A few days later Ronnie picked me up in the afternoon. He was so happy. I remember he was smiling just a bit too much so I asked him where he was taking me. “To lunch. At my house.” Okay, did that smile mean we were going to be alone in his house? I was getting a little nervous. I was afraid I wouldn’t know how to act and my idea of a pleasant afternoon was not saying “No, no.no.Stop!” for an hour or so. I had heard stories about what guys wanted when you were alone with them. I have even slapped a few guys in our front room with my parents close by in the next room.
Well, I asked him what was with the permanent smile. “I want you to meet my Mom.” What?! Meet his mother? I left my make up at home! I couldn’t find my hair brush in my purse and my hair was whipping around in the car due to the windows being down. I begged him to take me home so I could change into something nicer. I didn’t want to meet his Mom for the first time looking like, like…THIS! He laughed and told me that I had to get use to the idea, she was going to see me just as I was. “You look fine. I swear! She will love you. I just know it.” He saw the doubtful and pouty expression on my face then said “Well, if she doesn’t then I will just disown her.” Ok that made me laugh but I was still a bundle of nerves. I don’t remember exactly what I was wearing but for my usual every day attire, you could find me wearing a pair of white canvas Keds tennis shoes, light blue jeans and a long sleeved white cotton blouse. Yes, even in the summer. I was self conscious about my arms. I was very fair skinned and thin.
When we reached his house I tried to convince him to let me just stay in the car and do this another day. He laughed as he pulled me out of the car. I was so nervous I walked like a stiff mannequin. He had to practically drag me up to the kitchen door. He stepped into the kitchen but my feet were firmly planted in the carport cement. I heard his Mom let out a little scream as she was surprised to see him home. Apparently, he didn’t tell her about his plans for us to meet either. “Mom, I want you to meet someone.” With that he gave one quick, hard tug and I was pulled from the carport into the kitchen.
She let out another little scream as her hands clasped the sides of her face. “Ronnie! I can’t believe you would do this to me!” She was smiling from ear to ear and her words came out as laughter. “I look a mess! Really, I don’t always look like this. Honestly. Why didn’t you tell me?! Well, come in, come in.” The warm glow of her smile made me like her immediately. She held out her hand to shake mine but I wanted to hug her instead. So I did. She seemed really pleased with this greeting and started talking as though she had known me forever. I told her that he ambushed me as well and we all had a good laugh.
She had us stay for lunch, tomato soup. When asked why I wasn’t eating I explained that I was waiting for it to cool off a little. Ronnie took one of the ice cubes out of his glass and dropped it in my bowl of soup! “Why did you do that to my soup?!” I had never seen anyone put ice in soup before. Ronnie and his Mom laughed. She asked me, “What do you do to cool off hot soup?” I thought everyone did it the same way so I didn’t hesitate when I said “We pour a little cold milk in it.” Another round of laughter but Mrs. Leadore assured me many people do a great many things differently. “You learn something new every day.” She was wonderful, bubbly and really put me at ease. I could see where Ronnie got his calming effect from.
Then there came the usual questions…Where are you from? - “The East Coast. I am a Navy Brat. I was born in Puerto Rico.” Is your Mom from there? “No, she is from Scotland. They had a whirl wind dating process and after two weeks decided they were destined to be together.” How are you liking the schools here? - “It is always an adjustment but this is the first time I have encountered so many people who have lived in the same place all of their lives.”
Ronnie’s little sister MaryAnn was so cute you just wanted to pick her up, put her in your pocket and keep her forever and ever. This little blonde cutie with her wavy pony tails climbed right up in Ronnie’s lap. He tickled her until she slid down his leg and on to the floor. She clung to his leg for a few minutes. He was so wonderful with her that you could see how much they loved each other. “I’m going to marry Ronnie some day. He is the best boy ever.” His second oldest sister, Angie, came in carrying books and had the ease of speaking like a grown woman. She very politely said hello to me then started talking about summer programs that would expand her mind. Then there was Gina, the oldest daughter. She was trying to grow up and her Mom wanted her to stay a little girl. Gina always had on some wonderfully fashionable outfit. Mrs. Leadore mentioned something about her outfit and Ronnie sort of rolled his eyes as if this was a never ending battle between the two. Gina gave a blank statement about her outfit and how most girls her age were wearing very revealing clothing and her’s was far from that. She gave me a hug then sat down at the table next me. Everything she wore looked cutting edge. I also met their dog, Sandy. She was a beautiful, golden cocker spaniel but my goodness her bark sounded like she would tear you limb from limb. Everyone laughed as I pulled my feet up in fear. It turned that out she was a really sweet old gal. Then it was time to go.
I thanked Mrs. Leadore for lunch and gave her big hug before we left. On our way to Ronnie‘s car he said “See, it wasn’t that bad now was it? I told you she would like you. I just knew you two would get along right away.” He was right. Later that night on the phone he told me that his Mom really liked me. “She told Dad that you were such a tiny little thing, so cute, sweet and polite. She also thinks you have the biggest most beautiful brown eyes. I have to agree. I love your eyes.”