The year was 1980 something and the lovely Anne Stacey had chosen to grace me with her presence. I had spent countless hours unsuccessfully wooing the woman. Cards, chocolate, flowers, and a barbershop quartet had all failed to do the trick but I couldn’t tell you why. All I knew was that the girl who had gone to prom with me had chosen to withdraw her favors and spend time with a man I dubbed the scoundrel. I once tried to tell her this and she suggested that my ill feelings towards him had to do with jealously. Now I won’t say that this is true but I admit to suggesting that if she hoped for more than simple companionship she might consider spending time at the produce market.
Apparently this is not advisable nor is suggesting that he would probably die in robbing a drug store for used condoms. Don’t ask me to explain why I said these things or what they mean because I won’t answer nor will I admit to wanting to give him the same treatment a flying clown once received from me. Women make men crazy and love just exacerbates the craziness we feel.
Weeks of rejection turned into months but I refused to give up. I can’t explain why other than to say that every time I saw her I heard music and it made me believe that one day she would dance with me again.
One day I sent her a card with some of the lyrics to Get Down Tonight by K.C. & The Sunshine Band.
“Baby, babe, let’s get together.
Honey, hon, me and you.
And do the things, ah, do the things
That we like to do.
Do a little dance, make a little love,
Get down tonight.
Do a little dance,
make a little love,
Get down tonight.”
P.S. Come over and find out if I really am a better cook than you are. I’ll make it worth your while.
I had been rejected so many times that I was beginning to wonder if maybe I was swimming down the river of denial but was pleasantly surprised to receive a telephone call from her asking why she should come. Needless to say I was nervous because I knew that the wrong words would result in another no. Yet something told me that it was time to be bold so I told her that I was going to pick her up at 10 am so that we could go to the farm to pick fresh fruits and vegetables for dinner. Two days later she walked out of her apartment and into my car.
For a few moments we drove in silence and listened to a mix tape that I had made for the occasion. Good old cassette tape technology, a soft hissing noise in the background accompanied us on our ride. The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker and Springsteen serenaded us.
A short time later we arrived at the farm and began picking out the items we wanted for our meal. She made a crack about me making her work for her food and I said that remained to be seen. Every time she bent over to pick something up my eyes were drawn to her. I was completely entranced by her- not just because I thought that she was beautiful but because she was so very smart. I attribute my love for carrots to that day. Somewhere I have a picture of holding one close to her mouth, pretending to be Bugs Bunny.
And had anyone heard the music that played inside my head at the moment they would have heard Bookends.
“Time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence, a time of confidences
Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you”
(originally posted here)