08 August 2007

25 Years of Sandi

I've said a lot of things over the years, but the I'm sure that the best thing I ever said was uttered exactly 25 years ago, on 9 August 1982.

A group of of us were heading to San Francisco, to China Town, for dinner. We were commemorating the fact that some friends were heading back to Korea to live.

Sandi was down from Vancouver, BC visiting her cousins and joined us. I was immediately intrigued, but the group was large enough that we ended up sitting across from each other at a long table, too far apart to talk. She watched me sit between two girls and eat duck feet, beef organs, and other things I never should have ordered and was unable to eat much of. I don't know if it was her beauty or my low blood sugar, but by the end of the dinner I felt light headed.

Afterwards, we went to a friend's house. His father, a delightful and animated man, began to ask Sandi a series of questions about who she was and where she lived and what she did. I'm usually good with conversation but in this case, I was quite glad to have someone ask all the questions. I'm sure that I'd have simply stared and repeated inane questions like, "So, Canada, eh?"

Finally, at the end of a long evening, we all said good night and I returned to my cousin's in San Jose. It must have been about 1 in the morning when, talking with John and Scott, I uttered what turns out to have been the best thing I've ever said. There was a pause in the conversation and I said, "So, Sandi and I are getting married." Scott didn't even bother to respond. John shook his head and said, "What a way to announce your latest infatuation." "This isn't infatuation," I told him confidently.

The next day, I played tour guide for Sandi in San Francisco, taking about four hours to find the water (no mean feat for a place surrounded by water). We were together every day for about two weeks after we met. I bit my tongue and waited what must have been a full four days before I let her know what I'd shared with Scott and John. Oddly, she did not run away and did actually marry me about one year later.

I'm still smitten and still happily incredulous that she likes me. 25 years ago, a huge piece of my life came into sharp focus. I've been in love ever since.


Anonymous said...

I still remember that trip to CA with Sandi: I was 17/18 and had my Drivers License and Sandi asked if I wanted to go to CA with her - "Sure" "There's a catch - you've got to drive" (she hated long drives back then) "That's a catch?"

Sandi had recently ended a relationship and was a little sour about guys - fortunately she and I got along very well, plus being a sib meant my being a male wasn't an issue.

Along the way to CA, Sandi and I met a Kiwi (NZ) girl named Jocelyn, wanting to tour a bit of the west coast US then Canada. Short story even shorter, she joined us for the drive.

After we got to San Jose, our cousin Carla thought we should have a tour of San Francisco. Being aware of the recent breakup, Carla picked the least girl-crazy guy she knew of: this Ron-dude.

It's very apparent from Ron's account that he only took Sandi on a tour of San Francisco, but I swear that Jocelyn and I were there too. Feeling like you've suddenly become invisible is most disconcerting.

As usual, time waits for no one, and it came time to head North again. Sandi wasn't quite ready to go home yet - seemed she had developed a case of heart trouble or something...

Another short story shorter: Jocelyn and I headed home without Sandi.

Never let a person who is used to driving on the wrong side of the road take a turn at the wheel when they are tired and you aren't much better - I mean, we didn't have an accident, but it sure woke us up for the distance to the next rest area and a few hours of much-needed sleep!

Jocelyn and I got back to Canada fine. A bit later Ron drove Sandi back home in his badly aging vintage Mustang. The classic "Meet her parents" thing happened and it seemed as though wedding plans were shortly begun.

The wedding was at Mom and Dad's, so it felt like aliens had possessed Mom and my previously-best-friend-sister for the two/three months leading up to the wedding.

As you approach the end of your teens, you expect to "leave home" - that step up to the next level of independence. I found myself thoroughly befuddled in the distinct feeling that "home" had "left me": I mean, even my room got taken over and I found myself sleeping in the family motorhome!

The actual wedding was great: it's fairly mind-blowing to see the family driveway set with tables for 300+; the food was fantastic - Mom made Chicken Cordon Bleu, veggies and all the trimmings for 300+ (largely by herself - "I've only got one daughter, so I want it to be special"); and of course the bride was beautiful - she even made her own dress - and it was designer-quality.

The years go by - to think that there have been 25 of them seems next to impossible. But the dates on the calendar don't lie and your kids are in post-secondary ed, so it must be true.

I'm so horrible at remembering birthdays and anniversaries that I'm a living cliche - and I'm no better in the letter writing/phone call department. But I do often think of you and yours down in SD.

I send my love to you all, and wish you good days and safe travels, Kevin

Scott said...

Congratulations! It is incredible that the years go by and yet we don't age at all!

I remember the magic of that first meeting; a night with the Van Den Berg's that ended with a kiss from uncle Lester (perhaps a reward for furnishing all the personal information that helped launch your campaign.)

If you start now, you have 25 years for dance lessons before your 50th! And if you decide to celebrate in San Francisco, you have 25 years to study the map!


Eric said...

That is awesome, in 24 years and 11 months I'll be making one of these posts also. I've already set up the post, now it's all about waiting.


Ron Davison said...

There were other people in San Francisco that day? :) Actually, I do rather vividly remember you, Jocelyn, and Carla in the Monza as we drove around the streets of San Francisco. It's great to read your account of it though - brings back lots of good memories.

That's right. You got to see Lester move in on my girl before I did. Lucky for me, he was married and 40 years older, otherwise I wouldn't have stood much of a chance.

Actually, if you date back to when you met Rebekah, it'll be more like 23 years and some months. I'm counting from the day we met, not the day we married.

Thanks to you all for the congratulations.

Dave said...

I hesitate to intrude on a family thing; but, what the hell.

I guess there's writing ability and intelligence on all sides of the Ron family.

A wonderful post and possibly better comments.

Cheers to you all.

Ron Davison said...

No intrusion. Actually, I'm sure that Kevin and Scott couldn't help but agree with you that their comments are better than my post. :) Thanks for the cheer.

Glen said...

Every day I thank the Lord for bringing me the love of my life to me. She brings me joy, and makes my life complete. Sandi is gem, and I think that she completes yours too. And what's wrong with duck feet and tripe. I know some very good people that enjoy consuming those offals. Balut is another thing.

exskindiver said...

this is my absolute favorite post!!!!
i am glad to have read this.
it is so incredibly sweet and puts a lump in my throat...you have no idea. (and it is not hormones either)
sandi is such a beautiful woman and i am so happy for you.
and reading kevin and scott's take is also simply precious.
congratulations, ron.
and to glen:
balut may not look pretty but is actually very tasty.
try it, you might like it.
plus, it might grow hair on your chest.

Ron Davison said...

You have every right to be thankful for Barbara. I still remember visiting her and Susan and her spending so much time on the phone with a guy living in town.

Thanks for the congrats. And by the way, Glen has eaten Balut. I imagine that if it is legal and can somehow be shipped to Santa Barbara, Glen has had it. Here's a picture of Glen's son eating Balut, with more pics on the click through: