Life can be full of missed opportunities of all kinds. So, regret is inevitable.
This column is dedicated to a missed romantic opportunity I felt at 16 – that’s 36 years ago for anyone keeping track of my current age.
My mother had one stipulation to dating her 16-year-old daughter. Her rule for me was thus: A boy must ask her. If he did, she would approve it. Her restriction was, undoubtedly, put in place to make sure I never dated.
Mom was strict on me. I had to be in the house by the time the streetlights came on. She’d say, “Not in the yard, and not on the porch. In the house, young lady.”
You have to understand my mother. She was crazy, from a teenager point of view. From her point of view, she was trying her best to protect me. I was a kind-hearted child. She probably saw a need to protect.
When an inquiry did come, by the name of Doug, I dutifully stated, “My mother won’t allow me to date. If you want to take me out, you have to ask her.”
Doug showed up at my house.
“What are you doing here?” I asked, my words a bit frantic.
He replied, “I’m here to ask your mother. Where is she?”
“My mother will kill you,” I said as serious as I could be at 16.
Nevertheless, we walked into the house and into the kitchen. My mother stood stone faced as he asked, “Mrs. Childers, I’d like to take your daughter on a date. My mother will drive us to Park Theater and pick us up. She will be home immediately after.”
My mother was not pleased, if the expression on her face was any indication.
I, fearing the worst, but hoping for the best, stood behind Doug. “You always said you’d let me if someone ever asked,” I added.
In 1985, we went to Park Theater and watched “The Man from Snowy River.” While not a new release, it really didn’t matter. I was on a date at 16!
As an aside about movies, my mother banned the movie “Porky’s." I wanted to see it, but she deemed it porn. So, that was out. Did I mention that my mother was crazy?
Doug and I dated for a few weeks. We were each other’s first loves. TMI, we got in trouble for holding hands while in our JROTC fatigues. We got caught kissing once. That’s about as far as our relationship went. He ended it as abruptly as it began.
Missed opportunity or something both of us should stop regretting? We have decided to find out. Doug is in town for a couple weeks. The plan is to spend time together. He’s thinking dinner and a movie this weekend. I’m planning a tour of Park Theater.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.