Continuing our Coast-To-Coast-To-Coast Romance…
Growing up, our family tradition at Thanksgiving was the UT-Texas A&M football game. Even though that was long rescheduled away from the holiday for broadcast convenience, football continued to dominate the post-turkey part of the day. Mostly, I didn’t really watch any of the games so much as I dozed off and back on in a recliner near the TV. This afternoon was no different really until the evening.
Scott & Joanie wandered into the kitchen to say they were heading out to a party. Generally, I did not go out with Scott & Joanie to visit their friends. I wasn’t being shy or snobby, but Joanie had a way of dominating any event that usually left me uninterested in attending.
“We’re going over to Chris & Bill’s for a bit of a get-together over there,” Scott was explaining to Mom & Dad. “You can come, too, if you want,” he said as he turned to me.
Joanie started saying, “Oh, Alan never goes out to these…” just as Sara stepped into the kitchen, looking simply stunning and smiled at me.
I said, “Sure, I’ll go.”
Twice in a day we’d managed to startle Joanie, and this time I got to see her shocked face — but only out of the corner of my eye, as I was busy staring at Sara.
You know, for such an oft-told story, I sure am missing a lot of the details — the insignificant ones, like conversations, have mostly fallen away after all this time. I hardly recall the gathering of friends we went to. Mostly, I stayed close to Sara and we talked all evening. There was a bit of a fire outside, and I stood round the fire with the guys from the party awhile, joking about “male pyro-bonding rituals.” But sooner or later, I’d drift over to talk more with Sara.
“So, how long have those 2 been together?’ someone asked Scott, nodding in our direction.
“Several hours,” he said.
When we returned to the family home, everyone headed for their respective quarters — which left me out on the couch in the living room. Alone at last, I still felt a little restless, so I switched on the TV with the volume turned down low, looking for something to watch.
And there it was: It’s a Wonderful Life.
This was back in the days when everybody played that movie repeatedly throughout the holiday season. Often you could find 2 channels running the movie almost in synch, so you could jump back and forth to enjoy your favorite bits. I was doing just that when I looked up.
And there she was: Sara. standing in the doorway.
She asked to come in and sat on the couch with me and we talked some more. Again, I have no specific recall of whatever we talked about. No doubt we talked a bit about George and Mary Bailey and Clarence the Angel-in-Training’s miracle. Whatever we talked about mattered less than the talking. And the smiling and the laughing.
Moreover, she was wearing cat pajamas. Maybe you find silky frills sexy but the way Sara wore these fluffy flannel pajamas covered in cartoon drawings of cats put all of that to shame. Oh, those cat pajamas…
The movie played on behind her as we talked. The one thing I do remember saying came at one time, as she seemed to sink deep in thought for a moment.
“What are you thinking about?” I asked.
She looked surprised, then a little chagrined, and let out a nervous laugh. “Um, nothing…” she said.
Later, she would tell me precisely what she was thinking at that time: how much she wanted to jump my bones right then right there.
But this was still my parent’s living room and it was still Thanksgiving evening. We had just met and though attracted to each other, still just getting to know each other. So we just talked and talked and talked. When the movie ended (happily, as per usual), we said goodnight and went our separate ways to sleep.
Next: Friday after Thanksgiving, as we continue the Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast Romance…