It’s a Date!

It’s a Date!

From Chicken Soup for Every Mom's Soul

It’s a Date!

“Should I meet him there Saturday night?” she asked.

“Of course not. You know the family rule,” I said. The cold pork chops hissed against the sizzling skillet. “Your date must always . . .”

“It’s not a date,” she interrupted.

“. . . come right to the door,” I chanted without missing a beat. We had rehearsed this very conversation before. A slight pause followed. “Where is he taking you?”

“Out for supper and maybe somewhere afterwards.” Panic peppered her voice. “A whole evening together— alone. What will we talk about?”

“Knowing you, you’ll talk about anything and everything. Since when have you been at a loss for words, anyway?” I joked, handing her a short stack of stoneware salad plates.

“But this is different. I hardly know Tom.”

Brushing aside crisp kitchen curtains, I peered into the deepening dusk. A gentle rain blurred the boundaries, skewing the scene like a photograph out of focus. “Well, there’s always the weather. Better yet, get him to talk about himself. Ask your boyfriend . . .”

“He’s not my boyfriend.”

“. . . about his interests. And, by the end of the date . . .”

“It’s not a date!”

“ . . . you’ll know each other better and probably have lots to say,” I encouraged. After all, I was experienced with this mother-daughter thing. I had raised four teenagers— all at one time—in the not-so-distant past. Could this be much different?

“Well—if you’re sure.” She paused. “It’s just that . . .”

“Yes?” I coaxed, a little impatient with her hesitancy, my mind racing ahead to the details of dinner.

But the voice that answered had slowed, softened and deepened.

“Do you realize how long it’s been?” Her words hung there, suspended, unsupported in the sudden silence.

Reaching across me to the stove, she flipped the pork chops and turned down the heat.

“. . . how long it’s been,” she cleared her throat, “since I’ve dated, I mean? Fifty-five years! With your dad gone so long now, I think . . . maybe . . . well . . . maybe it’s time. Why, Carol, I was seventeen the last time I went on a date.”

I turned—once again a daughter—and winked. “Oh, but Mom . . . it’s not a date!”

Carol McAdoo Rehme

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