On July 12, 2023

What we do for love

 

I don’t think there is a female among us who hasn’t done something out of her comfort zone simply because she is dating someone who interests her. I definitely plead “guilty” to doing that almost 50 years ago!

In fact, I did multiple things that were way out of my comfort zone. Perhaps my memories will trigger some of your own as I take a look back.

My future husband, Peter, asked me to play tennis on our first date. I had played tennis before but my skill in that sport was sorely lacking. I quickly found out how bad I was as many of the balls I hit went into the court next to us. I apologized more times than I could count on my 10 fingers. 

I am surprised that I was asked out on a second date after the way the first one went but I was. However, our next date was dinner in a restaurant. Now that I could handle like a pro!

My next adventure into unchartered territory was when Peter asked if I would like to go fishing. I had never been in a boat much less fishing but I have always liked to be around water so why not be “on top of it” in a boat? The boat that Peter owned was an aluminum one that he carried on top of his car. In fact I noticed that it never left that spot. I asked “Why?” and was told that it was easier to just leave it there than to take it on and off. I immediately came to the conclusion that he did a lot of fishing! He gave another reason for keeping the boat on his car, “It gives me shade in the front end of the car.” I didn’t ask any more questions.

On a beautiful sunny day in 1974 we headed to Chittenden Reservoir for my “maiden voyage.” I had obtained the required fishing license and Peter provided a life jacket, pole and worms for me to use. I told him there was no way I would put the worm on the hook so he took care of that task. I was instructed on how to let the line out and reel it back in. If I felt a tug I was told to lift up the line and keep it in the air as I reeled in the fish. Within 5 minutes I felt a tug and I had my first fish – a rainbow trout. Peter put the net under it as it got closer to the boat. That experience went a whole lot better than our tennis match! As you might guess, I did not clean the fish. Peter had the honor of doing that, too.

Before long winter was upon us and the fisherman I was dating turned into a downhill skier — He wasn’t just a recreational skier; he taught skiing! Of course, he asked me to join him on the slopes. I skied a little better than I played tennis but not a lot. I had all the equipment and clothing needed for the sport so off to Pico we went one Sunday morning. I told him that I had a reputation for knocking my T-bar partner off the lift but he was confident that wouldn’t happen with him. It didn’t.

The trip down the trail was different for both of us. Peter went down in a nice straight vertical “schuss.” I went from one side of the trail to the other. I was given some helpful advice but he definitely had a challenge when it came to teaching me.

Fear of heights and fear of speed kept me on the lower trails. But eventually we ventured onto the chairlift. The ride up was fine. Getting off…not so fine! I sort of jumped instead of letting the chair gently push me off. No damage done…but it wasn’t pretty!

At the end of the day we went into the Pico Ski Club building as Peter was a member. I was introduced to so many people that my head was spinning. But they were welcoming and by the end of the winter it was a more comfortable environment.

We were married in 1975 and fishing, skiing and camping were part of our lives for many years. But there were “improvements” in the way each one of those was done. Peter’s pop-up camper was replaced by a camper/trailer with a double bed, shower and toilet. The aluminum boat was traded for a larger boat that required a trailer to pull it. It had a canopy which was great on a hot day or in a light rain. I learned that fish love a light rain and I liked to stay dry. Problem solved!

Downhill skiing was intermingled with cross country skiing and snowshoeing as the years went by. Peter learned to love both of those and I was happy because my feet stayed on the ground and it was slower paced.

Of course, Peter also did things that were out of his comfort zone back in our dating days. But that is a topic for a future column.

If your dating days involved activities that were done out of love I hope you can look back like we can, almost 50 years later, and realize that the compromises you made back then were the beginning of a wonderful life together. After all, marriage, like life, is all about “give and take.” It works!

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