On this date 39 years ago J and I had our first date, sitting together at an Oberlin Alumni Association dinner for which we (in the Oberlin Choir) were part of the evening's entertainment. J was my
entertainment; he spent the whole dinner making me laugh. Our older table companions likely were rolling their eyes at his nonstop antics. The vichyssoise that we ate that night was fantastic, and we still talk about it. Little did I know that J had planned to sit with me, nor that we would laugh so much, no doubt raising many a distinguished eyebrow.
After that night, I discovered that J walked down Professor Street at a certain time each night to the dining hall, so I "happened" to walk down the same street, several days in a row, till we met up -- and the sparkle in those dancing brown eyes won my heart all over again. After that, we were obvious as a couple. A fellow choir member (now a well-known conductor) dubbed us "Mr. and Mrs. Farm America." The title may have come from J's wearing plaid flannel shirts -- who knows?
And how could we have known that, years later, we'd be living in the heart of wavy cornfields, not quite on the farm, but firmly planted in Iowa. We won't be eating vichyssoise this evening, but we will have dinner together -- better than way too many evenings, now that we work as priests in cities 75 miles apart. Ah, soup of the evening, beautiful soup!