Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Drink? Don't Smoke? What Do Ya Do?

My Nana loved to Jitterbug. She had a regular dancing partner named Johnny, and they would go out dancing on a regular basis. Although she never said it, I think Johnny was Nana's beau. The place they went dancing also served food. Nana would always order a BBQ beef sandwich and a glass of cold buttermilk.

One day, Nana was in town and saw the waitress from the dancing place. The started talking and the waitress mentioned that the previous night, she had seen Johnny dancing with another girl. Nana was very upset. She went home and called her friend a couple of towns away. She told her what had happened. Her friend said, " I know what we will do, we will find you another dance partner!". Nana agreed and the next Saturday night, she and her friend were going on a double date. When Nana asked her friend about her blind date, all her friend would say is that he was a buddy of her boyfriend and his name was Chuck.

Saturday came and Nana was nervous. She hadn't cancelled her date with Johnny, she wanted to stand him up. But Chuck and the other couple were late picking her up. Finally, they arrived and off they went for a night on the town. Chuck was very polite, but a little quiet. Nana and Chuck were sitting at their table and had just finished their BBQ sandwiches. Nana had ordered her usual buttermilk, Chuck had ordered a beer. The other couple got up to dance and left Nana and Chuck alone. Chuck asked Nana if she wanted a beer, she said she didn't drink alcohol. Nana asked Chuck if he danced, he said no. Chuck asked Ferne if she smoked, she said no. Nana asked Chuck what he liked to do for fun, he said drink and smoke. Their first date did not go well. Why they ever went on a second date, is beyond me........

Several months later, Nana was in the kitchen with her mother and father having breakfast. They heard a knock on the door. Nana, still in her robe and slippers, answered the door. It was Chuck, the young man she had been dating. He looked very serious. She took him into the living room and they sat down on the love seat. His hands were shaking and he was starting to perspire. He looked into Nana's eyes and said;

"Ferne, I love you. I want to marry you."

He then took out a ring and put it on her finger.

She looked at it for a minute and replied;

"Chuck, I will marry you. But that is the ugliest ring I have ever seen in my life and I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it."

Chuck smirked and said;

"Fine, then get dressed. We will go to Columbus and you can pick out the ring that you want, but I am only spending $200.00"

They were married a few weeks later. They stayed married for 44 years until Chuck passed away. Nana used to tell that story over and over again. I was the only one in the family that didn't roll their eyes when she told the story, so about a year before she died, Nana gave me the ring she picked out in Columbus. I wear it every day and think of her.

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