Things haven't been the same the last 32 years. Thank goodness.
This Valentine's Day 32 years ago I wound up devastated and home alone after I was thrown over for the night on the premise that the girl I had asked out "had to work late."
The story might have been the truth, but I wasn't going to chance it by asking her out again. Instead I drowned my sorrows in a six-pack of beer and my black and white television. My dating record had been less than stellar.
As the silver-tongued Don Williams once said, "It's an awful awakening in a country boy's life." I looked in the mirror the next morning and felt my youth slipping away without a steady girl to show for it.
Her name wasn't Amanda and I wasn't anywhere near pushing 30, but I knew I needed to be more than an ink-stained grease monkey. Boy did the next couple of years and determination ever change that.
I soon met someone I thought might be right at the racquet club in Tucumcari. I played some doubles with her and some other people and soon asked her out. Our first date was at the theater. Yes believe it or not Tucumcari had a great community theater group called Stage 66 and we went to see a dinner theater performance of "The Odd Couple."
The date went well and it wasn't long before the neighbors were used to seeing my car in her driveway. The bonus came a short time later when I began selling newspaper advertising. Her daddy's furniture and appliance store was the top advertiser on my new list and she had the job of placing the ads. Wow, I actually got to call on my new girl as a part of my new job. I was definitely combining business and pleasure.
We saw every movie that came to the Odeon Theatre while we were dating and we spent a lot of nights at her place after dinner out just watching television. Well, OK, there was a little more than television going on whenever her rabid Siamese cat would allow it.
The cat would sit on the back of the couch and if I put my arm around my sweetie the beast would immediately try to shred the limb. Love prevailed though, even if we did have to lock the cat in the bathroom occasionally.
Once I had married the furniture and appliance store owner's daughter I figured I had it made with that account. She proved to be a sweet lover and lifelong companion but a tough cookie on her advertising.
Like the words of Williams' song, she has always been the light of my life.
I know fate should have made her a gentleman's wife but I'm doing the best I can with what this country boy had to work with.
Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org