Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

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by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

And Still He Married Me . . .


First Dates are like Dress Rehearsal. If a Dress Rehearsal is terrible, the play will be great. Likewise, if the First Date is terrible, the Marriage will be great.
                                                         Diane Tolley



Thirty-Six years today!
First dates.
Relationship killer.
Or kindler?
I had known Grant for just over two months.
We attended the same church.
He was cute.
Really cute.
He was mine.
We decided to go on a date.
Well, actually, I decided and he . . . never mind.
He was driving a volleyball team to an away game.
Because he could.
I went along, sitting right behind the driver.
Huh. He was even cute from that angle.
The team played. We drove home. And that's as far as our plans went.
But there was still evening ahead.
What to do?
We stood there.
Awkwardly.
Finally he proposed that we go to his parent's house and see what movies were on TV.
It was the early 70's. Your choices were limited. In fact, you were pretty much stuck with whatever your one TV station had planned.
We were lucky. There was a movie programmed.
But that's where our luck ran out because it was a movie that both of us had seen.
And neither wanted to see again.
Sigh.
But we grabbed snacks and settled in.
I should point out here that Grant was the middle child of a large family.
And yet we had the front room to ourselves.
On a Saturday night.
Go figure.
Moving on . . .
I watched the movie.
He slept. (Something that happens to this day, but I am getting ahead of myself . . .)
When the movie ended, sometime around midnight, I woke him and indicated that I was more than ready to go home.
Sleepily, he complied (real word).
The miles to the ranch were covered quickly as we talked and laughed.
A little too quickly.
Sigh.
Suddenly, by the light of his car headlights, we were staring at my parent's house.
What to do?
Kiss?
Shake hands?
It had been a wonderful evening. We had talked and laughed.
And he had taken a nap.
Perfect.
We settled on a hug. And the promise of a second date the next evening.
Really perfect.
He walked me to my door. And we discovered that, for the first time in the history of the world, Dad had locked it.
Really.
It had never happened before.
I turned the knob in disbelief. What on earth was going on?
I walked around to the main doors.
Also locked.
I had somehow slipped into an alternate universe.
I went to my parents bedroom window and tapped softly.
"Daddy?"
"Mom?"
No answer.
I tapped louder.
Still no answer.
They must be out.
What was I going to do? Visions of staying the night in one of the barns flashed through my head.
I suddenly missed my bed.
I walked back to Grant, still waiting patiently beside the first door.
"Maybe we can open the window into Daddy's office," I said, pointing to the window beside the door.
"Okay."
I tried to push it up.
It moved.
Half an inch.
"Maybe if we pry it . . ."
Obligingly (great word) Grant grabbed a nearby shovel and pushed the edge under the window.
It slid up some more.
He applied greater pressure.
Another inch.
Then, the shovel broke.
I am not making this up.
It really broke. The bottom edge came right off.
Huh. I didn't know they could do that.
Stupid, cheap shovel.
Fortunately, by this time, I could get my fingers under the window and was able to shove it upwards. I climbed through, turned and waved good-bye to my date and slid the window shut.
All was well.
The next day was Sunday. I was looking forward to seeing Grant in church. I had settled myself in the chapel and was watching the door.
He finally came through it, rather red-faced, and sat beside me.
I stared at him.
He was embarrassed.
Huh.
Later, he told me that, as he had entered the building, he had met my father and our Bishop just inside the front doors.
My Dad had grabbed his hand in greeting, then hung onto it and turned to the Bishop.
"Bishop, do you know that this young man broke into my house last night?"
Grant's heart fell into his shoes.
Really.
It's still there today.
Moving on . . .
Dad then turned to Grant and said, "Didn't you get it?  I didn't want her back!"
Sigh.
Did I mention that Dad is a great joker?
But to this day, I wonder if he really meant it.

26 comments:

  1. LOL you have absolutely the best stories. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!! That's one of my favourites!

      Delete
  2. Of course he married you. His mama didn't raise no dummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. His mama . . . wait, I get it!!! Thank you! :-)

      Delete
  3. If he survived that he can survive anything. By the way, your Daddy has an EVIL sense of humour. He would have liked my Daddy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I continue to be amazed by how may of us people with a wicked sense of humour had Daddys with a wicked sense of humour. Hmmm. Am I seeing a pattern?

      Delete
  4. lol. I love it.

    The first sign of a date's family liking you is their comfort in making YOU feel uncomfortable with their joking ways. ; )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sooo True! If we act like we always act and he sticks around, he's a keeper!

      Delete
  5. I'm actually glad you and Dad didn't pull that one on me...

    But then, you could've taken your pick of which first date to lock me out at, considering Steven and I had 4 of them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. We dressed him in tights the first time he showed up. And he stayed. Nothing would have driven that boy off! Good thing, too!!!

      Delete
  6. lol now this really made me laugh lol

    That was a good joke lol
    Where were your parents by the way?
    lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were right there in their bed. Giggling. Stinkers!

      Delete
  7. I love this, what a really cute story to tell your children about how you met each other. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They love it! Of course they feign disinterest. But they love it!

      Delete
    2. Of course the love it, I would adore that story for my parents... mine was much different. My father who is from Halifax, Nova Scotia was on his way to Hollywood to become a star :) He had the looks, I don't know about the talent:) He ended up stopping in Salem Oregon to make some money to continue on his way, he met my mother and the rest was history as they say;)

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you!!! Before you know it, you'll be celebrating 36 years!!!

      Delete
  9. I love first date stories! I hope you celebrated it up for your anniversary. I also hope you two lovebirds didn't try to live it up and re-enact your first date somewhere. ha ha :) Here's to many more wonderful years to come! Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ginger! Looking forward to them!!!

      Delete
  10. Love, love your stories and this one is hilarious! First date stories are the best! So glad your hubby, then boyfriend, didn't get arrested for breaking in! :) Happy and blessed Anniversary to you Diane! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tracy! I love to hear first date stories. I love living them even more!!!

      Delete
  11. Thanks for sharing this link in your post today. GREAT story!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this story and my hubby is also a movie sleeper. I can't believe you couldn't get in your house that must have been a exercise in frustration and embarrassment. Father's are good at that. My hubby gave my son-in-law heck when my daughter and him first started dating.

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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