

And you just HAD to stop the story here, didn't you??!! Darn it all. What a cliffhanger this is. Finish, please.....LOLOL

Arkansas Patti said...

I am loving this very sweet,tender yet funny story. The ride account cracked me up. Looking forward to more.