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Saturday, Oct. 20, 2001
Entry in the morning mentioned writing. Much as I like writing there's stuff I like better. My wife for example. Pretty cool stuff, is Ally.

Now I'll attempt to describe my wife in as sappy and dime-novelish a way as I can do drive all of you to hit whatever escape button you've got programmed in, but you cannot escape the heat of my passion.

No, you can't. Better take me seriously, too.

Right, thought we'd get that straight from the start. Here's the First Date.

I worked at the all time great slacker job when I was a 20 years old college student, part time in a parking attendant's booth at a hospital. Yes, the place where you go to see your sick friend is also the place to pay for the privledge. There was really only two busy times during a shift in the booth, once when the nurses shift started, and again when it ended. Oh, the visitors came and went but it was the nurses whom I... ahem, serviced. They, of course, all had paid parking but I still was required to take their little pre-paid card and stamp their ticket with it. Which, of course, led to all kinds of interesting conversations with all kinds of young, single girls. It was great! And the rest of the time I got to read, or listen to the radio, study for college or just sit and think. Fabulous.

During the summer months I worked construction during the day and a few nights a week at the parking lot. It's hot down here in the south in August. Even at night. So I'd sit outside the booth when it was slow and just sorta languidly wave at the nurses coming in for their shift, trying to catch a few eyes. The usual single male rituals. One hot young thing in particular. She always had a smile, big brown eyes, wore those tight white cotton nursey style pants. Yes, oh Lord. The first time I saw her get out of her car (it should be noted that I had strategically sprinted behind an adjoining large tree for just this purpose) and saw that package from behind, it was love at first...uh whatever.

So we went on with the hinting smiley thing for a couple of weeks until I took action. Seeing as how she was always in her car when I saw her I had to think of an appropriate line. I did.

"So, when are you going to take me home with you?"

See the beauty in that? Directly to the point, not threatening (well, maybe just a little), designed to get a laugh but hopefully not the hooting kind. She loved it. She loved it even more when I finally unbuttressed my shyness and asked her name.

Ally. Wow. A little bit foreign / exotic sounding, though she was an all American girl if there ever was one. Yep, she agreed to think about going out with me. She though about it for exactly long enough to drive me nuts. Which is to day, until the next time our schedules collided. Pulling into the lot, with me sitting in plain view (not, I should say, an unplanned move on my part), rolled down the window and...crooked her finger, beckoning me.

(Note to Fiona, my Llewellyn partner - there's a line in one of his Patagonia books, speaking of a mysterious girl of unearthly beauty, that says "if that girl ever crooked the finger, I'd have to go." And the dude was married to another at the time, whoo hoo. But I know how he felt)

Friday night would be just fine by her.

At that time of my wild youth, I drove a Dodge Dart with a 340 4 barrel that would walk and talk. It was easily the most flamboyant car I've ever owned, my pride and joy. It had some head turning ability, but I felt like the entire neighborhood was watching as I rumbled up to Ally's house at the appointed hour. She didn't seem to mind. I didn't mind another look at that fantastic set of legs when I opened the door for her, either.

Sport that I am, I set the tone for the rest of our lives by taking her out to dinner at a place normally beyond my means. Right down on the waterfront, seafood for me and prime rib for her (another continuing saga). We set off from there for a night of, well, cruising the bars. Not to put too fine a point on it but I wanted to see how she could handle it. We went to my bar. We went to a neutral bar. We went to her bar. Somewhere in there, for about the third time that evening, she asked if I wanted to dance.

Man, I cannot dance, and Ally loves to. I'm limber, I love music, and I can't dance. I can shuffle, though. I waited for a slow number, waited quite a while. She seemed suprised when I was the one doing the asking but hopped up. It was sooooo worth the wait. She didn't hesitate a minute but just melted into me. Not tense, not holding anything back. Absolute bliss, just holding her and feeling her move with me.

We didn't waste much time driving back to her place, which happened to be her parent's house, but all appeared to be asleep when we got there. Then.....

No, we didn't do the horizontal bop. It was our first date, alright?

But it was the best make out session I'd ever had. Ever. We just sat there and kissed and smiled and, what the hell, let's kiss for another hour. She kept saying I should go, that I had to work in the morning. Then she'd attack me again, and we'd lose track of time for another hour. I staggered out of there at 5 am, with a job starting at 7.

I drove home in the rumbling Dart, with George Benson on the stereo, the sunrise turning the sky pink, and not a care in the world. I'd found her.

There was no doubt in my mind. Very little in hers. I proposed 4 month later, married her 5 months after that and so we have been for these 21 plus years.

We've battled through more things than I care to remember. Three kids and she's still got the best legs I've ever been privy to. And then some. She turns heads just walking to the grocery store in a flannel shirt and jeans. She cooks, she cleans, holds down a full time job and holds me down at night, heh heh. She weighs, I kid you not, 125 lbs. at 5'-6". Other women hate her for this, but love the person that she is. She is jealous of other women coming after her aging and full bellied husband.

I don't know what I did do to deserve this. And I'm a fool to complain. So, I won't. She merits very little complaining.

I still crack my friends up when I tell them I met my wife in a parking lot, though.

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