Riding around one night with my nephew, actually, on my way home, I spotted a mint condition (maybe late 80’s) dark brown vintage Monte Carlo. You know how certain songs on the radio or a particular scent can take you back to a carefree time in your life when you were your happiest. Well, that night the sight of that car, in that color, rewound time and made me smile. So, of course, I had to share the story with my nephew.
The first man I ever truly loved came to me with nothing. At least none of the things young girls look for in a mate today. At only 19 years old, he had no money or house of his own. But he did have a job and his own car. It wasn’t new and you had to climb in through the windows to get in, but it was his. None of that mattered to me anyway. I’ve never been materialistic. What was important to me was that he was sweet, kind, unique, funny and had swag, y’all!! Because it’s all about the eyes for me, his pretty unique brown eyes captured my heart!
As if that’s not enough, he was a familiar face. See, God allowed me to go to high school with this young man, have several classes with him throughout our four years at puberty hell high, but NEVER have one conversation. Here we are two years later meeting again as my sister and I visited our ill father at the nursing home (a whole other story) where he just started working. Once we looked into one another’s eyes it felt as if we were seeing each other for the very first time. I knew immediately he was it for me. I knew that this man was this Mrs. Right, Mr. Right.
That day we talked and exchanged numbers. Soon we set our first date, a family dinner at my house. The evening of the dinner, he was so late I thought he wasn’t going to come. My sister-in-law (oldest brothers wife) cooked and everybody was ready to eat. The food had been re-warmed a few times, still, thirty minutes later, no date.
As soon as I had cried a puddle and was ready to give up, a thumping melodic mix of hard base and rap filled the night air from at least three blocks away. The neighborhood could’ve been a stage for a Snoop concert as ‘laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind‘ thumped closer until it stopped, blaring, ‘Sipping on Gin and Juice’, in my front yard. He was finally here. My sisters seemed to be excited for me. The four of us were scurrying around, giggling, trying to make sure my hair and lipstick looked ok after the forty-minute wait.
Our house was an open layout with a 30-foot ceiling, speculated to be one of a few standing old slave houses. We had a long hallway stretching from the front door to the back door. Leading to the front door was our sitting room where two small love seats, a few corner tables, and a dim ceiling lamp strategically furnished the tiny space like the waiting room of a small lawyers office.
When my date knocked on the door, my mom nudged for me to open it. I didn’t want to look too eager, plus I was so scared. I stood there as she answered. But tell me why when the door opened there were two young men on the other side? Who brings their cousin to a first date at their potential girlfriend’s house? It could’ve been a very strange moment. But for some reason, the minute we saw the two of them standing there, we all looked at one another and laughed. Instantly, it felt as if we already knew both of them for years. It helped to know he was so nervous that he had to bring support with him. And it worked out well. His cousin instantly fell in love with one of my sisters. “Love at first sight”, he said.
When dinner was over, there was a little daylight left. We resigned to the wooden porch which surrounded our house guarding all for sides. He and I sat on the front, and his cousin and my sister, the side. He turned his car radio on 92.9 WTUG and we danced, laughed and talked for hours. I never felt more comfortable and completely myself around anyone like that before. Our first date didn’t end until the early hours of the next morning.
That night is fondly etched in my mind. A great memory of how opposites quietly attract. I was his church girl, he was my bad boy. The date ended with my first kiss, our first kiss on the front porch, in the darkness lit only by the headlights of his epic, dark brown Monte Carlo. Cheers to the good old days and this piece of my journey! The puzzle pieces are falling into place.