Arriving at her house, I walked up to the front door and rung the doorbell stepping back. I hear a voice. "Lisa! Your date is here!" This was followed heavy footsteps and my heartbeat beginning to rise. The door opens and there stood her father. Both of our jaws dropped as we looked each other up and down. It was at this point that Lisa came to the door. She joined us in this jaw drop. "Oh My God! I'm going out with my dad!"
This statement jolted me back to my senses. Her father was wearing a baby blue dress shirt, Khaki pants, and tennis shoes. Exactly the same as me. If hadn't shaved my goatee I would have been even more close to looking like him since he had a full beard. He couldn't help but grin at this point. Meanwhile my wife, decided at this point to introduce us.
"Daddy, this is Bryan. Bryan this is my Dad"
Now I was never good with meeting parents. They made me nervous. Not because I had bad intentions toward their daughter, but because I live in the south and there are too many stories about "Good ole boys" making their daughters "ex's" disappear if something happened between them. Now most of them are urban legends, but I never took any chances. I figured if I was to survive I would have to maintain a secret identity as "Some guy" dating their daughter that they didn't have a face to place with the person they intended to kill. I figured that philosophy had kept me alive 25 years at that point and it had proven to be sound as far as I was concerned. However, with Lisa, I felt I had something special and if it was special enough to make myself look respectable for, I was going to do the "proper" thing.
Extending my hand, "Nice to meet you Mr. White.", I said with confidence but am sure it came out as "mumble.. mumble ..you. Mr. White" and rather shaky mumbling at that. I will never know for sure until I read this back to my wife. Anyway. He took my hand and shook it.
"I am Norman, not Mr. White."
He took back his hand still smiling. No return "Nice to meet you too Bryan." Just his simple statement of being Norman. My nerves were in need of a towel and I was beginning to think running for the car at this point might be safer for my future. I guess both he and Lisa figured I was going to either run for the car, pass out, or allow my bladder to relieve itself if I wasn't out of there quickly because at that point, Lisa said to Norman,
"Daddy, we need to go."
"Be careful" was his response, as he stepped back inside allowing me to return to having a slower heartbeat. No threats, No "I am going to clean my gun. Have her home by 11:00." Just "Be careful." There is a lot to be understood from that statement. Be careful so I don't have to kill you." "Be careful, you don't disrespect my daughter, so I don't have to kill you." "Be careful that you anticipate that my daughter should be home by 11:00 pm and you should call if you are going to be any later, so I don't have to kill you"
Be careful, because I know what you look like stupid boy if I have to kill you."
I never knew until that point that "Be careful." Meant so many things or that it was such an extremely threatening statement.
Opening the door for her, and getting in the car we left for the theater.
"What happened to your hair?" she asked.
"Um.. I got it cut so I would be more presentable for meeting your parents." I replied.
"I liked it better the other way."
"I can grow it back."
"Grow back the goatee too. You look better with it."
So far I was not scoring too well on this date but I figured she had got in the car with me so something must still be going ok. I wasn't sure what, but I wasn't going to question that since I didn't want to find out anything else I had done wrong. I also didn't want her to think about it. Change the subject Bryan my brain told me.
"So what movie do you want to see?" I asked. Pretty simple question and it puts the ball back in her court. What I didn't realize was that I was batting against a pitcher who had a pitch for anything I could bat against.
"I don't care. What do you want to see?"
Crap. Well played. Checkmate. Game over. If I said something like "Star Trek" or "Friday the 13th Part 87" my inning would be over. Bingo! "What say we wait till we get to the theater and see what's playing?" I replied. Hah! Your Jedi mind tricks do not work on me! Oh crap... yeah they do...I bet I just set myself up for a Chick flick.
(Continued in Part 3)