I still remember it like it was yesterday. The music went from loud to soft, the lights were dimmed and the disco ball in the middle of the room made little colored lights dance on the skating-rink floor. It was then that the DJ said, “Alright it’s couple skate time, and girls, it’s your choice.” That meant this time the girls were the ones who asked the guys to skate with them. Girl’s choice for couples skating was the one time of the night that every young teenage boy waited for … including me.
I always knew that brown-eyed girl named Lea was cute, but I didn’t know she was smart too … until she skated over to me, took my hand and said, “Wanna skate?” I immediately got BIG butterflies in my stomach. My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest as we skated together to some random Bee Gee’s love song. I remember thinking as we held hands, “She has GOT to be the girl for me … because our hands are sweating so much.” In my head I begged for the song not to end, but it did. That was one of the places that love began for a couple of young kids.
The skating rink was the big hang out for us when we were teens, and so it was a big part of the memories that we have of “falling in love.”
A few years back I thought, “What could I do to surprise Lea for our anniversary?” So I called that old rink where we used to skate, which had been turned into a day care for kids. I told the man on the other end of the phone that my anniversary was coming up, and I was hoping to surprise my wife with a few circles on the old skating rink where we’d fallen in love. He told me he still had some old skates and the stereo system still worked, “Why not?” he said. We set a time to be there, and I told him I’d bring the music. Lea was a little confused when I told her I was taking her out for our anniversary, and she needed to bring a pair of socks. She was surprised when we showed up at the skating rink. I handed the nice man a CD that I’d burned as we laced up our skates. He turned the lights down low and we spent the next 20 minutes skating by ourselves to songs from our past.
She held my hand as we made slow circles around the rink skating to some old Bee Gee’s love song. I knew she was still the girl for me, because our hands were sweating so much. In my head I was hoping that those 20 minutes would have lasted a bit longer. When we left, I thanked the man and tried to pay him. He wouldn’t take my money.
The “old days” of falling in love are on my mind because today we celebrate our 23rd anniversary. What’s amazing is after twenty-three years and four children later … that little brown-eyed girl still gives me butterflies. And if we hold hands … yep, they’ll still sweat because there’s no doubting it … we’re in love.