Dad has been story-telling.
Surely the best of times . . .
Christmas, 1946. Our newly-minted college boy was back from school in Guelph, Ontario for his first Christmas break.
His home town of Lethbridge, Alberta, was in a justifiably holiday mood.
A gathering had been organized at the new church hall.
College boy decided it would be fun to go.
Standing at the edge of the dance floor, he began to wonder if going had been a mistake. None of the people he knew were there.
Oh, there were plenty of girls.
Beautiful girls. Most of them, the younger sisters of his friends who had, surprisingly, sprouted during his absence.
He didn’t recognize any of them.
Standing there, uncertainly, he was approached by the mother of one of said friends. “Mark!” she said. “Go and dance with my daughter!”
“All right,” he said, smiling. “Happy to!”
She moved off and Dad turned back to the large group in front of him.
Now I should point out here, that this girl was well-known to my dad. He just hadn’t seen her for a while and in his absence, she had grown up.
The nerve of her.
He studied the faces of the girls on the dance floor and milling the hall.
They smiled at him encouragingly, but recognition was no closer.
Finally, not wanting to embarrass himself by approaching the girl’s mother, he wandered over to a group of boys and asked them. The girl was immediately pointed out.
Dad dutifully walked over to her and asked her to dance.
Whew! Mission accomplished.
She was a pretty girl.
Dad enjoyed dancing with her.
Feeling just a bit proud of his success, he moved with her around the floor. Then he spotted the girl’s mother in the crowd.
With a large, satisfied smile on her face as she watched the two of them.
A ‘hundred-watt’ smile.
Now, as a mother myself, I can understand that smile. Her daughter was dancing with a nice, handsome young man from a solid family, who was studying to be a doctor.
A rosy future looked tantalizingly close.
And distinctly possible.
I've used it myself. Most of the time, I'm sad to admit, it’s a relationship killer.
This particular relationship wasn't meant to be.
Though they enjoyed the evening, the two of them never really hit it off.
Soon Dad was back at school and once more hard at work.
The young girl went back to her life.
Dad doesn't remember much about her.
She was pretty. Fun. Sweet.
And her mother had a really scary smile.
See what I mean?