My First Date

I had my first date since my husband passed away three and a half years ago. The phone call came on Monday, with an invitation for dinner on Valentine’s Day. I have known Noah for almost 6 years. He is kind and considerate, with a quick wit and easy smile. I said “Yes, I would love to go out to dinner with you.” But he had one condition on the date: I would have to pick him up. Not a problem, really. That’s the way things are done these days. And besides, it’s a little hard to reach the gas pedal when you are not quite six years old.

Noah, my grandson, was ready when I drove up his drive and met him at the door. He had on khaki slacks, a navy and grey stripped shirt…and a printed tie. His hair was gelled and he quickly informed me that he had used his very own bottle of cologne – quite liberally, I might add. My gift to him for asking me out was a red rose boutonniere. A few pictures later we were on our way.

The ooh’s and aah’s were everywhere as Noah opened the restaurant door for me, helped me take off my coat and asked me to order my meal before he ordered his. The waitress could not contain her smile as he announced that he was taking me on a date and dug in his coat pocket to pull out the money for the meal.

Over a dinner of ham and cheese sandwiches, suzies, and chicken strips, we talked about everything imaginable: how red ketchup and yellow mustard mix to make a shade of orange, why there were animal heads hanging on the walls of our restaurant, why we shiver when we are cold and sweat when we are hot, what kind of ice cream was the best (vanilla was the unanimous selection), where crushed ice comes from, what we had done on Friday, how proud his grandpa would be of him. But most of all we laughed. We laughed as we tackled the serious subject of “what if’s”: What if somebody couldn’t tell the difference between the smell of a skunk and the smell of popcorn? What if a coyote ran up on my deck and couldn’t figure out how to get down? What if a dinosaur sounded like a zebra when he roared? The “what if’s” got even sillier but the laughter never ceased. The date ended at the front door with a precious kiss and a declaration of “I love you, Grandma, and I had a great time!”

Some day my Noah will be 16 or 17 years old and he will be going on a date again. I have no doubt that he will still be kind and considerate and the quick wit and easy smile will touch the hearts of females everywhere. But how honored I am to know that Noah chose me to be his first date. We made a Valentine’s Day memory that I will never forget.

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