Looking back at advice I have heard over my life, I think not peaking too soon was some of the best. Although I had lots of friends when growing up, my social life with the opposite sex was not as memorable. Of course, I went steady (How dated is that little phrase?) with Butch. I even had his class ring and, as was the fashion, it was wrapped with dental floss and then fingernail polish was put over the floss so as to fit my dainty finger. It didn’t last. When I mentioned to Dad that I was going steady he wondered why. Since I didn’t have a good reason, he thought I should break up with Butch. Good call, Dad.
Then I chased after David who lived in the neighborhood. When I finally caught him, I was not only disappointed but disillusioned. He was not the one for me. Dad never said “I told you so”, he knew I would figure it out for myself.
By my senior year of high school, I wanted desperately to attend my senior prom. The key word there is “desperately.” My sister Sissy liked a bad boy by the name of Jim and, as luck would have it, he had a friend that was ripe for the picking. Steve was in college and home for the summer so was available. Enough said. Sissy and I hatched a plan and Steve fell for it. I had a date for prom!
The dress was purchased without much fanfare. Dad made sure I had the money to get all dolled up and of course being Dad, he said my dress was beautiful and so was I. Steve picked me up in his Mustang convertible. (Score one for him!) We went to one of Decatur’s finer restaurants, The Blue Mill, and had a lovely dinner. Off to the prom where we danced and I made sure to be seen by everyone. Then it was off to the post prom party at a local bowling alley. (Hey, nothing but the best!)
Unfortunately, Steve began telling me about his plans which included me as his wife, (Huh?) and how many children he wanted! Hey, I was only eighteen and still in high school. I had my whole life ahead of me. I knew then I would have to discourage him and thought about ways I could let him down gently.
On the drive home, I told him what a nice time I had and then said my usual comment when I was trying to get out of something:
My dad would just about kill me if he thought I was even thinking about getting married. I am way too young for that kind of commitment. You better just take me home before he wonders what I’ve been up to and make it quick!
Steve did drop me off after walking me to the door where I hustled indoors before he could grab me and kiss me. Thank goodness he didn’t move as fast as I did!
Once I graduated, moved to Iowa and met Charles, I knew I was ready for a lifetime commitment. Dad’s advice with boys was almost always right on target and I am grateful I didn’t peak too soon!