Mary Ellen and I were relaxing on our deck, and after swatting a few mosquitoes, I said, “We should look into screening in this area.”
“Dick, you’ve been saying that every year for the past 25 years. Not only that, but we are moving next week.”
A few minutes later I mentioned how quickly the summer passes after July 4.
“You say that every year around this time,” she responded.
Suddenly, I realized that after 39 years, I didn’t have a single new thought. Uneasy silence followed. Mary Ellen finally spoke.
“When it gets this hot, I think about cutting my hair shorter.”
“Where have I heard that before?” I asked.
We needed a way to jazz up our conversations. Mary Ellen had an idea.
“An article I read recommended that longtime married couples should pretend they are going on a first date, which might lead to a romantic evening.”
So, on Friday afternoon, I asked Mary Ellen to go out that night. She was annoyed that I waited until the last minute, assuming she didn’t already have other plans. I went outside the house and rang the doorbell, like a real date, but she’s no dummy. She knew I had simply forgotten my keys.
We drove off.
“What shall we talk about tonight, Dick?”
“How about movies?”
“Great idea. I just saw “Mission Impossible.”
“I saw that, too.”
“I know, Dick. We saw it together.”
“Gone to any good new restaurants lately, Mary Ellen?”
“No, my husband likes to go to the same places all the time.”
“Mary Ellen, you don’t have a husband. This is a first date. What kind of a jerk goes out with a married woman? Let’s try travel. Have you ever seen the Pyramids?”
“We went last year. How could you forget?”
“I didn’t forget. I’m making conversation. That was the whole point of this.”
“Well, it’s getting too weird. I feel like I’m dating a man who’s lost his memory.”
We tried everything: music, religion, books, sports. We didn’t really hit it off, but we must have connected on some level because despite a dismal first date, we both ended up back at my place.