Friday, July 19, 2013

My First Phone Call to Beloved

This August, Beloved and I celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary. For those of you keeping score, yes, I married her when I was one year old. I must also confess that Beloved was my first real girl friend, and that is probably why I was a little awkward while we were dating.

Who am I kidding? I am still awkward.

The first time I called her during our first summer of dating, I was staying on campus and she was living at home. I went down the hall to the pay phone with the proper coin in hand. For those who are unfamiliar with pay phones, they were large phones bolted to the wall. You inserted a coin and were able to make a phone call for an alloted number of minutes. They were replaced by cell phones.

I put in my coin and dialed her home number. Remember, there weren’t cell phones, I had to dial the number to her house and hope someone answered. Someone did answer; her father.

I really like Beloved’s father. He is a wonderful man, but I must admit back then I found him a little intimidating. It isn’t that he was big, or loud; he wasn’t. He did’nt have guns nor did he hunt.

He was a division chair at the college Beloved and I attended. He had a reputation for being a firm professor, who had high expectations. And most everyone had to take his class. I transferred into the college from another school and did not have to take his class, which was a relief.

But now I was on the phone, calling his daughter, and he answered. I responded with, “Hello, can I speak to...”

Then it happened. I forgot her name. I was so awkwardly nervous just dialing the phone number that when he answered, my brain did a complete memory dump. This was not only the professor from school, this was the father of the girl I liked. I was so nervous, I didn’t remember my name, and I for sure didn’t remember her name.

After a few moments, my memory was once again working and I was able to ask for Beloved by name.

“One moment,” he said and then I heard a chuckle: a chuckle I now know well and enjoy hearing. That chuckle was followed by the muffled sound of him calling to his daughter. “It’s a boy for you, and I think he forgot your name.”

I have forgotten many things since that time and I am sure I will forget many more things that have yet to happen. But, I am so thankful that despite the first awkward moment I spoke with my then future father-in-law, that he didn’t hold it against me and still approved of me marrying his daughter.

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