Almost forty-six years ago, I met my soulmate. I have told the story many times, and this is one more time. Many find it hilarious that I am an avid bowler and we met in a bowling ally.
College on the US Navy
It was in the Summer of 1973. I was a Petty Officer Second Class in the US Navy attending Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Navy was paying me to go to school full time. I worked at Gulf Bowl while taking a light course load. I manned the customer service counter on an irregular schedule.
Working Part Time
The night it all started I was working a Saturday night Gold stamps event.
The event required the center to place three colored pins into the set of pins for each lane. A strike won the bowler several Gold stamps valued on how many and where the colored pins stood before the shot.
Did I mention the bowling would be with the lights over the lanes off? The pinsetters were lit, as were the service counter, the poolroom, and the snack bar.
That night I took the customer’s entrance fees and rented them shoes. I enjoyed this part of the job, meeting and dealing with families and individuals.
My night became interesting when two young ladies signed up. (I must note I was single.) I took their money and assigned them lanes. Now, these were not the only women bowling, but there was something about these two that piqued my interest.
About midway through the event, I had a brief conversation with one, Lori, and learned the two were cousins. I asked Lori for a date before returning to the service counter, and she accepted.
We had our first date the next week. It led to more. Lori accepted my proposal of marriage two months after we met.
My time in Corpus Christi would end after the Spring semester in 1974. I would receive orders several months before graduating. This complicated our plans to marry.
I would be responsible for the cost to move Lori to my next duty station unless we married before I received the orders.
I wanted to set a date, but we discussed I would ask her father first. Not a big thing, except he intimidated me. In those days, he had a gruff manner around me. A successful business owner, an avid gun collector and shooter, and he had the build of a stout Scotsman towering over me.
Lori worked at a dance studio. She was working when I confronted her father. Steeling my courage, perhaps I stole courage from her, I asked him for her hand in marriage. He gave me a quizzical look and appeared lost for words. Then he grinned and said, “I thought you would ask me for money.” He gave his permission.
I told Lori he approved, but she doubted me at first. With her mother’s blessing, we selected January 5, 1974, for the ceremony. That was two days after her twentieth birthday.
I got orders to Iceland shortly after we married. I transferred after graduation, and she joined me a few months later. Forty-five years later, we are still living the good life together.
The Story Continues
Our story may not be true love at first sight story, or maybe it is—you decide.
I look forward to hearing your soulmate story. Or, what you are looking for in a soulmate. The comment form is available to tell your story.