The next day at school somehow news had traveled fast. It seemed that everyone knew that Jon and I were going out. At the time Jon’s day was known as one of the stricter teachers. I had multiple people ask “You are going out Mr. Rhodes' son?” I have to admit by this point he was growing on me. However, he was still planning on being an Aggie, so I wasn’t planning on it going any where. Friday drew nearer and I still knew nothing about the plans. On the way to government on Thursday I finally asked him what the plan was. He said we were going bowling and to dinner. Sounded fun and I figured both places would have lots of others around, besides we were doubling with Jason so that would help keep the conversation going also.
Side note: I later found out that on the day of our date, Friday, Mr. Jonas pulled Jon into his office and gave him speech.
“I hear you are taking out Ms. Rynders?” said Jonas.
“Yes, sir”, said Jon.
“Well just know that if I find out you weren’t a gentleman, opening doors, etc. you will be in trouble.”
I thought this was so funny and sweet that he was being so protective!
I remember I gave a friend a ride home that day and we were talking about the date. I again got the speech about “Mr. Rhodes’ son?” I was of course nervous. I was 18 and this was going to be my first official date! I wasn’t sure what to wear but didn’t want to dress too nice since we were going to be hanging out in a bowling ally. By the way if you ask Jon what I wore. He still remembers! Anyway I remember sitting in the living room with my dad waiting for Jon to show up. When he finally showed up at 7:00 I opened the door and he says “Well, it’s just you and me kid. P is sick so we are on our own.” I remember felling shock and horror all at the same time. What on earth were we going to talk about!
He decided to take me to Red Lobster. Fancy for Abilene! I remember that I ordered chicken strips. I loved their pasta but had read Teen and knew never to order pasta on a date, especially a first date. Jon, however, didn’t know this trick and he, of course, ordered the pasta. He picked at it mostly because he quickly figured out that it was a bad idea to cover your face in pasta sauce on a first date. We both daintily picked at one cheese biscuit, Lord knows I could have eaten the whole basket. The good news was we had good conversation, little awkward silence but a lot of it consisted of him telling me about things he had done with friends the last time they came to Red Lobster. I was glad that I knew most of them or I would have really been lost!
Next we were going bowling. Well it just happened to be the weekend before spring break which Jon hadn’t considered. He had planned to go to Hardin Simmons bowling ally because it was smoke free. The only problem was. It was closed....so we had to drive all the way back across town, a whole 10 minutes, to go to Abilene bowling Lanes. It was swamped with people and we had to wait an hour. Great, more down time. There were, of course, other people there from school and they were attempting to razz us but Jon gave me his attention. I remember us having a lengthy conversation about Shania Twain’s song, that don’t impress me much. He hated it; I liked the beat but he thought it was crazy that she compared being a rocket scientist and having a car as the same thing...etc. etc. Silly but still kind of cracks me up. We bowled 2 games and he beat me both times, you would think he would have let me win at least once. Then we had to leave because he had a midnight curfew. Never having a curfew I definitely seized the opportunity to tease him about it. He walked me to the door and we hugged. I liked him but was still stuck on impending graduation.
Fast forward to the next day. A mutual friend was having a birthday party that we were both attending. We were kind of awkward around each other and everyone was of course bombarding us about how things went? Jason asked me every five seconds “Did you have fun? Do you like him?” etc, etc” I told them that I had fun but we were going to be living in different towns in 2 months…….
Fast forward again to Tuesday…I was going to New York for Spring Break with the dance team…FYI; I was not on the team…just going for fun because I had several friends who were. We were scheduled to meet at school at 4 am to head to Dallas to fly out. My mom and I were both going so she had driven us to school. When we pulled into the parking lot to unload I look up and there was Jon. Standing by the van holding a care package for me. I was shocked but so happy at the same time. It finally clicked that he liked me. I am a little slow ok! He had snuck out of the house just to see me off. I gave him a big hug and then he left. When I was in the van I looked through the bag that included candy, Mad Libs, and a sweet note telling me what a good time he had. One of the girls on the bus that I barely knew said “Wow, you have a really nice boyfriend!” “Thanks,” I said. That was it, we never discussed it, I never thought about it again. I just knew that we were supposed to be together. We never had a DTR talk but when we got back from Spring Break we both knew we were official.
Epilogue: The following year, Jon recreated this date to celebrate the first anniversary of our first date. Crazy thing was, the same people we saw at the bowling ally the first year, were there the 2nd year also. BTW...this time we polished off the whole basket of bisuits and he still didn't let me win at bowling!
Coming up next Chapter 5 Hold my Hand!