CM & CMW and A Valentine’s Story
Now it came to pass that on Valentine’s Day, thirty some years ago, there was a Certain Young Man who was taking a Certain Young Woman upon a date. This was a first date for that particular seventeen year old damsel, though the Certain Young Man was on his fourth first date. (Uh-huh!!!)
CYW was not altogether sure of this CYM, having eluded his pursuit for a great many months with careful tactics that involved hiding behind the seats of cars, ducking into convenient doorways and declining proffered friendship with calculated coolness.
However, when the Heavenly Father set out to impress upon her heart the need to at least give the young man a chance, she obeyed — albeit with reservation.
On this particular Sunday in 1971, they set forth to hear the Gospel Echoes team sing at the Plain City Elementary School Auditorium. It was term break from Rosedale Bible Institute, and special permission had been given by Willard Mayer, the principal, no less, for a single date. The age of both mandated that it should have been a double, but Brother Mayer, bless his heart, was an old romantic, and he was willing to allow that since it was between terms, he would bend the rules and permit a single date (this once).
CYW had found a new pair of shoes for this occasion, classy leather Hush Puppy heels, and she felt quite well dressed for the occasion. It had snowed over the weekend, and it was cold. CYM had a Ford Fairlane of antique origin that had a habit of stalling in the middle of intersections. It had a console in the middle that kept young people a respectable distance apart. This was not a problem, though, since both young people were very well aware of protocol. They arrived safely at the meeting place.
The program went well. (There was that one situation when the emcee called for all the men in the auditorium to reach over and take the hand of that loved one by their side. CYM looked in one direction very intently whilst CYW looked in the other, but otherwise, it was good).
And when it was over, the crowd pressed out of the building. The parking lot had lots of glare ice, and it was quite treacherous. CYW was finding that the soles of her new shoes were extremely slippery. Visions of crashing down in great disarray and disgrace began to float through her mind. Weighing the options carefully in her mind, she decided that it would be proper to take CYM’s arm that was so conveniently beside her. So she steadied herself with a hand lightly on his suited elbow, and they continued on their trek across the parking lot. She stole a sideways glance at CYM and was surprised to see a perplexed look on his face.
Then he spoke, “Uh, Mary Ann. Now if one of us falls, we both will!”
Well, she could take a hint. She laughed, let go of his arm, and continued her journey. And made it to the car, unscathed.
She did ask him one morning if he was avoiding bodily injury that day or temptation. He thought that was a terribly dumb question. Of course he was worried that they both would fall.
Oh, well. Self preservation really is the strongest instinct (I guess).
And that is the Valentine Memory from Shady Acres, where CM has often steadied CMW in treacherous places (both real and imagined) and the thirty plus years have been well worth the journey.