FIRST tomorrow is my wife’s birthday, the 51st since I attended the party for her 16th (I had been 17 for 2 1/2 months). It didn’t go all that well, the party and my attempts to woo her. No, nobody under 50 actually said things like ‘woo’ in 1968, but, before I gave up in the jockeying for Trisha’s attention against one very pushy asshole (not really subjective; there’s proof), before I went home; I did ask her if she wanted to go to the beach the next morning.
I was pretty sure she’d said yes as I, alone in kitchen in the house where I was raised, contemplated love and life and feint hearts and such while eating a peanut butter and butter sandwich; slicing a hunk of cheese off a giant round (like 10 pounds or more) in the refrigerator (from Story’s Dairy, a knife kept on the top- one would re-wrap after slicing); washing down my teenage angst with milk from a ‘cow-tainer’ (probably two gallons, plastic in a box, plastic spigot moved to new box when emptied).
On Sundays I would, frequently drive my father to his part-time job (he had several of these, and a full time job- 7 children will do that to a person) as a mechanic in Oceanside, drop him off and go surfing. Frequently because whichever car my father had allowed me to drive, usually purchased on a mechanic’s lien, would frequently break down.
“Do you like her?” my father asked before we showed up at Trisha’s parent’s rented house (her father was in Vietnam) at 7:30 or so. Her mom came to the door. Trish wasn’t ready, but, from somewhere behind her mother, Trish said, “Just a minute.”
“I do,” I said. “Well, then…”
Yeah; pretty romantic. Trish got to watch me surf at one spot, then got to hang out on the bluff at Grandview while I surfed some more. She now says a couple of surfers tried to hit on her, asked what she was doing there. She made some possibly vague reference to being there with (pointing) that guy.
We do count November 10 as the day we started ‘going together’ (probably an antiquated term itself), the deal cemented when, back at her parents’ place, lingering in the driveway, I asked if we should, maybe, kiss or something.
Logistics. These things had to be worked out. Bobbing and weaving, who goes in, which way do I turn my head (hey, I wasn’t a total novice to this)? It finally came down to “One, two, three…” Kiss.
A while later, Trisha’s mom broke it up.
This year, Trish will be hanging out at a ghost conference in Kingston, Washington, with our daughter Dru, ex-daughter-in-law, Karrie, grandson Nate; the folks who chase (they would say investigate) hauntings and such, and, of course, the ghosts.
If I think about the most frequent thing Trish and I say to each other; on my end, live and on the cell phone (while working, going to or from surfing, moving from the fruit to the meat section while shopping), it would probably be (yeah, even in the bread aisle, even with others listening) “Love you, bye.” For Trish it would have to be, in an endless variety of situations, “Just a minute.”
“One, two, three… love you.”
Trish, circa 1968. Note, one, she’s wearing a wetsuit; two, those tires on my Morris Minor look pretty darn bald; three, check out the fin on that, probably homemade board.
Sorry; I got waylaid here a bit. I have some tags put together for my t-shirts, available now at Tyler Meeks’ DISCOVERY BAY OUTDOOR EXCHANGE.
AND, here’s my latest drawing:
“Light, bending slightly.” As always, I asked Trish what she thinks about it. “You just can’t get away from that psychedelic stuff.”