A Tribute to my Dad, and a story about my 1st date and how it started with me in tears
Two weeks before I turned 16, something really cool happened.
But before I get into the juicy details, I should preface that growing up as a Mormon girl, dating before the age of 16 was frowned upon. So turning 16 was a REALLY big deal for me. Not only could I get a drivers license – I could also DATE!
Not many boys had shown much interest in me up to this point in my life. But I was secretly hoping that my turning 16 would somehow unlock a line full of boys who were secretly pining away for me this whole time.
So when two weeks to the date before my big 1-6, I received a special delivery from a “secret admirer” who wanted to lock in his spot as my first date you can imagine my excitement.
I was elated! A REAL LIFE BOY was interested in ME! And wanted to take ME on a date!
Thanks to an over-enthusiastic little sister the news of my secret admirer and my first big date spread like wildfire through our small close knit Mesa, AZ neighborhood.
Everyone (or so it seemed to my almost 16-year-old self) seemed to know about it! There were speculations of who it might be! My heart secretly hoped it would be the cute boy from my church that I had had the biggest crush since we had moved into our neighborhood.
The weeks lurked on almost as they were going by in slow motion. By big date could not come fast enough.
On the big day, I was a ball of nerves! 6 o’ clock could not come fast enough!
Finally, after what seemed to my teenage heart a lifetime the doorbell finally rang at 6 o’ clock on the dot.
My Mom opened the door as I rounded the curve to meet my secret admirer… My heart sank, and I tried to hold back the tears. There standing with a dozen roses was my Dad.
I was humiliated.
At the time all I could think about was the fact that I would have to explain to the world that I did not have a secret admirer – just an adoring Dad with a big smile and a bunch of roses.
I know he meant well, and that night I tried to hide my disappointment and enjoy the evening my Dad had planned.
We did not have a lot of money growing up so being taken to a “fancy” dinner was a special treat, and I am sure a bit of a sacrifice.
My Dad and I on our date – can you tell I had been crying…
The next couple weeks at school and church were a bit rough; everyone was so anxious to hear about my big date. I tried to act cool and play it off.
And the fact that no other boy, besides my Dad, had asked me out did not help my situation. lol 😉
But, as I write this and look back, I honestly am tearing up a bit.
Not because of my public humiliation but by the fact that I acted so awful to my Dad, who has always been my biggest fan in life.
He has always been there for me cheering me on, pushing me to chase my dreams and go after anything I wanted to in this life.
It’s funny how time can change memories.
What once was a memory of humiliation is now one of my fondest and most endearing memories of my Dad! How cool is it that he loved me so much to arrange this whole date thing to make me feel so special on my first date. He also showed me how I should be treated on a date.
My Dad and I on my wedding day
My sweet Dad celebrated his 70th birthday this past month, and as he is getting older his health is one of my biggest concerns – I want him around for a lot more years!
So I will be issuing some marching orders to my dear old Dad to head to Walmart on June 17th to participate in their Wellness Day! Walmart Wellness Day is a free health screening event. Screenings will include glucose, blood pressure, vision, body mass index and body fat. Immunizations will also be available in select stores. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.
Health screenings are SOO important no matter your age. So send yourself, your Dad, your Mom, your siblings, your friends, your spouse – all the people you care about to Walmart to take advantage of their incredibly cool Wellness Day!
And Dad, I know you’ll probably be the first one to read this, per the norm. Thank you for being my first date and for always being there for me. You mean so much to me. Happy Father’s Day!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Walmart. The opinions and text are all mine.