Today marks the 28th anniversary of mine and Mike's first date.
I had already taken a raincheck once, so when he actually called back to ask me out again, I felt I had to be polite and accept. Even though he wanted to take me waterskiing, which I had never even attempted in my life. For crying out loud, I was in the Minnows swimming group in junior high gym! An athlete, I am not.
All day at work I prayed for rain, or thunder, or a strong wind that would prevent us from taking the boat out. It was calm, and warm under a cloudless sky. So much for prayer.
I was terrified. The whole "I am 18 and so uncomfortable in my own skin" collided with the fact that most people wear a swimming suit when they go out in a boat, in the summer time, to go waterskiing. So I put it on, and put my clothes on over it.
But then the problem arose that I had to take off my clothes, in the boat, with not only Mike, but his older brother, and friend Dan, along for the ride. Remember the Seventeen magazine feature "Oh Was My Face Red?" That was me.
After lots of coaxing, (okay, 30 minutes of trying to talk me into the water) I finally did it. I put on the skis, and listened to Mike's instructions. I had the thought on one side of my brain telling me "come on ! you can do this! you HAVE to do this!", and the other side reminding me that I was rather a clutz, and would never make it. I would end up looking like those people first learning how to ski, bent over and hanging on for dear life, with their rear ends sticking straight up to the sky.
The boat took off with a roar, I lifted myself out of the water, balanced precariously on what seemed at the time like two very skinny pieces of wood. And....I didn't fall. I kept saying to myself "don't bend, stand up straight, don't fall" like a little mantra. I made it all the way around, and coasted gracefully (or so I imagined) to shore. And there Mike was, waiting for me, all smiles. (and did I mention how buff he looked?)
I secretly think that is why he has stuck with me so long, because I was able to pass the water ski test.
Either that or he liked my dance moves later on that night at The Viking, where he got me through the door (under age and all) and bought me a beer, and we danced under the disco ball. My favorite memory of the night was when he brought me home, in his red Cougar. Glen Miller was playing (all the other boys I dated played 70's music) I knew right then he was different. And the best part? When he leaned over to kiss me good night, he accidentally bumped the car horn, causing lights to come on at my house. I love that.
sigh. I don't think I have waterskiied since. And Mike is just fine with that. Which is probably why we get along so well.
So here is to 28 amazing years. We need to toast with a beer and a little Glen Miller!