The cash register’s bell dinged as Joyce shut the drawer. She turned to Judy. “Tomorrow’s blind date with Ray won’t work. I have an emergency dental appointment. I broke a tooth.” Joyce pointed to her molar.
“No!” Judy’s dark eyes flashed. “You can’t cancel again! I’ve worked six months to set this up…just go anyway. You promised.”
Joyce grimaced. “How will I eat dinner with a numb mouth? It won’t be enjoyable.”
“You’ll like each other. And you’ll thank me.” Judy looped her arm around Joyce’s elbow and tugged. “Let’s take a coffee break. I want to hear about your dress, and shoes. What about your hair? Can you roll it up and sleep on it overnight? I like your hair best in that new style…”
Judy’s excitement squelched Joyce’s reluctance. Joyce described her favorite lavender, jersey, polka dot dress with a keyhole opening below the collar.
On the morning of their date, Joyce’s rotary phone rang. “Fiddle dee dee.” She loosened her turquoise scarf away from her curlers, unpinned the bobby pins from one next to her face, and held the receiver close to her ear. “Hello?”
“Hello, this is Ray. How are you? I’m sorry, but I’m thinking of cancelling tonight. Although, Judy will never forgive me.” He chuckled. “I had to make an urgent dental appointment for an abscessed tooth. What are your thoughts?”
Joyce sighed. “Weird coincidence we both need to go to the dentist with emergencies, but I agree. I think, so Judy won’t be upset with us, we can meet at the dance club, say hello, and then wave goodbye. I’ll probably just want to get home and eat some soup.”
“Sure thing. Sorry about this. See you at 7:00.”
Joyce searched the club’s crowded lobby for a tall, very tan man, with wavy blond hair and sky-blue eyes, according to Judy’s description. He also supposedly grinned often. The big band music played, and Joyce’s mouth throbbed with every beat of the drums, or blast from the trumpets and trombones. She wished the Novocain hadn’t begun to wear off. What if he doesn’t come after all? Joyce glanced at her silver rhinestone watch. 7:10. She headed toward the exit.
A tall, very tan man entered through the lobby door. He stood in the midst of swirling smoke as the door swung shut behind him. He grinned. His sky-blue eyes twinkled. “Joyce? I had trouble getting here—were you leaving?”
Joyce nodded. “Um—” Wow.
“When I saw you…in the lavender dress Judy described, I couldn’t believe you were the one she’s been going on about for all these months.”
Joyce swallowed. Her heart pounded.
Ray offered his elbow. “Shall I escort you out to your car?”
Joyce shook her head. “No.”
Ray dropped his elbow. “I…see.” He frowned.
Joyce smiled as she rubbed her jaw. “I really hope they serve soup here. Can we stay and check the menu?”
Ray chuckled. “My mouth is still numb, too. It’s a heck of a way to have a blind date.” He led Joyce toward a round table with a white tablecloth, furthest from the band. “Maybe they do serve soup. If not, we could at least dance once. Do you feel up to it?”
“I think I can force myself.” Joyce allowed Ray to remove her faux mink wrap, and slid onto the chair he pulled out from the table. She stared up at him. “Are you up for it?”
“You bet,” Ray inspected Joyce’s face, “and I’m wishing I’d listened to Judy’s meddling earlier.”
“Oh, so do I. So do I.”
Note: Joyce and Ray dated for 6 months before he kissed her. He wanted to wait for Joyce to make the first move. Joyce loved that he was a gentleman, she was just finished with waiting. They married on February 14th, 1959 and shared 40 blissful years. Here’s to successful blind dates.