We continued to survive day-by-day, and finally senior banquet arrived. Mark, Tony, Joel, an underclassmen couple, and I had all gone together to rent a white stretch limo from my cousin’s limo service. We had our outfits planned and where we’d hang out afterwards. I could not wait to show off my man in a tux. Ok, in reality I just couldn’t wait to see him dressed to the nines. Even my Mom had commented how nice Ked was going to look in a tux!
My Mom had sewn my dress, a very mid-90’s bright turquoise floor length gown with puffy sleeves and shoes dyed to match. I’d sent him a swatch of the fabric so he could match his tux accessories. My Mom and her sister drove to Ft. Wayne to pick him up. Meanwhile, one of my Mom’s cousins came to the house to help me with my frizzy hair.
I anxiously waited for my Mom and aunt to arrive with Ked. I kept peering out my second floor window through the maple tree branches that now were in full green. I paced my room, checked my makeup, touched my overly sprayed hair, inspected my teeth, and played the staring game with my reflection once again waiting for advice. I worried what I’d do if they didn’t make it in time, or if his tux wasn’t ready, and an untold number of other what if’s.
Finally, I heard my aunt’s silver mercedes benz pull into the driveway. I raced down the stairs as fast as my straight dress would allow not caring if all the bobby pins popped out of my hair. I’d wear the crazy mop in a pony tail if I had too. My best accessory was him anyway. I threw open the front door, breathless not just from the race down the stairs but for the anticipation of being in his arms. He scooped me up with a bear hug and an ear-to-ear grin. He then produced a dozen roses in a shade of purple I didn’t know existed. I gasped and threw my arms around his neck again. I exclaimed that I had never seen such beautiful roses before. He smiled right through my soul and the artist in him said he’d sought to find the most unique color available for his girl. The weekend was off to a memorable start.
He dressed in his tux, and when he came down the stairs I nearly fainted. The black tux perfectly complemented his olive skin and dark hair. He was the most stunning man I had ever laid eyes on. If he was eye candy, he’d be the richest, darkest, organic chocolate available. It was obvious he knew how to wear a tux. When some men get all dressed up, it looks as if the suit is wearing them, like a little boy in their father’s clothes. Not Ked. He was sharp as a tack with every detail in place, the suit a perfect fit on his broad shoulders. My insides turned to goo. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to stand next to him. I just hoped his arms wouldn’t get tired from holding me up all night long. I was thankful it was a banquet and not a dance.
His mom had advised him to get a wrist corsage, and he carefully slid the beautiful arrangement onto my wrist. I fumbled with the pins on his corsage, before my Mom stepped in to intervene. I surely would have bled all over his tux. At least in the pictures it looks like I was the one who did the pinning!
We posed in the front yard for pictures before my friends and their dates arrived. I felt so small next to him as he stood there with a cavalier grin on his face, one arm draped around my shoulders pulling me close, the other holding the collar of his tux jacket which he’d slung over his shoulder. I could have died right there, the happiest girl in the world. I felt like a princess whose Prince Charming had just arrived. We were a picture of night and day – he with his dark handsome good looks in the dark tux, and me with my fair complexion, blonde hair and bright turquoise dress. And yet, we complimented each other so well.
My friends and their dates arrived as did the white stretch limo. The older gentleman driver parked the limo on the street in front of my house and the ten of us lined up in front of the limo as our parents took roll after roll of film. I handed my Dad my camera and instructed him to take a whole roll of us in front of the limo in panoramic view.
We set out for an hour of joy riding around town before heading to the hotel where the banquet was held. We first stopped at our youth pastor’s house to holler hello to him and his wife and parade our dates. As we were pulling out of their neighborhood, Joel spotted a garage sale and asked the driver to stop. We all piled out of the limo in our tuxes and formals to peruse the sale. We were quite a spectacle – ten teens in tuxes and formals browsing a garage sale, a juxtaposition of opposites.
Joel found a dollar item he just couldn’t live without. He headed to the table to pay for it, and the man insisted he take it for free. Apparently our entertainment had provided him with more than a dollar ‘s worth of merriment. We all waved our thanks and piled back into the limo.
We continued our drive around town when we decided we were thirsty, so we asked the older gentleman driver to pull through the McDonald’s drive through and order 10 waters. Tony had actually planned this activity in advance. He thought it would be a riot to pull through a drive through in a limo and order water. He was right. Our driver didn’t seem to mind our continual silly requests and obliged each one without question. As he ordered 10 waters the McDonald’s employee curiously leaned out the window. “Who you got in there….a bunch of movie stars?”
Our driver answered with the most serious of faces, “Yes sir, I most certainly do!”
We were ten teens having an evening full of innocent fun, enjoying playing “grown up” yet being kids all at once. At we pulled out of the drive through, a couple of the guys opened the moon roof and stuck their heads out to thank McDonald’s for the refreshing water.
We finally headed to the banquet and enjoyed an evening of fine dining and entertainment. When the banquet ended, we had the driver take us around town for another hour of post banquet fun, and drove to the top of the town’s reservoir. In the winter this spot was the town’s coolest sledding hill. In the spring and summer it was the hottest romantic spot, just far enough outside the city’s glow to view the expanse of stars with an air of country privacy. In the future, the reservoir would hold a significant place in our own history.
The ten of us got out and walked around for awhile with our dates, laughing about the evening and stargazing. The guys, as perfect gentlemen, draped their tux jackets over their dates’ shoulders to block the evening chill. I inhaled Ked’s musky aroma as I snuggled inside his roomy jacket. None of us wanted the evening to end. For Ked and I, the weekend was flying by too quickly and we’d be soon saying another goodbye. At least this time, graduation was in our sights, bringing us that much closer to finally seeing each other every day at college.
Wow…..what a wonderful weekend! Amy, what am I going to do with you? You have no idea how much I’ve thought about you today! I miss you so much! I feel like I fit in down there with you. I have friends down there.
Mom got me up today at 9, so I got to sleep in a little. I got up and went to work. The lawn is a mess, and the lawn mower isn’t running right. So I did what I could before coming in to get out of the sun.
I can’t believe how much of me is missing when I’m not with you. Each time we part, you take even more of me than before. I miss you! So much changed this weekend, all for the better! I feel so much closer to you.
Ha! You know what my mom said about our pictures? Well first it was “Wow those are great!” Then it was, “Well now you know what your wedding pictures will look like!” Oh-my-word! Funny!
I miss you so much!
I love your story! Thanks so much for sharing it….and selfishly I also love how my dad/parents in small ways keep coming up in your story. Its awesome to see that in small ways they made that impact! I know they loved all of you! (and still do 🙂 )
Susie Finkbeiner says
1. I love that you put the picture in…but I want to see more! So cute! (fyi, Jeff had the same haircut when I first met him…er…the same as Ked, not you)
2. Ack! What your wedding pictures would look like! What did you do? What did you think? How many shades of red did you turn? I’m loving these teasers you put in!
3. This made me wish I’d taken Jeff to my banquet/prom. But I didn’t really know him that well then.
Keep ’em coming!
Jen Griffin says
Just keep getting better! Love the picture! I wish I was there..but, I was gone on the team singing. Love that Joel had you all go to a garage sale. Tony!! I can’t believe you all went through McD’s for water!!! What a fun night!
“He smiled right through my soul”
Go to purefoolishness.org to see the $1 item I couldn’t live without 16 years ago…
Meg, your parents left an incredible legacy in so many lives, including mine! Love them to pieces! Wish we could see them sometime!
Susie – loL! I had gotten used the marriage comments. Our parents pretty much had us married off the day we started dating and they weren’t shy about it!
Jen – the last couple in our car was Jason & Lora…it. was. fun. You can imagine all these guys together!
Jean, I know…sigh!!
Joel – I SOOO Can’t believe you still have that!! OH MY WORD!! Wow. Thanks for sharing! I guess you really couldn’t live without it!!