Ronnie called me nearly every evening from then on. The week pasted by slowly. The weekend seemed like it would never get here! After nightly phone calls Ronnie asked if he could come over. I quickly agreed. It was all set. He would come over Saturday afternoon.
Remember Jimmy? The boyfriend I broke up with the previous weekend? I had instructed my mother to say I was out if he called. Well, Jimmy did call quite a few times too. My Mom felt sorry for him so the next time he called she said I had to talk with him. We talked. I told him it was all for the best and how getting married so young scared me. He agreed to back off on the subject of marriage but ten minutes later he mentioned something about what our future would be like. He even had the church for our wedding picked out! I was trying to let him down easy but enough is enough. I told him I had to go, wished him all the best in life and I hung up.
Do you know that rule about hanging up on people? The rule is that you should NEVER hang up on someone. Especially a guy. A guy who wants to get back together with you.
I went about my day with great anticipation. Ronnie was coming over! I was going to see him again! I could hardly wait. I must have brushed my hair a million times.
What seemed like an eternity later … the door bell rang and ran to the door! “I got it!” I didn’t even look out the window before opening the door. My whole face dropped. My heart almost stopped. No, it wasn’t Ronnie. It was Jimmy and his friend Billy. Jimmy came to beg me to take him back. Instead of inviting him in I sat him down on the front steps to talk, hoping all the while he would leave before Ronnie comes over.
Jimmy asked “Did you do it because there is someone else?” No, that wasn’t the reason. I broke up with Jimmy two days before I met Ronnie. I had no interest in meeting or dating anyone when we broke up. Ronnie just swept me off my feet. Ok, two days is not a long time grieve over a break up but I wasn’t exactly upset about the break up. True, we dated for a year but I was only 16 years old! At that time of my life waiting 2 minutes for one of my siblings to get off the phone was an eternity. So, two days was more than an enough time to say it was over in teenage girl world. Sad isn’t it?
Ok, so there we were on my front porch steps, Jimmy, Billy and me. Then the unthinkable happened. Ronnie drove up. The look on his face as he walked towards us said he was not happy. Before he reached us Jimmy asked “Who is this guy? Is this the guy you dumped me for?” I don’t remember what I said but it might have been something like he was a friend of my brother’s and if I started to cry he would beat the tar out of you then ask questions later. Given the muscle looking car Ronnie was driving this seemed feasible. Jimmy left in a huff squealing his wheels but at least he left.
Ronnie reached the front steps and asked who that was and if I was ok. I said I was ok but I am sure I didn’t look like I was ok. My face could not hide how I felt. I don’t remember if I told Ronnie that Jimmy was an ex-boyfriend trying to get me back or if I played it safe and said he was one of my brother’s friends.
Yeah, that was a REALLY awkward moment in my life but later I would find out it was not to be the last nor the most awkward moment of my life.
Ronnie wasn’t staying long as he did have to work that day. He just wanted to stop by, say hello and give me a flower. How sweet! I also had to work later that day. This was all brand new and I really didn’t know this guy yet. Due to this I decided not to invite him in to my house. Instead I played it safe by taking a little walk just up the street and back. We chatted about school, work, and things we liked to do in our spare time.
Not only did I work in the catalog section of Montgomery Wards, I was transitioning to the Credit Card payment center and the cash office. At the end of the night all the cashiers would bring their register bags to me and then they could leave. I, on the other hand, had to stay in lock-down with the rest of the Cash Office crew until ever register was balanced to the penny. Eventually, we found the missing penny/nickel/whatever and were free to go home. This sometimes took a few hours which meant it was pretty late when I walked to my car in the nearly deserted parking lot. Even though I was not completely alone and my co-workers did wait to see me safely in my car before leaving themselves…I was still a bit afraid. That night Ronnie happily surprised me by waiting at my car! My co-worker, who had never seen him before, were about to call the police! “No! It’s ok. I know him. Really, I do.”
He asked if I wanted to grab something to eat or just go somewhere and talk. Part of me really wanted to go with him but another part of me didn’t want to have my keys taken away for coming home late. We stood beside my car and talked for a few minutes. He wanted to know if I would be at Players the next night and if I would save him a few dances. Of course I was going, my friends I went every Sunday night. As for saving the dances, I was sort of hoping to dance all the slow dances with him. Oh well, maybe he didn’t want all of my slow dances. He said he would call me tomorrow as he helped me into my car. I smiled and waved as I drove away. I sighed and thought how nice it was of him to be there, standing at my car. For once I didn’t have to rush to my car late at night, afraid.
Sunday night, after much primping, prodding, trying on each others clothes, over heating curling irons, a dab here and there of Dep gel and so on… my girl friends and I were finally ready. We all piled into one car and headed out to Players. We liked to get there early before the line started as this was the only way to secure a table.
Ronnie and his friends sat at a table next to ours so we could chat. A few of my friends were interested in his friends but the feeling was not mutual. Oh well, Ronnie and I were happy so they had to at least be polite to each other. Even though our friends bumped heads many times they thought Ronnie and I were a perfect couple. All of my slow dances were saved just for Ronnie. I didn’t want to dance with anyone else.
After that night at Players Ronnie deiced to ask me out on a date. Not meeting up somewhere, or running into each other. An actual date where he would pick me up, take me out and then bring me home. I was excited and a little nervous. I didn’t really know this guy and he was going to take me “somewhere?”
During our first few dates, well several of our first dates I was a little unsure about going out with someone I barely knew but I really liked him. To make myself feel more at ease I recruited a chaperone, Giggles. She was more than happy to come along. She loved being included. She let us hold hands and such but kept Ronnie in check. Ok, she kept us both in check and made sure everything was PG rated. She even sat between us in the car. As she said later “You would have so freaked out if it wasn’t.” She was right.
That first night when Ronnie came to pick me up I don’t think he realized that he had to meet my parents before they would allow me to leave with him. My Mom laughed but there was real meaning in her words “Do you think we could let a stranger drive off with our little girl?” He survived. It wasn’t really all that bad considering what other guys had sat through before. My parents liked him right away but they wanted to put a little bit of fear in him.
As I walked up to the passenger side of Ronnie’s car quickly steered me to the Driver’s side. As he opened the door he explaining that his passenger door doesn’t shut right so he doesn’t open it. His car had a front bench seat so it was manageable for me to just slide over. Ronnie quickly got in the car and apologized over and over about the passenger door. He slid in so fast I thought he did this on purpose since I had not reached the other side of the seat yet. Maybe he did it so I would be sitting closer to him. Later on I found out he was telling the truth about the passenger door and admitted that he slid in before I could go any further so I would be closer to him. The engine had real power to it which meant I had to hold on to his arm so I wouldn’t slid around on the seat! We were off to pick up Giggles’ at her house.
At the end of each night, Ronnie always dropped Giggles off first then took me straight home. I don’t know if it was Giggles’ influence and constant warning of “If you hurt her we will hunt you down” or he just had some gentlemanly inclinations but after nearly two weeks of dating every night he still hadn’t kiss me. I was starting to get a complex. Ok, I have told guys before they were not going to kiss me on the first few dates but this was more than two weeks of seeing him every night. Maybe he didn’t want to kiss me?! I confided in my girl friends. “What? He hasn’t even kissed you yet? Like ever? What’s up with that?” or “Oh honey, maybe there is something wrong with him. He seems really nice though.” “Maybe he’s just shy.” What ever the reason was I still wanted to go out with him. We always had a great time and he made me feel wonderful and special even without kissing me. He made my heart pitter patter. All he had to do was look at me and I would smile, giggle a little then feel my cheeks growing pink. I was definitely smitten.
One night while standing at my front door I was expecting a hug but he placed his left hand on the side of my face, I smiled up at him knowing I had a wonderful time just being with him. He, ever so slowly ran his fingers down my neck. My head tilted up unconsciously and just as I was about to giggle from the tickling effect of his gentle fingers, he kissed me. He said something in a sort of whisper but I couldn’t make out what it was. My knees went completely weak and I slunk into his arms. I think I whispered “Oh my” and “W-o-w” It was all I could manage to say. I couldn’t even stand up on my own two feet. I looked up dreamily into his eyes and saw he was completely at ease. He finally propped me up on my own legs and I sort of swayed to and fro for a minute before I some what regained my composure. I remember running my fingers through my hair and saying something like “Um, uh, yeah, I think I should be going now.” I almost walked right in to my Mother’s flower bed instead of the door. He quickly redirected me to the doorway and I said “Um, ok. Well, then. I will see you later.” or something like that. I closed the front door behind me and leaned against it while smiling and taking deep breaths. “Wow.”
One month passed by, Ronnie and I saw each other as much as was humanly possible. If we weren’t together we were at school, work or sleeping. We called each other every single day. We talked so long that my mother started placing a kitchen timer by the phone “Fifteen minutes young lady.” It didn’t take her long to realize I was pushing the timer back a few times. My siblings and even my Dad were trying to talk Mom into getting me my own “Ronnie line” (aka my own phone line).
After many dates with our chaperone Ronnie said “I like Giggles and all but don’t you think we have reached a point where her duties might not be so necessary? Come on, don’t you trust me?” Giggles later asked me where we three were heading that night? I had to break the news to her. Ronnie and I were going to start going out on dates …alone. She was bummed but understood.
Ronnie's Car was a Plymouth Duster.