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My early life of dating (the mid-to-late 80’s) was like a lawnmower. It took a few pulls to get started. But, eventually it ran. And thinking back, that was okay for me. This wasn’t the type of thing I really needed to take right off. For some of my peers, it was a different experience altogether.
During this period of early “dating” there were sputters and mis-firings. A few “of the ladies” seemed to walk in and out of my life. These very early encounters left me wondering if I would find something a little more solid. A little more tangible. Not a Wife but, something with a little permanence beyond a day, a week.
As time and luck would have it, I did eventually meet a girl that I consider my first girlfriend. And she left me with an impression and lesson that I still heed to this day. The little lawnmower that could, started idling well.
I don’t remember the exact circumstances that we became interested in each other. I didn’t know her previously, we didn’t have friends in common. But, we fairly quickly (and intensely) became interested in each other. There were moments.. days of joy, and happiness. With a hint of infatuation rolled in for good measure. The mower’s throttle was pretty much wide open. The sad thing here was the tank of gas on the lawnmower was about to run out. And that was bad.
How bad? Well, she ended up hating me. I think she wanted more from dating than I did. I can’t remember all the details that clearly. After breaking up, I remember wanting to say a few more words to her but, she wouldn’t hear of it. That made me mad, resentful even. It also changed my opinion of her. I guess when you like someone so intensely, that when it ends, you can wind up heading in the exact opposite direction.
She found someone else that seemed to make her happy. And, I moved on as well. Life went on, or so I thought.
It’s what happened next that has left an indelible impression…
Apparently, she and her new boyfriend went for a ride on a scooter/moped. They did this quite a bit I heard later. The tragic part of all of this was during one ride they were involved in an accident and she died.
When I heard this … I went numb. I thought, “she died? What? Really?”
And shortly after, I decided I would do what I could in my future relationships to have more clarity, less hate and clearer communication. I’d deal as straight and honest as possible. Bad gas, poor mower performance. Good gas, better lawn mower performance.
These days, this decision from long ago extends to my loving Wife. We disagree on occasion. When she asks my opinion… I give it to her. But, we never go to bed angry. Never. Why? Because, although the odds are good that we will both wake up… you can’t be 100% sure.