In our home, and somewhat in our community, there were a couple of unwritten (but sometimes spoken) “age rules” for youngsters.
Rule #2: A person who grew up in the church should be 16 years old before going out on a date. (My wife grew up with a variation of this rule which allowed for double-dating at 15 and for single-dating at 16.)
One night, early into my sophomore year of high school, I stood on the sidelines before the start of a Harding Academy football game. My arm hung in a sling from a separated shoulder. I smiled and struck up a conversation with the nearest cheerleader, “Mary.”
It was a crisp and clear autumn evening, and I could see my house off in the distance. Talking to Mary, time stood still and time flew by … and I thought, “I may have found myself a Homecoming date.”
We chatted again a few days later, and I asked her out. She said, “Yes!” I floated through the rest of that day, until I realized I had broken The Dating Rule. Four months shy of my 16th birthday, I passed the bad news along to my mom who, in turn, told my dad. He, in turn, told my mom to let me know it was okay, but that this would be my absolutely positively last date until I had reached the age of 16. I nodded and said mostly nothing, because I knew in my heart I liked Mary and that I’d ask her out again.
And I did … two or three more times that fall.
Please don’t tell my dad.
|On a date with (future wife) Cheryl. We were both over 16.|