It was about this time that one of the most significant events of my life took place. One Sunday evening at church, I looked back toward the rear of the sanctuary and saw a girl I didn’t know. She was a skinny little thing with wavy brown hair, big brown eyes, and a delicately pointed little nose. She was sitting with a girl one of my colleagues knew well, so I nudged him and asked him to take me back there to meet her. I learned that her name was Sandra, and I asked to sit with her that evening. Boldly, I held her hand beneath the hymn book and after church I slyly obtained her phone number. She was only fourteen (I was sixteen) and she told me that she seriously doubted that her parents would allow her to have anything to do with me. I was not deterred, though, and I drifted home on a cloud. My family was sitting around the table talking, but they gave me their attention when I told them I had an important announcement to make. “I think I met the girl I’m going to marry tonight,” I said.
“That’s nice,” my mom said with an indulgent smile, and then returned to the conversation. Despite Sandra’s predictions to the contrary, her parents did allow me to call on her (a decision they have, no doubt, regretted many times since.)