More Dating Memories
Our assembly took turns driving to Vancouver, Washington three times a week to pick-up an elder sister. My foster sister and I would often drive her home. I loved the times in the car with her. She’d share stories of her earlier years. Over the course of a year I grew to love her like a grandmother.
Our first date was taking her home. My foster dad and sister, Mr. Blue, Grandma Helen and I made the trek to Vancouver. On the way we stopped at a restaurant in St. Johns, a neighborhood in Portland. I remember Helen was so excited. She was honored to be on our first date. I don’t remember much else about the date, but I will always remember her smile.
We continued to talk at church. Then my 18th birthday arrived. My foster mom showed up at school with balloons. I was thrilled! We never celebrated my birthday. I couldn’t wait to get home. I knew that she made an apple pie for my birthday, a tradition she’s kept ever since. And, I knew that dinner meant that I’d get to see Mr. Blue before church. He joined us for dinner. To my surprise he gave me a San Francisco 49ers jacket. After service we went with a group of the young people to Round Table Pizza. It was fun…but I was actually excited for the next day.
The 26th of September was our first ‘official’ date. I arranged for my big sister (the same one who encouraged me to make cookies) to be our chaperone. Mr. Blue arrived and picked us up. We went downtown to the waterfront Stanford’s. After dinner we walked along the boardwalk. He bought me a rose. Then it was time to go home. I was unhappy to find out we’d be going home early. I started pouting.
When I walked into the door people started yelling Surprise! They had planned a surprise party for my birthday! Mr. Blue was forgiven for taking me home early.
The rest of 1992 we had a few dates. Mostly, he’d come over and hang out at our house. We’d watch Disney movies or musicals with the family. He would reach out and pet my hair and I would whisper at him to stop. I was terrified of getting in trouble. It was a strange time in our life. Some of it I remember and giggle. He was pretty darn cute. But mostly, I shake my head. I really wasn’t ready for a relationship of this magnitude.
Because the premise of our dating process was to get married, we chose a ring in December. It was a simple gold band set with a small marquise diamond. It was on sale for Christmas. I convinced Mr. Blue it would be better to buy it early and save it for when we’d actually become engaged. Poor guy…he had no idea that this would become a pattern in our life.
Safely tucked away in a bank deposit box the ring would stay until we were ‘ready’ for the next stage of dating.