Twitter recently ran the hashtag #WorstDateIn5Words. I posted “The police recovered the body.” What struck me was no one questioned it. No one tweeted me to find out if it was true, or to kid, “Yeah, right,” or “Nice one.” And the funny thing was, it was true.
When I was first dating the girl who less than a year later would become my wife, she wanted to come down for the weekend. She was a college student and we lived thirty miles apart. Unfortunately, I had agreed to babysit a friend’s children. It didn’t matter to Lisa. She came down anyway, and we spent the day together, both of us getting a glimpse into the future at how we would cope with children.
Day turned to night. There was no sign of my friends. I wasn’t that alarmed. They were on a scuba diving trip to the San Juan Islands with a large group. It’s a long drive on twisty roads. They could have been having a blast and decided to squeeze in as many dives as daylight would allow. They could have been trapped behind a slow moving truck on the trip back. It was the time before cell phones and there was no way to know. I cooked the kids dinner. I let them wait up for their parents until it became ridiculously late, and I put them to bed.
Lisa and I slept on the couch. The next morning there was still no sign of Greg and Lynda. I think we both wondered if we had just become de facto parents. To say we were all experiencing a little panic was an understatement.
It was nearing evening on Sunday when Greg and Lynda finally showed up. During their dive, a pair of divers, a father and son, got separated. The son made it back to the boat. The father didn’t. Greg was a scuba instructor and in charge of the dive. He felt obligated to stick around and aid in the search.
So when I say my worst date in five words was, “The Police Recovered the Body,” I meant it. The funny thing was, I’m not sure that was our worst date. We had a lot of weird ones. And decades later we’re still together. When you been through that kind of repeated trauma and yet want to be together, maybe you’ve found something.