Most little girls—big girls too— love to hear the story about how their parents met. Even though the mere thought of our parents being intimate grosses us out, knowing how they met and why they were attracted to each other is one of our favorite life stories.
My mother lived with her family in Deland, Florida where she attended high school and college. In the summers she would travel north to Ohio to stay with her aunt, uncle and favorite cousin in a small, lakeside resort town. Her uncle was a pharmacist and owned the local drug store which included its own popular soda fountain. My mother worked the counter, whipping up ice cream sodas, sundaes, malts and milkshakes.My father was a handsome, divorced, businessman who owned a successful marina and boat sales operation. One day he walked into the drug store and took a seat at the counter. My mother had heard all about him from her friends but had never seen him in the flesh. The fact that he was divorced seemed to compound his "bad boy" image and increased his allure. With his black hair, ice blue eyes and dark sun tan she thought he looked like Cary Grant. More than a little rattled, she asked him what he would like and knew it was fate when he ordered her absolute favorite, a chocolate ice cream soda.
It took Dad about a half hour to finish his soda and about that much time for Mother to decide she really wanted him to ask her out. After he left she took the 25 cents he’d left on the counter, put it in her pocket and took the same amount out of her purse and put it into the register.
The day they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary my mom still had the long coveted quarter in her pocket.
In a manner of speaking, I owe my existence to a chocolate ice cream soda which happens to be my favorite too.