The sweetest memories of our dating days

HAMMERTIME

Feb. 14 has been and gone, and no matter what amorous gifts we may have exchanged, the sweet and fuzzy feelings were there, and I am sure that it likely brought back some fond memories of our romantic adventures of days gone by?

Whether we want to admit it or not, most of us were likely love struck and overwhelmed by the opposite sex many times, beginning with grade school and heating up from there.

I am sure that you will recall as lads or lassies all those secret crushes that were supposed to last for a lifetime, but likely only sizzled for a week or two, or until someone else caught your eye. In those early days of innocence we sent Valentine’s Day cards to everyone, including the teacher, and somehow managed to fall in and out of those ‘puppy love’ flings on many occasions. How many times before junior high school did we have our hearts broken, did it happen at the first school dance, and did you ever get caught leaving those sweet little love notes in the ink well?

When we were too young to have cars, you could always double date on your bike, get your parents to drop you and your honey off at the show, or meet the whole gang for chips and a Coke at the greasy spoon on a Friday night. I fondly remember we town kids could never fall for a country gal, because they lived too far away, were usually pretty tough, and had too many chores to do.

A date required lots of energy, picking them up, getting to the show on time to grab a double snuggle seat, sharing a snack, then walking her home, all before the 9 p.m. curfew. Most of those early pairings were ‘Dutch treat,’ simply because the girls were much more sensible with their money, and the guys had to save some of their cash for treats and pool.

Those gala junior high sock hops were a blast. Bashful boys on one side, giggly girls on the other, noisy music in between and the double dare to see who was going to be brave enough to sneak through the fog first. Some succeeded when the teachers weren’t looking, but just when things were warming up the final song came on, we went home alone again, or were totally embarrassed when our mother was there to pick us up.

Then the exciting world of dating suddenly changed, you got your first set of wheels, your father agreed to lend you his, or you found a good buddy who would let you tag along. This is where good financial planning began for all of us. If we gathered all our loose change, turned in the bottles, and pooled our meagre allowances we might just have enough money for Thursday night buck night at the drive-in, a party on the weekend and maybe even a case of beer. Some managed to get a part-time job that left very little time for cruising and schmoozing between school, sports, and homework — but look out on the weekends!

My buddies Bob and Newt and I didn’t fare to well with the town girls, so we headed out west to see which ponderosa had the finest damsels in distress. It was a great experience to say the least, including impressing parents by doing dishes and chores, getting chased by a grumpy goose, and playing softball with cow pies for bases. I will never forget those adventures, because it was there that I met The sweetest memories of our dating days GP (the favourite heartthrob of my youth), the Stang clan and a whole lot of other great people. Although I really don’t know what they saw in us ‘town terrors’. It was a few years of great fun that we will never forget.

Later, between work and sports, we all pursued other romantic interests, likely played the field for a while, went a little wild, then finally were smitten by that special person who was willing to put up with us for the rest of our lives.

I am sure that while the methods of this romantic madness may have changed just a little now a days, the dating game will always be the same, and with a little respect and understanding from both sides, the results must always be celebrated and cherished for many years to come. The fun part is telling our children and grandchildren most of how it all went down for us, hoping that they will believe a little of the magic memories that we weave, and that they will also be survivors, no matter what.

Whatever the case, always have some fun, and have a great week, all of you!