The Blind Date
A true story about a blind date that resulted in a marriage to Alice.
Blind dates are always short and boring! If you don’t believe that,
ask my son, John.
The infamous blind date resulted from a strange chance encounter at a
Christmas party given by an accounting firm in Everett, Washington.
John and his girl friend went to the party, held in a quaint French
restaurant in Mukilteo, Washington. He had been hired by the firm just
a few weeks before the party. The lady, widowed for almost twenty-one
years, retired from that firm the previous May, but nevertheless was
also invited to the party. Reluctantly she accepted the invitation.
The lady was reluctant about going to the party because a week before
that she had taken a friend’s young daughter to a children’s Christmas
party sponsored by the same accounting firm. There she had run into
snobbishness. The children were stylishly dressed. That made the mothers
feel and act ultra superior, figuratively going around with their noses
up in the air. Concerned about a repeat of that arrogant performance,
she decided that it was not worth going to another party where those
same women would also be attending. However, after a discussion with
one of her nieces, the niece persuaded the lady to go to the adult
Christmas party. She was persuaded to go because the niece reminded
her that regardless of her poor experience at the children’s party
that she had had pleasant experiences at other adult Christmas parties.
Convinced, the lady went to the party. Before the dinner, she chatted
with numerous people that she had known over the years. Then for
reasons that still cannot be explained she sat next to John and his
girl friend, the only two people that she did not know. Both talkers,
John and she got into a lively long conversation.
Towards the end of the conversation, John offhandedly mentioned
something about having a sixty-six year old single dad. The response
was, “Oh you have a sixty-six year old single father?” Without batting
an eyelash, John said, “Are you looking?” And again the lady
responded, “Well maybe.” And John, never at a loss for words, asked,
“Would you consider going on a date with him?” She agreed, but
believed that nothing more would come of it and left to continue
socializing with others. She never dreamed that John would remember her
after she left his side.
However, the next morning, Sunday, John, in a telephone conversation
with me recounted the nice time that he had at the party, and that he
met such a nice lady, I must surely ask her for a date. He then went
on to say that he did not remember her name, but said that he would
somehow get her name and telephone number.
Half-heartedly, I agreed to give it a try. Half-heartedly, because
her home would be about one hundred miles away by highways, only
somewhat less going by a ferry boat and highway. Either way it would
still be a burdensome trip of almost two hours. Besides I was widowed
for less than a year after a very good marriage that had lasted more
than forty-one years. I did not feel romantically inclined.
A couple of weeks went by, and I was relieved that John had seemingly
forgotten the whole thing. Then on January 7th, when the lady came into
the accounting firm on business, he got her name and telephone number.
He gave it to me that night, and I promptly put the information aside.
Who wanted it?
The next night, he asked me, “Did you call her?” I told him, “No.”
Even now, I can still hear him say, “DAD CALL!” So, I called and was
relieved that there was no response. Dutifully, I reported that to
The next day, when he again saw her in the accounting firm, John told
the lady, “My Dad had called you last night but you were not at home.”
Her response was, “I don’t sit around waiting for telephone calls.”
“Call her again,” John told me in no uncertain terms. His enthusiasm
was infectious. So, later that night I called her again and this time
she was at home.. Somehow the two strangers had a telephone
conversation lasting sixty-three minutes. (I was amazed when my
telephone bill came and showed me the length of time for that call. It
hadn’t seemed that long during the call.) During the conversation, I
asked her to make a reservation in a good restaurant in her area for a
Saturday night, a week and a half away (not really anxious to go on the
date). When she found out that I live in Bremerton, she thought that I
must be a nut to go on a blind date with a person living so far away.
In anticipation for the blind date, the lady went into an upscale
dress shop to buy a new outfit. While in the dress shop, she met a
friend. Both exchanged greetings and expressed surprise at seeing each
other in that expensive store. Simultaneously, they each asked the
question, “What are you doing here?” The lady said, “I’m looking for
something to wear on a blind date.” Her friend was in the shop to buy a
dress to wear for her daughter’s wedding, several weeks away.
During the morning of the blind date, I bought an orchid corsage.
Then, late in the afternoon I started on my trip to Everett. My
intention was that this trip would be the one and only trip to that
It was necessary to travel via Seattle so that I could leave my Collie
at John’s house during the time that I would be on the blind date.
After leaving Seattle, the rest of the trip to Everett was almost
uneventful, except that near the end of the highway trip I took the
wrong exit off the highway (and got lost). This was contrary to the
very good instructions given to me by the prospective blind date. (The
thought of being late was not considered to be an auspicious start for
a blind date!) Finally, after getting on a street that I thought was
near her apartment house, I felt thoroughly lost. It was a dark winter
night, and there was nobody. I looked in front, in back, and across
the street. There was nobody. Finally, I looked to the right, and
while there was nobody, there was the number of her apartment house.
Pure dumb luck, finally making it to the right place in a strange city
and ten minutes early at that.
I rang the bell; she opened the door. We introduced ourselves through
the closed screen door. Then she just stood there, staring at me
through the screen door. Enough was enough. I opened the door and
stepped inside. Very kindly she then offered me a choice of coffee or
hot buttered rum. I needed the rum. We talked for an hour before
leaving for the restaurant just north of Everett, but before leaving,
I pinned the orchid corsage on her dress. A little later, unknown to
me, it fell off. She later told me that she had to pin it back on.
The conversation in her apartment and on the way to the restaurant
flowed very nicely. In the restaurant parking lot, I took her hand on
the way into the restaurant. It felt so very natural.
As the dinner was nearly over, she asked me if I cared to go dancing
at a local lodge where she had an associate membership. So, why not!
We were having a pleasant time, and it was even better during the
dancing when I kissed her.
During the course of the evening, I asked her for a date for four
weeks later to attend a symphony orchestra concert in Bremerton. She
accepted. However, I turned down an invitation for dinner at her
apartment for the next weekend. She was having two of her nieces and
their husbands over for that, and I felt that I was too new to be
included in a family event.
Eventually, I left early Sunday morning for Seattle to pick up my
Collie at John’s house. On arriving there, John was furious with me.
He had been extremely worried because I was so late in getting to his
home. He told me that blind dates are supposed to be short and
boring, and because of that he thought that my delay in getting to his
house was due to being in an accident. To find out whether I had been
in an accident he had called two hospitals and the state patrol. He
also told me that I was getting even with him for him pulling the same
stunt on him that he pulled when he was younger by being late and not
providing any notification. In return, I believed that a sixty-six
year old father did not have to report his whereabouts to his son.
However, regardless of the anger and scolding he heaped on me, he said
that I was smiling all the time.
The unpleasantness with John was left in Seattle. I began to miss my
blind date and could think of little else but her on the rest of the
long way home.
On Monday night, I decided to swallow my pride by calling her and
asking if I could come to the dinner with her relatives. Again, she
was not home, but on Tuesday night she graciously allowed me to take
back my earlier refusal of the invitation.
By that time, John had gotten over his anger with me, and the next
weekend, my Collie was again left with him. On arriving at her
apartment, in Everett, our greetings to each were as emotionally
intense as if we had been lovers for a long time instead of it being
only the second time that we had seen each other. Of course, there had
been numerous calls during the week. During the weekend, I showed her
brochures about making a trip to Normandy where I had been in the D-Day
invasion. Both of us took that as an indication of an unspoken
proposal of marriage as it was implied that she make the trip with me.
Dinner with the lady’s relatives was enjoyed by all. Before that date
was over, she accepted an invitation to come to Bremerton for the next
During one of our telephone conversations later in the week, I
proposed to her and she accepted. I wanted to get married right away.
She said that we would have to wait until the latter part of March
because she had business commitments in her home based bookkeeping
business until then. That Saturday night, during the weekend date, we
went dancing at my American Legion post. On the dance floor I was able
to convince her that we could get married next week, and that she could
still meet her commitments. We could be together on the weekends, and
she could be in Everett during the week until the end of the
We agreed to be married the following Friday, and we got the license
on Monday before she went back to Everett.
There was plenty of reaction to a widow of almost twenty-one years
getting married so suddenly. A sampling: In a scolding from her
sister, “You didn’t tell me you were going with anybody.” The
response, “I wasn’t.” From her daughter-in-law in Pennsylvania to her
husband, “Gary, I think you should talk to your mother.” The laughing
response, “Nobody talks to my mother about something she’s made up
her mind.” From a friend, “Just a minute until I get up off the
floor!” From John, the instigator, “My God, what have I done?”
We were married on Friday in the county court house in Everett, just
twenty days after we met. John was the best man and a lady friend from
the accounting firm was the second witness.
The next Friday my wife and I went to the wedding of the daughter of
her friend whom she had met in the dress shop a few weeks before.
After the wedding ceremony while going through the reception line, my
wife introduced me to her friend and said, “I’d like you to meet my
blind date; he’s my husband now.” Her friend was speechless; I thought
that she was going to swallow her teeth.
A man to keep my word, four weeks after we met, I took my wife to the
date that had been promised her when she was my blind date, the
symphony orchestra concert in Bremerton.
The separations during the following weeks were easier said than done.
We really burned the telephone wires for the month and a half until
she fulfilled her business commitments in Everett and was able to move
About two months after we got married, we visited Gary and his family
in Pennsylvania. Before the visit was over, the daughter-in-law (the
lady who wanted her husband to speak with his mother) asked me if she
could call me Dad.
Several months later the lady who was the second witness at our
wedding was invited to our home for a weekend. To make her weekend
more interesting, we arranged a blind date with a widower for her. We
were not trying to play cupid, but lo and behold, five months later,
they too got married. It was at a slower pace than than the twenty days
it took for my wife and me. They got married five months after
meeting. They also are immensely happy.
Regarding showing her the Normandy brochure, we made a trip there with
several of my World War II shipmates and their wives. That trip was
expanded for us to visit with my relatives in France and Sweden and her
relatives in Denmark. We had a ball on that trip. We have also
crossed the country about five or six times since we’ve been married
and have gone south to visit a friend in Arizona.
My wife and I have been married for over twelve years now, and we have
been loving and enjoying each other since we first met. We continue to
feel like we are still on that blind date. (In fact, she is my
permanent blind date.) The magic never wears off. Each year on the
anniversary of our blind date we have hot buttered rum and go by her
former apartment in Everett and then to the same restaurant just north
of Everett where we had our blind date. We have celebrated four blind
date anniversaries there.
John no longer works at the accounting firm. He firmly believes that
he was placed there so that he could bring my blind date and me
together. For him, it was worthwhile. Of course, John has now also
learned that blind dates are not always short and boring. We totally
agree with him on both accounts.
May 3, 2012
Alice and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary on 02/07/2012. Our
love for each other is stronger than ever.
Sadly, Our Blind Date ended when Alice, my dear wife, died on January 13, 2015. That was just days before we were going to celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary on February 7th and her 92nd birthday on February 8th.