Another first date during my time in Omaha, Nebraska, was with a tall, thin but attractive man who was a few years older and reminded me of James Taylor.
Kevin took me to the standard dinner and a movie and then wanted to show me his house. It was a summer night, and after the obligatory tour, we sat on his porch (I had an aversion to being too close to the bedroom on first dates).
A sadness permeated the air around him. He had been dumped by “the one.”
“I am ready to get married,” Kevin said. “I have a house. I want a family.”
Whoa. We just had our first dinner together. I barely know you. You barely know me. I might pick my nose at the breakfast table. Don’t you want to find out before you propose?
Had I been older and wiser or a therapist, I might’ve said, “I feel your pain. You seem like a good guy, but you need to get over your old relationship first before you start dating again.”
“This is clearly not working for me. You are coming across as a pathetic loser” (maybe a therapist wouldn’t have said that last part).
It was hard to get excited about me being the replacement for “the one that got away” so that this guy could get on with his planned life.
What if she liked to fox trot and I preferred swing (I do)?
What if she loved Mexican food and I wanted Thai (I don’t)?
What if she liked long walks on the beach, and I didn’t do any kind of water sports?
Omaha was/is a big coed softball town. Lots of couples get a diamond after meeting on the diamond. Not me. I stank at softball. My coach told me to quit. Seriously, I was that bad. What if Kevin had planned a softball wedding with a softball mitt ice sculpture, and then he would find out down the road that I couldn’t catch a pop-up to save my life? Come to think of it, they call them fly balls.
What if? What if? What if? Kevin was eliminating the courting part of the relationship and going straight for the big reward – long-term commitment.
Cute as he was, I wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t want to be the replacement bag in the vacuum cleaner of life, or the spare tire in the car of life. Or the extra batteries in the flashlight of life. You get my drift. The lifesaver in the boat of life. I wanted to be part of the beginning of a relationship, not get plugged in halfway through.
I didn’t have a second date with Kevin. As they say, timing is everything, and his timing and my timing were not in sync. He might’ve made a great husband and dad. But he seemed so desperate. And incredibly sad. I was too inexperienced in my own life to see that or to want to help him.
Couldda Wouldda Shouldda
If I would’ve fallen for Kevin, I’d have twelve grandchildren in Omaha by now. We would’ve added on to the house and taken polka lessons on Thursday nights and would now be proudly displaying the Greater Omaha Polka Championship trophy on our fireplace mantel in our new family room.
Kevin would’ve done some side work as a James Taylor impersonator at company parties to buy me a bigger diamond for our 25th wedding anniversary. I would’ve given him a framed photo of the entire family to hang over the fireplace, but not so big as to block the trophy.