Last time I left off telling you about Richie, my not-yet-boyfriend. I mean, we were pretty much a couple, but with chaperones. We hung out all the time, but we did things in groups or with our brothers, or whatever. No one-on-one dates. My parents grew annoyed of it.
On July 22nd, 2005, we were heading back to my house after one such group outing. We were maybe a mile or two out when I got a call from my dad. I don't remember word-for-word, but it was something along the lines of:
"When you get home, I need to talk to you in your room." Click.
I started freaking out. I had no idea why my dad sounded so angry. I had no idea why he hung up on me. I had no idea why we needed to have a "talk" in my room. Those sort of talks were usually the types that started with questions my parents already knew the answers to and ended in punishment.
A second phone call. My dad again.
"Oh, and we need to talk to Richie too. Bye." Click.
I looked over at Richie. He paled.
When we got back to the house, we walked back to my room, it was the furthest away from the front door and we had to pass all of my siblings during the death walk.
My mind raced as I desperately tried to figure out what thing we had done to warrant the tongue-lashing we were about to receive. I came up blank.
We timidly sat down on my bed, my dad was standing, my mom was at my computer desk with her hand over her face in utter disappointment. And then my dad went at it.
"Do you have any idea what you've done?" No. I really don't.
"How could you do this? Mom and I are so disappointed." What did we do?
"We didn't raise you to act this way." What way?? WHAT WAY?!
On and on for probably five or ten minutes. My dad lectured and yelled and for the life of me I couldn't figure out what was happening. He never even said what I did wrong. He never explained why he was upset, just that he was disappointed and that I was an irresponsible teen.
I couldn't help it. I cried. Richie sat beside me pale as a ghost.
"You drag your brothers all over the place. I'm sick of it. So tell me, what am I supposed to do?"
Richie didn't answer. I didn't answer.
"I guess I should just let you guys start dating."
Glitch in the system.
Richie started laughing. My dad started laughing. My mom dropped her hand away from her face. She was grinning.
Apparently, they thought it would be hilarious to freak us out when they gave us permission to date. It was a month and a half early, and they wanted to surprise us. With a prank. Just typical parental fun.
They left us to catch our breath and digest what had just occurred. I was still in shock. It still surprises me that Richie didn't throw in the towel right then and there. He could have decided that my family was crazy and gave up, but he didn't.
He grinned at me as if to say he was ready for anything. Good thing too, because dating a military brat brings it's own challenges.
A picture from one of our JROTC military balls. Richie was in JROTC in high school. I was actually the military brat. My dad was and currently is serving in the US Air Force.
It's funny to look back at pictures from our early years. Look how far we've come!