Where I was concerned, Cupid drew his bow, let loose with the arrow, and hit me smack in the middle of Kip’s Big Boy. I’m pretty sure the lovely person sitting in the booth across from me doesn’t share my enthusiasm for this particular recollection. She was dating my best friend’s brother at the time, and there was nothing that ensued after we were seated to convince her I was “the one.”
But I knew she was, even as I dabbed the mustard off my chin following the first bite of my oversized burger. “Suave” is not my middle name.
Susan Richtman was a co-worker at the time. Our shifts at Musicland ended at the same hour, so I asked if she might be hungry and would like to grab something to eat. She said, “Sure.” I remember being relieved that she didn’t respond, “Knock off, four-eyes.”
We had begun a conversation at the store about something so important I don’t remember it now. But I do remember this: I liked talking to this person. And I reveled in the chance to do it some more.
I call it our first date. She doesn’t. But she doesn’t get to write a column.
Not long thereafter, her relationship with her beau ended – not acrimoniously, thank goodness. And while the “they lived happily ever after” might have been inserted here in someone else’s story, ours took a more circuitous route to the state of bliss. I’m not sure there was a plan to what followed, but Susan and her sister began doing “non-date but still fun things” with my best friend and me. I don’t know what his brother did during that time.
We played miniature golf. We bowled. We went to movies. The routine was just that: Chris would drive, and Amy would sit in the front seat. Susan and I would sit in the back. We’d go wherever, and we had a good time.
Then Burton Cummings changed everything.
Some of you might recall he was the lead singer of the Canadian rock group, The Guess Who, and the guy had some of the best pipes I have ever heard.
Especially THAT NIGHT!
We had returned to Susan and Amy’s house late and were just sitting in the car, listening to the radio. Chris dozed off first. Amy went down next. Then the sound of the voice of Burton, by that time a solo artist, filled the car’s cabin. He didn’t sing, “Kiss her,” but “I did.” Two years later we said, “I do.”
This Feb. 14, I will gladly add one more word: “Still.”