First Dates

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

Her parents agreed to let us have the entire downstairs to ourselves. And I was nervous. What would we talk about? What would we do? Would her parents leave us alone, or spy on us?

My story takes place in an era when VHS cassettes still roamed the earth. My date and I decided to rent a VHS movie. Although as it turned out, we were so timid we couldn’t actually decide on a movie.

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.

ME: I don’t care.

HER: Neither do I, you choose.

ME: No, you.

HER: It’s up to you.

ME: No, it’s your call.

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. And in the end, we went hungry because we never settled on a place. We ended up driving in circles for three 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 exhibit symptoms of dangerously low blood-sugar.

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.

Looking back, I’m glad the movie stunk because with the movie turned 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.

“So. Do you like kids?” she asked.

“Oh, yes. Love’em.”

“Boys or girls?”

“I’ve always wanted a daughter,” I said.

“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?”

“Yes. I once knew a girl named Benny, she taught me everything I know about Ford carburetors. Great 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 the Baptist church where most of our current members suffered from life threatening constipation?

Going to our Baptist church Sunday school would mean that poor Benny would be sitting beneath the tutelage of Miss Devons, who waxed her upper lip and wore so much perfume, small creatures dropped dead whenever she passed by.

Miss Devons once told the second grade Sunday school class that Jesus was coming back next Friday. That week there were nine reported bed wettings.

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

“With Miss Devons?”

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.

“You’d make a good dad,” she said.

“No, I’d make a terrible father. I didn’t have a good example growing up. But you’d be a terrific mother.”

“I don’t know.”

We sat in a quiet den and I knew this woman would one day be my Everything. I could just tell. I knew that whenever I looked at her, I was actually staring at the best years of my life.

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

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


  1. Nazem Nassar - November 5, 2022 8:12 am

    Oh, lovely old days!!

  2. Barbara - November 5, 2022 10:11 am

    No dogs have been named Benny Rose yet? Cute story of awkward beginnings. So glad you two became Mr & Mrs . . . a match made in heaven.

  3. Alison - November 5, 2022 10:52 am

    Sean, I just finished reading your new book.
    I enjoyed it so much! What an adventure you and Jamie had!

  4. Jill - November 5, 2022 11:25 am

    Totally true for first dates. It’s a wonder anyone ever gets past that first date. Loved it.

  5. Anne Arthur - November 5, 2022 11:28 am

    LOL, you crack me up. Hilarious, and so sweet. I am happy you found each other. Perfect match.

  6. Denise Walker - November 5, 2022 12:13 pm

    and they lived happily ever after………………..

  7. Adopted Son - November 5, 2022 12:20 pm

    Praying a child comes your way…!

  8. AlaRedClayGirl - November 5, 2022 12:26 pm

    ” I knew that whenever I looked at her, I was actually staring at the best years of my life.” One of the most beautiful statements ever made about another person.

    • Debbie g - November 6, 2022 1:11 am

      Amen Alared. It was a beautiful statement

  9. Mary Dietrich-Kauflin - November 5, 2022 12:46 pm

    Oh you out did yourself. I laughed all the way though this. Absolutely hysterical. Keep up the good work.

  10. Patricia Gibson - November 5, 2022 12:51 pm

    That’s funny 🤣

  11. Suellen - November 5, 2022 12:53 pm

    A great beginning for how you meant to go on. My husband and I often drove for hours before deciding where to eat. He always said it was up to me but nixed what I would choose. Then go back to I don’t know it’s up to you.

  12. Hall Powell - November 5, 2022 2:08 pm

    “Benny” and I have a similar story.

  13. Dawnie B - November 5, 2022 2:28 pm

    😅 And since she comes from good people, you fell in love with them, too❣️

  14. Belinda - November 5, 2022 3:29 pm

    Precious and wonderful story ♥️❤️🌈

  15. Leslie Anne Tarabella - November 5, 2022 3:34 pm

    My favorite two sentences in a year, “Miss Devons once told the second grade Sunday school class that Jesus was coming back next Friday. That week there were nine reported bed wettings.”

  16. Catherine - November 5, 2022 4:16 pm

    I just Love your stories…
    But this one really touched off a number of memories for me…
    Thank you!

  17. Stacey Wallace - November 5, 2022 6:11 pm

    Sean, thanks for such a cute story on my husband Mike’s and my 17th wedding anniversary. You made us laugh. Love to you, Jamie and Marigold.

  18. BuddyBobsMelissa - November 5, 2022 7:04 pm

    I was laughing so hard that the dogs started barking as they thought something was wrong!!! I always hated the first dates as they were soooo uncomfortable. I have a dry sense of humor and would say something that the guy would think was serious, but, I was just kidding so I would need to explain it to him….end of date if not smart enough to catch on!!! I knew a keeper when I found him, though!!! 28 years for my dear husband who died suddenly 3 years ago. Now have over a year into a relationship with a widower who worships the ground I walk on and is so much fun to be with. I understand the statement about seeing your future in the person you are looking at. That is how I have felt about both of my incredible veteran men. Life is so much better when we have someone special to share our daily journey with. Thanks for your daily reminder of how sweet life really is!!!

  19. Vickie Garmon - November 5, 2022 8:12 pm

    46 yrs ago first date conversation
    Are you bored? We will leave if you are bored. No I’m not bored are you bored. X 5
    He came in for a while and just as he decided to kiss me the ice marker dumped a batch of ice into an empty bucket. Scared him so bad he just knew parents were headed into the den. My dad told him 20 years later that he did empty the ice bucket every time we went out LOL

  20. MAM - November 5, 2022 8:29 pm

    That was the best laugh I’ve had in quite a while! Thank you, Sean! My husband doesn’t remember the first time we met. I do, quite well, and I repeat it to him once in a while. He does remember the next time we met, and it progressed from there. I do remember our first date, but not the conversation. That was 55 years ago, so it must have been good!

  21. WILLIAM R WEBB, Jr - November 5, 2022 8:55 pm

    OK!!! Thanks for another wistful memory trip. I enjoy your wholesome writing very much. And I’m starting on your books.

  22. Rebecca Soude4rs - November 5, 2022 9:54 pm

    Nice, Sean Dietrich…. made me smile.

  23. Julia - November 5, 2022 10:53 pm

    THE BEST!!!! Thank you Sean & Jamie ♥️♥️

  24. Cherie Roberson - November 6, 2022 2:27 am

    Simply grand and hilarious

  25. Sandy L - November 6, 2022 1:21 pm

    Loved this post! Lol!!

  26. Mary Lee - November 8, 2022 2:11 am

    Sounds about right…lol

    You two made great choicmaryes. What a blessing.


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