Nicky went back to Connecticut to see his mother.
“You’ve got to meet this cute Italian girl working in my office,” a friend said.
“I’m only here for a week,” Nicky said.
“My wife is in night class with a cute Italian girl,” another friend said. “You two should meet.”
“I’m only here for a week,” Nicky said, “but what the heck?”
The friend and his wife had Nicky and cute Donna over for dinner. She turned out to be the same girl who worked in his other friend’s office.
Nicky met her and thought, I’m going to marry her.
Donna thought he was a good dresser in his Banlon shirt and chino pants. His full head of hair didn’t hurt, either.
Nicky went back to California where he sold Pontiacs. He called Donna and courted her, long distance.
Then his sister decided to help. Mary Ann told Donna, “Let’s go visit Nicky in California.”
Donna said yes. The new couple had another week together, along with MaryAnn.
Nicky had decided to propose, even though he’d only spent two weeks total with Donna. After the girls left, he asked Donna over the phone, “Can you plan a wedding?”
“Yes,” Donna said. “Whose?”
“Ours,” Nicky said.
That’s how he proposed. He sent a ring and a camera for her family to take pictures.
Donna and her parents were from Italy. They didn’t know the bride’s family was supposed to pay for the wedding. When it became clear to Nicky, he sent Donna $400 every month to pay for wedding things. He was making good money selling cars, so he didn’t mind.
Donna had never left home. Being from Italy, she still lived with her folks.
They got married in Connecticut. Then they put all her worldly possessions in a car-top carrier on her little Mustang and headed to California by way of D.C., Florida, New Orleans, and Texas.
They had their first fight in Florida. Since there was a convention in town, instead of their usual Holiday Inn accommodations, they had to take a room from a woman who flagged them down on the hotel strip. Nicky looked at the room and paid the woman in advance while Donna waited in the car.
When Donna saw the hotel room, she was mortified. It wasn’t as clean as the Holiday Inn. She said she’d sleep in the car that night, using the excuse that she would guard her possessions.
It was their honeymoon! Nicky didn’t want Donna sleeping in the car. He didn’t know that she was a clean freak. Donna had seen insects, which turned out be Palmetto bugs. She didn’t know how to tell him. But she wouldn’t get out of the car.
The hotel manager wouldn’t give Nicky his money back, but he knew they would have to drive elsewhere and get a different room for the night. They didn’t speak for the next hour and a half as Nicky drove.
Donna wondered, What am I doing with this guy? I barely know him.
Nicky wondered, Will she get out the car if I find a Holiday Inn?
They finally found a Holiday Inn with one room left. It was the family suite and expensive. It had two queen-sized beds, so they each got into their own bed for the night. Some honeymoon! Nicky had gotten Donna out of the car, but she still wasn’t in his bed.
Nicky decided that she was stubborn. He wanted to be the man of the house. Donna thought Nicky was hot-headed. The good news was they were too far away from her family for her to run home. They had to work it out.
Couldda Wouldda Didda
It has been fifty-six years since Nicky and Donna got married. They are still working it out.