My First Date

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Oh. My. Goddess. I have gained 15 pounds since I’ve returned to the USA from Costa Rica. I either have to go back on the keto diet, or I have to buy bigger pants.

But let’s not talk about that. (Classic avoidance.)

Let’s talk about my first date, ever. Because, why not?

I was 17 and I was selling movie tickets from a little glass booth that protruded out onto the sidewalk. A man paused as he was walking by.

theater cashier


I don’t remember his name, all these years later, but let’s call him Pete. He was probably in his twenties or thirties, and fancifully dressed in magenta velvet coat with white fur trim, and a jaunty fedora.

Pete asked me what time I got off work. I got off at ten p.m., and we agreed he’d meet me back at the movie theater at ten, and he’d take me out for coffee (so grown up!)

The doorman was the only other one still working at that hour, as he had to work past the end of the last screening and clean and lock the place up.

His name was Jim (I do remember that), and he was horrified that I was letting this guy pick me up so late.

Jim tried to talk me out of going, but I naively said, “Hey! It’s just coffee. Be cool, man.” (It was the seventies.)

Jim made me agree to come back to the theater before he closed up, so he could be sure I was okay.

Pete picked me up, and we went down into the subway to stay warm. There was no coffee.

That was when Pete gave me my first kiss. Awww.

I remember thinking, “What is all this fuss about kissing? This is doing nothing for me.” Very disappointing.

I kept looking at my watch over his shoulder to make sure I got back to the theater on time, so Jim didn’t have a cow. (It was the seventies.)

Pete got my phone number, and walked me back to the theater.

Jim was relieved, and I was still confused about his concern.

The next day in high school, I told my girlfriends, who were much more worldly than I, about my date with Pete.

They said, “Oh, Pete the Pimp? I don’t think you should go out with him again.”

Oh, well, that’s probably a valid point.

When Pete called a couple of days later to ask me out, I told him I didn’t want to see him again. (I was much more blunt in my youth.)

Pete asked’ “Is it your parents? You can sneak out to meet me!”

I laughed, “No, my parents don’t care!” No wonder I’d been confused by Jim’s concern. I hadn’t experienced anyone being concerned about me before.

Pete went away without a fuss.

It would be another year or more before I was kissed again. The next time, I could understand the fuss a little better, thank goddess.

Stay tuned…



Nice Work If You Can Get It

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No.8 Sis called me at work late yesterday afternoon. She said if I could meet her at The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in downtown St. Paul, she had an extra theater ticket I could use. How lovely! A friend had given her two tickets for “Nice Work If You Can Get It”, a touring Broadway show. She was going to take The Mister out for a date night, but he had some sort of bug. Bad for him, good for me.

I grabbed a bite to eat and drove downtown, right to the big River Centre parking ramp. I asked the attendant on the way in where the Ordway was. He waved vaguely at the River Centre Auditorium and said, “On the other side of the River Centre”. By the way, I know I’m spelling it centre instead of center. Apparently it was named by a Canadian.

I took a left and started around the auditorium. That was my first mistake. It was blocks before I could cross the street to make the next turn. I passed by the soup kitchen, with 30 or so shaggy men waiting outside, some fighting, some mumbling, some just rocking. Um, getting a little nervous here.

I saw a sign for Rice Park, 3 blocks to the right. I thought the Ordway was on Rice Park. Well that can’t be right, because I see Landmark Center (thank you for the proper spelling) straight ahead, and I KNOW the Ordway is right next to Landmark Center.

So I kept walking and walking, but there was no park, and nothing at all familiar. Oh crap, that wasn’t Landmark Center I was approaching, that was a church.

Maybe the sign for Rice Park was right after all. I turned right, tangled myself up in some sidewalk construction, and moved into the street. I passed a woman pushing someone in a wheelchair, right before I realized I was at the back of the Landmark Center. So close!

I came around the front of the building, and what to my wondering eyes did appear? The Ordway Center for Performing Arts a block ahead! And the woman pushing the wheelchair just going into the door! How the hell did she get so far ahead of me, so fast?

No matter. I got to the theater lobby, found No.8 Sis right away, and thoroughly enjoyed the play. It’s a musical comedy set in the Roaring Twenties. All the tunes are Gershwin, the acting is a slapstick hoot, and the singing is fantastic! If you’re in the neighborhood, go see “Nice Work If You Can Get It”.

Don’t ask the parking attendant for directions.

Stay tuned…