I feel like I can share this story, because my mom shared it often, and with a hearty laugh.
Many years ago, before the exploits of young men and women were splattered across the internet for all to see, couples were a little more discrete with their philandering. When they wanted to spend some quiet time together, they’d find a dark road, a hidden spot, a skating rink parking lot—and park.
Dad had just returned from California where he was stationed in the Marines. His whole purpose for making the 2,000-mile trip from the West Coast was to ask my mom to marry him. While they had known each other for several years—Mom actually dated his older brother who was killed in a car wreck three years earlier—they hadn’t really dated, but Dad was living a devil-may-care life and wanted to change that. He wanted to settle down. When he thought of someone who would make a good mother and wife, he thought of Mom.
So they decided to give it a shot.
Mom and Dad took a little drive. Mom was excited and thought she was going to meet his parents. They pulled up outside a house and Mom bounded out of the car, and then turned to look at Dad still sitting in the car.
She looked back at him and said, “Aren’t you coming?” And he shook his head. Mom then looked around. The house was dark and abandoned.
She looked back at Dad and laughed. “Oh, I know what you want to do!”
Mom always giggled uncontrollably when she told that story. She thought it was hysterical that she didn’t realize Dad wanted to park, not visit his parents.
They lived the next 49 years together.
And she continued to tell the story until she couldn’t.