70. New Year’s Eve Dilemma

70. New Year’s Eve Dilemma

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Happily Ever After

New Year’s Eve Dilemma

Don’t refuse to go on an occasional wild goose chase —
that’s what wild geese are for.

~Author Unknown

New Year’s Eve was only a week away, and I didn’t have even the prospect of a date for that important beginning to the New Year. Was the rest of the year going to be like this? Sitting in front of the television with my mother and younger brother watching other people enjoy themselves?

Six months ago, I had moved from the lush southeast coast to this desolate part of west Texas, in order to live with my mom while I recuperated from a serious motorcycle accident. Now that I was able to work again, I planned to hightail it back to God’s country as soon as I was able to save enough money.

In the meantime, here I was, a twenty-one-year-old with a possible New Year’s Eve at home looming in front of me. “Don’t just sit there,” an inner voice prompted me. “Do something.” Usually, the thought of a blind date would have made me shudder, but I was determined not to spend the night in front of the TV.

I picked up the phone and called Penny, someone I’d met here who seemed to know a lot of people in town. Penny said she’d give the matter some thought and get back to me if anyone came to mind.

Two days later, she called back. A former coworker, who didn’t know she was recently engaged, had asked her out for New Year’s Eve. When she explained that she was no longer available, he asked if she had a friend to whom she could introduce him. “He’s divorced with custody of his two kids, pretty clean-cut, and doesn’t do drugs,” she told me. Nervously, I accepted — then spent the next week regretting my impulsiveness. Several times, I almost picked up the phone to cancel.

But I made it through the week, and, finally, the night arrived. Now I couldn’t decide how to dress. Would he expect casual or a dress and heels? About thirty minutes before he was due to arrive, I called Penny in a panic. What should I wear? Penny said she didn’t think he was the “formal type.” What did that mean, not the formal type? Now I was really confused. I finally settled on what I considered to be a happy medium, slacks and a sweater.

The doorbell rang. Should I answer the door myself, or ask my younger brother Jerry to get it? I sighed as I walked to the door, mentally composing various excuses that would allow me to exit the evening gracefully should it prove disastrous. Fixing a smile on my face, I opened the door.

I stopped short and stared as I took in the Stetson hat, western shirt, long blue-jeans-clad legs, and pointed-toe boots. A cowboy! My date was a cowboy! Then my gaze swept back up to his face, and I found myself looking into the greenest eyes I had ever seen, eyes full of laughter at the expression on my face.

I stuttered “hello” and politely held out my hand. Jerry struggled to contain his laughter, while I struggled to regain my composure. We chatted briefly, and suddenly I didn’t care where we went or what we did.

Over dinner, we never seemed to run out of things to talk about. And I found my eyes kept coming back to those green eyes and that smiling mouth. After dinner, he took me to an action movie. I forgot to warn him how actively I participate in action adventures. He laughed as I screamed, hid my eyes and cowered in my seat, and lifted my feet off the floor when insects or rodents appeared on the screen. I think the really big adventure for him was watching me react to the show.

When the movie was over, he said he had to get home. I wondered if this was a brush-off. I also wondered if he would kiss me goodnight on this first date. He had been such a perfect gentleman the entire evening, he’d probably just shake my hand, and maybe I’d never see him again. I realized how much I wanted that goodnight kiss. Would he think I was too forward if I kissed him first? Would it drive him away, or bring him back? Once again, I was in an agony of indecision!

When we arrived at my house, he walked me to the door, came in for a moment, then turned to leave. What the heck? I thought to myself. Go for broke. I followed him out to his car and asked for that goodnight kiss. He obliged, and, lightheaded, I floated back to the house, hoping I would hear from him again.

I did. The next morning, early, he called. He liked me, too! Fifty-six days later, we became husband and wife. That was twenty-one years ago, and even after all these years together, his kisses still make me lightheaded.

Never underestimate the power of a blind date.


~Judith L. Robinson
Chicken Soup for the Single’s Soul

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