Patti thought, " I know Stan's brother, Doug, but what's the name of his younger brother who goes to church here too? ?? ... ?? Oh, yeah. Neal."
And that is what she thought pretty much every time she saw Stan. "What's his younger brother's name again?"
Patti had graduated high school & was enjoying the "singles" group, especially the fellowships held regularly at various people's homes. Stan caught her attention by making funny remarks. The night they sang "Happy Birthday" to him at a fellowship, she inquired about his age.
24!? No way! She'd just turned 18 in May & Martin' was just a year older.
She carded him.
One time she didn't have a ride to a fellowship & was offered one by Martin' - he was riding with Stan & said Stan wouldn't mind. He was driving a 69 Mustang fastback with a 351 C & racing gears. It had bucket seats in the front & a folded-down back seat so she sat in the front close to Martin' since she didn't know Stan very well.
The clutch broke on the way to the fellowship.
Stan fixed it fast like a pro. (Yes, proper English would be "quickly" but get with the feeling here folks!)
Patti & Martin' were going to the same college & started visiting with each other a couple of days a week because they had about 30 minutes between classes. Patti waited another hour for her next class. Stan started showing up just before Martin' left for his class to "visit with Martin'" then spent the next hour visiting with Patti instead. Hmmmmm.
One day, Patti's brother, Dennis won a couple of tickets to a Spurs basketball game. He wanted to trade a ticket for a ride to the game. Patti called Martin' but he wasn't interested. He suggested she call Stan & gave her his number. So she did.
He was not home from work but was expected shortly. She called several times until it was too late for Dennis to make it to the game. Too bad for him. :-( Patti had a nice phone visit with Stan's mother though.
And Stan called her back when he FINALLY got home.
November 20 was their first "date": Schlotzskys & A Star Wars movie - The Empire Strikes Back? At the theater.
Really dates us there, don't it? :-)
When Stan picked her up, he got to meet her dad as he was leaving on a hunting trip. Just a quick wave & the dad was gone. The next time they met, Patti was helping package venison sausage just brought back from the hunting trip and Stan pitched in to help. Patti's dad told her YEARS later that that action showed him that Stan had potential.
Stan invited Patti to his brother Doug's wedding at Thanksgiving but she declined since it was small and she didn't really know the family. She did get to meet them at his house as she & Stan were preparing to go to the movies with Martin' & Kris that weekend.
Patti would stare at Stan. He'd say, "Why are you giving me that strange look?"
She'd reply, "Are you saying I look strange?"
Then they'd grin at each other like idiots.
She thought it was funny that his hair was longer than hers.
They saw each other every day. By Christmas, people were asking them when they were getting married. They'd look at each other, shiver & say, "Marriage? Doesn't that involve (gulp) commitment? And responsibility?"
Eventually Stan started to say, "Marriage? Why, we aren't even going steady!"
Their first fight was about that.
Patti started it.
She said, "If this isn't going steady then what is it? You make it sound like you don't want to be going steady! Are you wanting us to see other people?"
He didn't apologise or explain.
He just asked her to go steady. That was in May.
He then started responding to marriage queries with, "We're busy this weekend. Maybe next weekend."
For Valentine's Day he had bought a big beautiful card that could open all the way and leave a large blank space on the back which he filled up with a heartfelt letter...
"I liked this card because... it gives me a lot of room to write my own feelings."
"This is the first Valentine Card I've ever bought for a girl."
"This weekend we will have been together for 3 months. It seems hard to believe. ...I've never known anyone like you."
"I've told you before that I think that you are a blessing to me from the Lord, and I honestly believe that. I just wonder how long the Lord will let us be together."
"If we have been seeing each other for only 3 months, I wonder what it's going to be like in 3 more months."
And much more. Sigh.
Made her little heart go pitter pat.
No, she is not sharing the rest. I. Me. Mine.
They didn't call it courting, but spent so much time with each other's families and just doing life that it was more like that than a dating relationship. Stan got to see Patti in some rough conditions as she had her tonsils out in the spring (Threw-up on him, poor guy. But it was only the first time...) and her wisdom teeth out in the middle of the summer. She did homework and studied at his house - well, his parents house since he still lived with them. He took her driving so she could practice for her driver's license test and helped her find her first car - a 69 Mustang Grande'!
Sometimes he'd pick her up at the college & drop her off at work so she started toting her helmet with her on the bus. He thought it was cool that she bought her own helmet so she could ride his bike with him. And she could start it. Kick start. Motorcycle Mama.
On the one year anniversary of their first date, they were in the TV room at his house. His mom stuck her head in the door to say goodnight & that she was headed to bed so keep the noise down. Patti mentioned that she liked Stan's mom.
He asked, "How would you like her for a mother-in-law?"
Next month we celebrate 24 years of marriage.
I memorized this poem while a junior or senior in high school. When I rediscovered it, I was surprised at how applicable it was.
The First Day
By Christina Rossetti
I wish I could remember the first day
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom for many a May.
If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! - Did one but know!
Yes, I know it's a little mushy at the end, but hey! We're celebrating Valentine's Day here! A little flowery language is to be expected. :-)