First Date

One of the first official dates with my wife took place at her parents’ house. That night, her extremely nosy parents promised not to spy on us, nor eavesdrop, nor bother us, nor hide behind the sofa and wait for us to kiss. They agreed to let us have the entire downstairs to ourselves.

I was very nervous. What would we talk about? What would we do?

Well, since my story takes place in an era when VHS cassettes still roamed the earth, we decided to rent a VHS movie. Although as it turned out, we were so timid we couldn’t actually decide on a movie. So our bashful conversation in the video-rental store went like this:

HER: Which movie do you want?

ME: Oh, anything you want.

HER: I don’t care, I’ll watch anything you wanna watch.

ME: Makes no difference. What do you wanna see?

HER: Whatever you wanna see.

And so it went. Because all young lovers are afraid to come right out and say something like, “Darling, I do believe I’d prefer to watch something produced by the genius that is Monty Python.”

We had the same hem-hawing conversation about which restaurant to choose for dinner. But we went hungry because we never settled on a place. Instead we ended up driving in circles for two hours constantly saying, “Where do you wanna eat?” “I don’t care, where do YOU wanna eat?”

Eventually we returned to her parents’ house and spent the rest of the evening trying not to demonstrate symptoms of dangerously low blood-sugar.

When we entered her family’s living room, her mother and father immediately evacuated to give us privacy. Though, later that night I swear I saw their heads peeking around a corner.

As it happened, our date night got worse. Because the movie we rented turned out to be the foulest, most inappropriate skin-flick Hollywood ever released. It was so bad we could not watch it. Five minutes into the film we were assaulted with non-family-friendly scenes that would have given your average preacher a fatal cardiac event.

I sprang from the sofa to turn off the movie.

“What did we RENT?” she said with a gasp.

“I don’t know! You picked it out!”

“I wasn’t paying attention!”

“Neither was I!”

My date’s face was in her hands. Her cheeks were red. I felt so ridiculous that I started to laugh. Then we both laughed so hard our abdominal muscles were sore.

Looking back, I’m glad the movie stunk because with the movie off, we were able to have a real conversation. Which is what we should have been doing all along.

Our discussion was like most conversations youthful couples have. Have you ever listened to conversations between young lovers? They contain the most magnificent and idealistic dialogue you’ll ever hear. Here was ours:

“So. Do you like kids?” she asked.

“Oh, yes. Love’em.”

“Boys or girls?”

“I’ve always wanted a daughter.”

“Awww. A daughter.”

“Yeah, I always wanted to spoil my daughter and make her into a daddy’s girl.”

She smiled. “You know, if I had a daughter, I’d name her Rose. What about you?”

“I’d name my daughter Benny.”

“Benny! For a girl?”

“Sure. It’s a great name. I once knew a girl named Benny, she taught me everything I know about Ford carburetors. Great old gal.”

“I’m not naming our daughter Benny.”

“OUR daughter?”

Long silence.

Then we talked about Sunday school. Would we let this imaginary daughter go to Sunday school at our Baptist church where most members suffered from life threatening constipation? Because this would mean that poor Benny would sit beneath the tutelage of Miss Devons, who was an unstable woman.

Miss Devons once told the second grade Sunday school class that Jesus was coming back next Friday to condemn any child who had not memorized the scripture verse from their quarterly. That week there were nine reported bed wettings.

“Don’t be silly,” said my date. “Of course the child will attend Sunday school. Everyone needs Sunday school.”

“With Miss Devons? That woman is eight bricks short of a load. No way.”

“No Sunday school? Didn’t YOU ever go to Sunday school?”

“Of course, but my Sunday school teacher never caused me to pee the bed. I could do that without anyone’s help.”

She crossed her arms. “Well, I’d want Benny in Sunday school, I think it’s important.”

“You called her Benny.”


Also, I noticed we had scooted closer. Not so much like lovers, but more like two people so comfortable with each other it just made better sense to be together. I noticed my cheeks were flush. Also, I couldn’t breathe.

“You’d make a good dad,” she said.

“No, I’d make a terrible father. I didn’t have a good example growing up, I’m afraid I’d screw up my child’s life. But listen, you’d be a terrific mother.”

“Oh, I don’t know.”

She inched closer. She put an arm through mine and rested her head on my shoulder. I could smell her shampoo. She said nothing. Neither did I.

We sat in a quiet den and I knew this woman would one day be my Everything. I knew that whenever I looked at her, I was actually staring at the best years of my earthly life. This was a human being with whom I wanted to become geriatric. In fact, she would be the greatest gift ever given to me.

All of a sudden, we heard a loud crash from behind the sofa.

This was followed by a hoarse whisper that said, “Did he kiss her yet?!”

“Hush, woman!” said another voice. “I can’t see a dang thing with your big head in my way!”

And that’s when I met my future in-laws.


  1. Charaleen Wright - January 29, 2021 6:30 am


  2. Sandi. - January 29, 2021 6:35 am

    Every love story has a beginning. I hope it’s a VERY LONG time until yours and Jamie’s love story ends. At least make it to age 100.

  3. Lucretia - January 29, 2021 8:46 am

    What a beautiful beginning to a full and happy life.

  4. Leigh Amiot - January 29, 2021 11:02 am

    You took me back to the VHS era so effectively that when you spoke of the scent of her hair, an old commercial played: “Gee, your hair smells terrific!”

  5. Kate - January 29, 2021 11:14 am

    You write truth in such a delightful way.

  6. Heidi - January 29, 2021 12:55 pm

    It’s so good to be blessed with an “Everything” person. ❤️

  7. catherine Deloney - January 29, 2021 1:06 pm

    Love this

  8. Jan - January 29, 2021 1:35 pm

    Great story brings back memories of times long ago!

  9. Lisa Wilcox - January 29, 2021 2:06 pm

    This. Is classic Sean of the South stuff that made me create a folder in my in box just for your posts! Thanks for making me laugh (again) since yesterday’s post about the dog being put to sleep hit a little too close to home and made me cry. But it’s all good- I still love your work! Thank you.

  10. Jenny Young - January 29, 2021 2:15 pm

    Oh it sounds like you hit the jackpot with your in-laws! I love this story….

    My first date was behind the Hermann building on our college campus. That isn’t as bad as it sounds…my Charlie worked in the Hermann building on work scholarship so he had keys to the building. Behind the building was a little park with a round walled bench & a flower bed in the middle. Charlie had asked me if I liked watermelon & of course what country girl doesn’t like watermelon!

    So after church he took me to the little park & asked me to wait while he went into the Hermann building kitchen. He came out carrying a very large garbage bag. He set it between us, opened it to show me a large juicy melon. He pulled a big knife out of his pocket & cut it up. Then he gallantly opened his jacket & pulled out napkins & forks from the inside pocket. He was so cute! All covered with freckles, pushing his glasses up constantly & showing me the most adorable dimple while his sweet blue eyes sparkled. I was sunk.

  11. Judy - January 29, 2021 2:18 pm

    Your story telling makes me feel like I was in the room watching. I love the way your words creat a visual so that I forget that I am simply reading and not actually present in the scene. You are very blessed to have found your gifts…Jamie and writing.

  12. Martha Black - January 29, 2021 2:39 pm

    Ah love afresh and anew with the someone who’s your only one & at the first few steps your heart just knew. It’s a lovely tenderness unlike any other & once it comes for the first time it grows to be greater.
    It’s lovely way to live………..

  13. Phil (Brown Marlin) - January 29, 2021 3:32 pm

    Great story. Reminds me of the night I picked my future wife up to go to a movie and her two younger sisters hid in the back seat. We noticed them as we got in, but kept quiet at first.
    Then the conversation went something like, “Well, where do you want to go to make out, or do you want to just start right here?”
    “Oh, I don’t care, wherever you want to go.”
    “No, you choose.”
    “OK, lets go down by the river,” and I cranked the car and started to back out of the driveway.
    It was about that time that the giggling broke loose in the back floorboard.

  14. NancyB. - January 29, 2021 4:21 pm

    A chuckle accompanying the wonderful imagery of your first in-law meeting to begin my day. Thank you!

  15. JonDragonfly - January 29, 2021 4:22 pm

    ” I knew this woman would one day be my Everything. I knew that whenever I looked at her, I was actually staring at the best years of my earthly life. This was a human being with whom I wanted to become geriatric. In fact, she would be the greatest gift ever given to me.”

    From the other side of fifty-seven years of marriage, I thank you for a beautiful description of my own life.

  16. Christina - January 29, 2021 4:59 pm

    You two are the best! Funny, sweet, genuine💕

  17. Bob Barnett - January 29, 2021 5:31 pm

    Loved it!!!!

  18. Linda Moon - January 29, 2021 5:55 pm

    I remember my first “date”. The boy’s mother and my mother set us up for the Baptist church’s Sweetheart Banquet. There was no marriage from that, but eventually other dates with another Guy led to matrimony. In-laws are part of the deal. I had 13 of them. My Guy had three. Do the math. And, happily, I feel like I’ve met Brother Jim and Mother Mary!

  19. Mary Sue Cronkite - January 29, 2021 6:08 pm

    Ha ha!

  20. AlaRedClayGirl - January 29, 2021 6:29 pm

    Such a sweet story about your Everything. Reminds me of the old 70’s song, “You’re My Everything” by Santa Esmerelda.

  21. MAM - January 29, 2021 7:18 pm

    Thanks for a great ending chuckle! My Everything doesn’t remember the first night we met, but I definitely do! And it took him months to figure out my double first names. Silly Yankees. We met on neutral territory. We’ll hit 53 years of marriage this summer!

  22. Helen De Prima - January 29, 2021 8:11 pm

    Could be worse — my husband-to-be got a nosebleed on our first date so he wouldn’t have to try for a good-night kiss.

  23. MaryJane Breaux - January 29, 2021 9:51 pm

    And just like that…I’m laughing out loud and smiling. What is better than a great love story?! ❤️

  24. elizabethroosje - January 30, 2021 3:10 am

    I love your stories! make my face and my heart smile! 🙂

  25. Robert Chiles - January 31, 2021 12:25 pm

    “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may…”

  26. been there - January 31, 2021 6:53 pm

    Love it!

  27. Steve & Julie - February 9, 2021 12:58 am

    Young Love…sweet, innocent, and precious…with a little humor…that’s what great love stories are made of. Thank you, Sean, for sharing yours, which resembles ours❣️ 50 years and counting for us💕


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