An Invitation to Dinner

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

An Invitation to Dinner (1977) Michelle and I had only been dating for two months when I receive an extremely surprising phone call. The phone rang just as I was going out the door. The voice on the phone said, “Hi, Derick?” I recognized her voice, and instantaneously a smile crossed my face; a warm satisfying feeling spread over me like the radiant heat from a well stoked fire. I replied in a low even tone, trying hard not to reveal my excitement, “Hi, how are you?” Without hesitation she continued, “This is Michelle.” Though she always spoke soft and graceful, this time I sensed an unusual nervousness. Before I could say anything else she blurted, almost in one breath, “Would you like go to Thanksgiving dinner with me tomorrow? It will be at my aunt’s house in Chicago.” I paused. Although I welcomed the invitation, I was apprehensive about meeting her family for the first time. But I finally managed to utter the words, “Sure, I’ll go.” You could hear her sigh through the phone; she was relieved too, and told me she would pick me up at noon the next day. It was hard to go to sleep because I continued to think about the next day and meeting her family, especially her parents. I wondered: Would we have anything in common besides Michelle? Would they question me as if I was on the jury stand? Moreover, would they think this relationship is more serious than it is? I finally succumb, knowing in twelve short hours all my questions would be answered. We were almost there. Michelle and I had laugh and talked as we drove through the winding curves of the Dan Ryan express way and on to Roosevelt Street. She made the hour long drive seem like 20 minutes. We arrived about one o’clock and found a place to park. As we stood at the door waiting for someone to answer, I heard a noise that sounded like two small objects clanging together, but I didn’t look down in fear of it being my knees. I was grateful when I realized it was only the outer door shaking a little from a slight wind. I know it was only seconds, but to me it seemed like an hour before a slightly older, tall, but slender man opened the door. She introduced him as her Uncle Freddie. “Welcome, welcome, you guys come on in”, Uncle Freddie said and motioned with a wave of his arm. I was somewhat relieved that he seemed genuine delighted to see us. The introductions and salutations continued and everyone were cordial, including Michelle’s parent Louis and Louise. We sat in the living room watching the football game. Some of us were cheering for Dallas Cowboys and the others for the Washington Redskins. I was beginning to feel a little more comfortable, although I still expected to be thoroughly questioned. When dinner was ready we retired to the dining room. Although you could smell the aromas before, they were even more mouth watering as you entered the room. The well polished, oak dining table was long enough to seat eight. It was beautifully arranged with a host of side dishes, which spread from end to end. Two golden candleholders at either end of a golden browned turkey provided a perfect centerpiece; we stood quietly as Uncle Freddie gave thanks and prayer. After everyone was seated, there were only two places left one on either side of Michelle’s father. I asked myself was this coincidence or by design? I wondered when it would begin. When would all the questioning start? Would he say, “Where are you employed?” as he gave me the potatoes or the peas? Would he ask, “How long have you known my daughter?” as he passed the turkey or the ham? Or would he wait for me to stick my fork into a big slice of sweet potato pie, and then ask, “What are you intentions with my daughter?” Dinner was fabulous, yet I still envision this long question and answer session. We were almost to dessert before it hit me like a sudden jolt of electricity. I suddenly realized the one thing I had been worried and nervous about was being interrogated, but as I looked back over the last eighteen hours, from the time Michelle invited me to dinner, I was the only one asking question. After I recognized that the tenseness and nervousness was self-induced; I went on to enjoy the rest of the evening, laughing and talking like I was one of the family. Now I have a standing invitation for Thanksgiving dinner; but I’m not nervous anymore because they’re usually at our house. I’ve enjoyed each and every one of the last thirty-five years, but thoughts of the first invitation always seem to generate a little smile.

Submitted: December 24, 2015

© Copyright 2022 Rondi Caldwell. All rights reserved.

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Hah! Great story. You had fun and found a wife!

Thu, December 24th, 2015 1:18am

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