The Blind Date – His Side

watercolor, watercolour, sketch, portrait

Mary has always been my favorite subject.  I painted this just after we were married.

Thirty years ago today Mary and I were married.  After all this time I would still choose her.  I am a lucky fella.  This is the story of how we began.  Mary wrote her version of events and it is posted on her blog Sneaking Bliss.  Read them both and enjoy.

drawing, pencil, sketch, portrait

An early sketch I made of her when we were just dating.

Greg was a friend from high school and junior college.  He called me up because he had a favor to ask.  We met at my folk’s house for lunch and that is where he laid it on me.  Greg asked if I had any plans for that night.  I told him I didn’t and then he explained that a mutual friend of ours had broken up with his girlfriend.  Kelly, the girlfriend, called Greg and asked him out on a date.  Greg tried to beg off on it by telling her that he and I already had plans, the big liar.   At that point she told him that she had a good friend at work that wanted to come along and that it would be a double date.  Greg was powerless against her and agreed.  Now, his next problem was to convince me to go with him.  I don’t mind helping out a friend and I wasn’t seeing anyone at the time, but I had never been on a blind date or a double date for that matter.  What could possible go wrong.  A young college guy has standards you know, especially when he doesn’t have a girlfriend.  Greg was a big strapping fella about 6’2” and after a good long while, the sight of him begging me to go was more than I could take, so I finally agreed.  

Kelly and her friend worked at a camera store at the local mall.  That was where Greg and I were to pick them up.  I was dreading the walking into the store and meeting this strange girl that my Dad would probably describe as “pie faced”, not good.   I have five older brothers and they were never going to let me hear the end of it.  Greg and I sauntered on into the store where we were greeted by Kelly.  She called her friend over and introduced us to Mary.  It turned out she was pretty darn cute, but she had a deer in the headlights look about her.  I was thinking that maybe it was going to turn out okay.  We waited while the girls closed the store.  Then it was off to the movies.  We went to see a Charles Bronson movie called “Borderline.”  On a scale of 1 to 10 as a date movie, it was a -2.  Kelly jabbered the entire time and when the date was over I really had not gotten to know Mary.  We dropped her off at her car, an old Triumph Spitfire, and with no kiss goodnight she was out of there.  On a date scale of 1 to 10 it was about a 1, although the bright spot was that Mary seemed nice.

drawing, pencil, sketch, portrait

I did this was from a picture taken of Mary before we met.

I went by the camera store pretty regularly, because my good buddy Terry worked there.  I got to talk to Mary on occasion and decide maybe I should give it another try, but this time without Kelly.  So a few weeks later I ask her out again, and she agreed.  Oh yah, I was a fast worker…not.  This time we were going to an Air Supply concert.  This was a big deal since Redding rarely had major talent showing up in our podunk corner of California. Okay it wasn’t ELO or Arrowsmith, but hey this was Redding after all.  I don’t know what happened next, but somehow Kelly horned her way in, but it didn’t become a double date.  It became a date with Kelly’s best twenty-five friends.  Not the intimate date I was hoping for.  We all went for pizza afterward and it was so noisy that I still didn’t get to have conversation with Mary.  On the date scale it was about a 3. 

It did leave me intrigued with Mary.  I figured the third time’s the charm.  I would ask her out and there was no way in hell Kelly was going to be there.  So about a week later I went by the store and asked her out one more time.  I was going to make sure we would have a chance to get to know each other.  I was on a roll.  No more lolly gagging around.  When I asked her she said “I’m going out with someone else.”  Ouch, I was too late.  She was dating some other guy.  It just wasn’t meant to be.  She had moved on.  I still went by the camera store to meet up with Terry, and I would talk to Mary once and a while.    

Fast forward six months.  There was a birthday party for my friend Wayne at his parent’s house.  They were gone and it was going to get loud.  My brother Pete, friend Rick and I were driving over to Wayne’s house at about 9 pm.  It was a long driveway to the house with rocks like boulders and potholes like moon craters.  It was dark and there was a small car ahead of us.  It was a Spitfire, Mary’s Spitfire.  She was driving so slowly around the potholes and dragging her undercarriage over the rocks.  That car had about 3½“of clearance.  We laughed at the sight of her trying to negotiate that road.  When we all reached the house she gravitated to me, since I was the only person she knew there.  Terry had invited her to the party and he was late.  She was mad a Terry for abandoning her with all these strange people.  Good for me and bad for Terry.  Mary and I finally got that chance to talk and dance.  We were having a great time, to the point that the other girls there were getting a little catty about this female interloper. Not me, I was doing great.  The guys started wrestling, you know show off their manliness.  Rick and I were wrestling team alumni and there was alcohol involved so Rick toyed with his opponents and I just watched. When Terry did finally arrived about two hours later Mary started giving him a dressing down for showing up so late.  After, a little more alcohol Terry challenged her to a wrestling match.  He wasn’t prepared for what happened next.  It was the drunk verses the angry woman, with swearing and pain.  She served up some wup ass!  When she was done with him, he announced that if we thought she was so easy to beat then we should wrestle her.  Then he volunteered me.  She was fired up and ready to wrestle.  I figured well, why not!  Did I mention there was alcohol involved.  She didn’t know I was a wrestler, so I went easy on her.  I didn’t want to humiliate her, but there was no way I was going to let her win.  She was a good sport about it and we enjoyed the rest of the evening.  When it was time for her to leave I walked her out to her car.  She was sitting in her car and we were alone and in the dark.  I leaned over and we kissed.  It was long kiss, a nice kiss, and just the beginning of many more kisses.   

Happy anniversary honey, I love you.


100 thoughts on “The Blind Date – His Side

  1. Pingback: The Blind Date – Her Side | The Backdoor Artist

  2. A nice begin of a beautiful love story Tim! 🙂 Guess that more chapters will follow…
    Tell you something: A couple, 60 yrs married, were asked by their grand children how come and they answered something like: “We may have our disagreements and irritations but we always talk it over. True love always wins”. 🙂 🙂 🙂


  3. Happy anniversary! Matt and I are also in our 30th year of marriage this year but we’re not quite at our month yet (September). Hasn’t it gone quickly???!!!! And like you, we still love one another and are best friends. Some of us are very fortunate.


    • Thirty years is an awesome thing Julie. We are already looking forward to the next thirty being even better. The years have indeed flown by so fast. I am so happy for you two and we are indeed so very fortunate!


    • Thank you Deb. Funny thing was the first 2 dates didn’t go well, but we kept coming back to each other almost as if it was destiny. If destiny clubs me over the head enough I will eventually get the message.


  4. It is so nice you guys did dual anniversary posts. 30 years is an awesome achievement, but it sounds like very little effort for such a perfect match.
    I married my lovely wife 19 years ago – looking at the photos and portraits in these two posts I can see one thing you and I had in common Tim. We were both lucky enough to succeed in punching above our weight class 😉

    Congratulations to your both!


  5. What a wonderful story, Tim. Congratulations! Your portraits of her are very lovely and loving. My husband and I celebrated our 35th this year. Isn’t it amazing how time has flown by? Sometimes it only seems like yesterday when we met in graduate school studying wolves and at others it is a life time ago.


  6. Happy 30th anniversary. A wonderful story and I laughed about the wrestling match. That was the clencher that gave you the hold you needed to wrestle Mary into your life. 🙂 I see many, many more years forr you and Mary. Altough I only know you and Mary through pics and what each of you write I feel that the two of you are one of those rare couples that really are suited perfect;y for each other.

    The sketches are excellent. You were a talented artist when you were in your teens.



  7. So great to read both sides of this love story, congratulations on 30 years. It’s special and rare to find deep, true love – we are for the better that you shared it with all of us. A wonderful day to celebrate two very special people!


  8. Enjoyed reading both of your stories this morning Tim. Kudos to both of you for having such a happy marriage. Nice portraits of Mary too! Happy Anniversary!!



  9. Congratulations to you both! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed reading both your stories here. So many times, it seems a miracle that things happen the way they do in life, it sounds as if you almost could have missed each other completely, but luckily you didn’t. I get goose-skin when I think of it (in a positive way, then), and you two seem to be a perfect match. Again, congratulations, enjoy your anniversary!


  10. Pingback: My Wink From Heaven | THE FORESTER ARTIST

  11. Happy aniversary to Mary with one week late!!! your drawings are great and I can detect lot of love in them.
    We have one week diference, thought years are different!!!
    Yes indeed you are a very lucke guy!
    I’m gonna to see her blog.


  12. Haha, loved reading this post Tim and Mary… So romantic… Mary is a very beautiful gentle, lady …for a wonderful wrestler/lover…:D… love how you captured before and after expressions…To many more years of togetherness…Happy Anniversary! – Divya


  13. What a fantastic post Tim . Many Congratulations .. I’m late as been away but couldn’t not comment 😉
    *pssst* we’re coming to 32 yrs v soon 😉


  14. Hands down, these two posts have to be my favorites of all time! I half expected your story to expand on what you felt when she said ‘she was going out with someone else…’ – like you kicked rock and broke your toe or that your mood was in the dumps for a while.. but no, positive you dealt with it the best you could…..

    I often enjoy asking people, ‘How did you meet?’ and then watch them smile at each other before sharing their story… Reading both versions was a joy! Congratulations to both of you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Z!
      When she told me she was going out with someone else I was certainly disappointed, but I wasn’t very invested in her because our first dates were so lousy. I just thought we needed to give it a fair chance by having a nice conversation. It just didn’t happen then. However, fate had something else in mind for us. 😊


  15. Congratulations to you both. Thirty years is quite the accomplishment these days. I guess persistence paid off. LOL We are pushing 40 this year after meeting in grad school – handling and studying wolves. Those late night observation sessions………

    Liked by 1 person

    • ☺️ yes, those were the days. That was a repost from a few years ago. We’re actually at 34 years. However, 40 years, now that’s is quite an accomplishment, congratulations to you too!


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