Sunday, December 12, 2010

Long Distance Romance

Daughter#1's husband Matt was here for the weekend visiting his bride and trying to make the most of their time together. Daughter#1 is living with us for the moment here in Virginia. Her husband is still living in Connecticut while trying to find a job in the Washington DC area so he can rejoin his bride. Watching them reminds me of my own long distance romance I did with my now bride, Ann.

I met Ann back in January of 1975. We were both just out of college and trying to make our way in the world. We both worked for the Government, but at different locations. I was living in Charleston, SC. Ann was living here in northern Virginia. We were both in an intern program and required to take a lot of classes as part of the program. The first was a 4 week course usually taken at Ft Lee, but occasionally offered elsewhere. Where Ann was working had a large number of interns and, therefore, it made sense to being instructors to her workplace rather then send a lot of interns off on travel for 4 weeks. They still had some open spaces in her class and I managed to get one of them. It made sense for me to take the class in northern Virginia as my family (Mom and Dad) lived in suburban Maryland at the time and I could stay with them while I took the class. I made a great first impression on the class as I was over an hour late the first day due to traffic. Nothing like getting off on the right foot. The days were long - 8 hours of classroom lectures. By the second week, during one of our breaks, Ann came up and introduced herself to me. Not that I hadn't noticed her before. She and her two friends were hard to miss. But being the shy clod that I was, it was well she made the first introduction. She invited me to join her and some of her friends at the hotel bar next to where the class was being held. The rest as they say is history. We got together everyday after class for drinks or dinner or a movie or just going to her apartment and watching TV. On weekends I would drive from my parents house to take her out. All to soon the class was over and I was back in South Carolina. We would talk on the phone during work hours as I was too poor to have my own phone in my apartment (remember this is way before cell phones). We planned our next class so we could take it together. This time a 3 week course in April. This one was also as her workplace and this time I stayed at a hotel close by rather then stay with my parents. Seeing her everyday first for 4 weeks and then for 3 weeks was like speed dating someone. You got to know them well pretty quickly. After the 3 week course, we decided we were a pretty solid boyfriend/girlfriend and made weekend plans to see each other when we could. Back in those days, the trip from Charleston, SC to Alexandria took 9 hours. The speed limit was only 55 and their were portions of I-95 that were not yet completed in North Carolina. It helped that I got let out early on Fridays if I gave blood. So every 6 weeks I would. That would get me to Ann's place by 10:00PM. Otherwise I'd roll in at 2:00AM Saturday morning. We'd have Saturday together and part of Sunday. I was usually back on the road between 1 and 3 PM. The drive back to South Carolina always seemed a lot longer then the drive up. We did the long distance dating for over a year. Most of the time I would make the drive up to see her, but occasionally she would make the drive down to see me. Rather she found a Navy CDR with his family still living in Charleston and the two of them would drive down using her car. I was finally able to arrange a job working where Ann worked and moved up in July on 1976. We were married that September. It's an anniversary hard to forget these days. We were married on September 11.

No comments: