how my mom "got over" my dad

If you only knew how giddy I am over what you’re about to read (giggle giggle clap clap).

I have my mom’s (reluctant) permission to “reprint” this letter in this particular forum. (Typing as fast as I can before she changes her mind.) I found this treasure a couple months ago when Bethany and I were at Mom and Dad’s helping them wade through (and purge!) years of clutter.

There are some things, though, that should never, ever, EVER be thrown away.

This letter is one of them.

Let me set the stage. Mom and Dad graduated from the same high school in 1969. They supposedly met for the first time in the church nursery, but they weren’t exactly childhood sweethearts. Their first date was their Senior Prom (Spring 1969). In the fall of that year, they both went away to college. Dad started at Cedarville College (an hour from home), and Mom headed off to Grace College in Indiana. For those of you who know my own story, this may sound oddly familiar to you. Yes, I went to Cedarville and Gabe went to Grace.

So, not long after they went their separate ways, Dad realized there were a lot of other fish in the sea and felt the urge to go out with one of them. So he broke up with Mom. Mom tells me now that they weren’t really even “committed” to each other, but apparently, she was just crushed by his decision.

HOWEVER, just prior to February 2, 1970, she made a conscious decision to MOVE ON. No more whimpering and crying over some dumb boy who obviously didn’t know how good he had it. Who needed him anyway? Certainly not her.

In a big, long, paragraph-less (I broke it up for you. You’re welcome) letter to her parents (that has me ROLLING every single time I read it), she fills them in on her new, happy, independent life.

Without further ado… Oh, one more thing. Take a mental tally, if you will, of the number of times she says, “Well.” Quite comparable to my over-use of the similar “Anyway.”

Monday, February 2, 1970

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hi! How is everybody back home? I’m just fine. You know–you were right! You said I hadn’t given anyone a chance here because I was always hanging on to someone back home. Well–I quit hanging on to anyone back home and boy did it work! I can hardly believe it. I wish I woulda let go a long time before this.

Well, I’ll tell ya all about it. First of all, there was a music recital on Friday night, January 23rd, and this guy named Joe asked me to go with him. Well, I’m really not too wild about Joe, but I had to go to the recital anyway, so I told him I’d go. Well, see, I didn’t want Joe to ask me out again, so I thought if I looked real icky at the recital that he wouldn’t ask me out again. But I decided that wasn’t such a good idea so I wore my new outfit and coat.

I prayed about the evening ’cause Joe has a reputation for being fast and conceited. Well–I was sure glad I was dressed up! I had washed & dried my hair Friday afternoon, so it looked neat. Well, we went to the recital and sat in front of a whole row of guys. They all whistled at me. One guy especially told me I looked beautiful. His name was Dave.

Well, after the recital was over at about 8:30, Dave asked me if I wanted to go mess around on the piano with him. (We were supposed to play a piano duet in the Talent Show.) Well, he looked at Joe and then at me and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, Joe, you probably wanted to take Chris back to the dorm didn’t you?” Joe said “yes.”

So he took me back and I ran up and got my music and went over to McClain with Dave. [I told myself I wouldn’t add commentary, but I’m dying here. Really. Truly.]

We played piano and sang together until midnight. He plays beautiful! Just like a dream! Well, right before we left, he asked me if I wanted to go to the basketball game on Saturday night with him. I said I’d love to. So he picked me up at 7:45 and we had a wonderful time. We smeared Los Angeles Baptist with a score of 122-108! Afterwards we had a victory party in the gym. Dave had to play a honkey tonk piano for entertainment the first half hour. It was really neat!

The party was over at 11:00 so we went to McClain again and played the piano and sang together until midnight again. He told me I had the tuffest voice. (That’s pretty funny.) Then I went to church with him Sunday night to the Fellowship Baptist Church. We doubled with his roommate, Jim, and one of my girlfriends, Brenda. After church we went to Penguin Point and ate. We had a riot.

Well, I saw him through the week and we talked and stuff. Then Friday night, January 30th, we were together from 6:00-12:00. Part of that time he had to work in the college building, so I talked to him. Then we watched T.V. in the lounge and played the piano & sang until midnight again. It was so much fun.

Well, [I’m up to 11 “Wells.” How about you?] the freshman class decided they couldn’t get two pianos in the gym for the talent show, so I played for Dave to sing a solo–“You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” It was so tuff! The spotlight was on him and everything. He’s got such a tuff voice. I also accompanied a girl to sing “People.” She did a beautiful job.

Well, after the talent show, Dave and I doubled with Ken and Pam to get a pizza. It was really a lot of fun! Then yesterday morning I went to church with Dave again and we went to dinner together. It was really great! He treats me like I’m worth something. (Unlike someone else I used to know.) [That would be my father.]

I sat down and added up all the hours I spent with him those 2 weekends and it came out to 29 hours and 15 minutes. Wow–how’s that! [Wait. It gets better.]

I like him, that’s for sure, but there’s some others I like too. Like: Daryl, Larry, Gary, Asher, and Keith. I don’t want to go steady with Dave because I don’t want to get tied down with one. Understand? [Totally.]

I hope you don’t think I’m a big flirt. [Why in the world would we think that?] Just making up for lost time. The next time I come home I’ll explain everything in more detail–whenever that is. I miss all you guys a lot. I’m behavin’, believe it or not and I’m much happier than I’ve been for a LONG time!

God Bless You–every one!

Love, Chris

Two months later, my mom and dad were back together. Sometime later they got engaged. And on August 26, 1972, they got married and have been SUPER-HAPPILY married ever since.

Thanks, Mama, for enduring embarrassment just so I could get a few laughs on my blog. You have done a great service to the world. And you’re one of the tuffest women I know.

32 thoughts on “how my mom "got over" my dad

  1. Dara

    I’m in awe of the detail she gave her parents – what else was she going to “explain in more detail?” How funny – how sweet – how awesome that she and your dad figured it out! Thanks for making me smile!

  2. Jennifer

    What does your dad think about the long list of men she had her eye on after she “got over” him? It probably didn’t seem all that tuff to him! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Laura

    I love it….and the fact that Chris let you print it! I could just picture her writing this and your dad’s reaction…now! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Elizabeth

    SO AWESOME! Now I know where you get your humor! And I have never in my life heard the word “tuff.” Well, I’m just going to have to ask my parents about that one.

    My favorite line is …”unlike someone else I used to know.” Love it!

  5. Anna

    That is awesome. I’m so glad she let you publish this! Haha!

    P.S. I taught sixth grade, too, once upon a time! I loved that age group!

  6. Jen Griffin

    I’m sorry….I am still laughing about this. I came back. Are the guys she listed the ones who whistled at her before the recital? Just a thought. I love it! I have never heard “tuff” used like this either. I’m glad I’m not alone.

  7. Lee Detrick

    Chris, was that really you? I can’t believe how you have settled down! And I never, never, never would have written so honestly to my parents; they would not have understood it or appreciated it. I would probably have gotten a dressing-down………anyway, I loved the letter…..Marla, were there any more?

  8. O Mom

    So cute. I feel like she’s maybe trying to convince herself of these new feelings, not just her parents……Some truly great dating advice in here though, let it go and if it’s meant to come back to you it will.

  9. Stephanie your sister

    How have I never heard anyone say “tuff” before? Are we supposed to know what that means?

    LOVE, love, love this story!!! I never knew all of that about Mom! And I’m further shocked she gave you permission to share it with the world. I’m actually very proud of her. ๐Ÿ™‚

    SO glad she decided that Dad was tuffer than Joe, Dave, Daryl, Larry, Gary, Asher, AND Keith. I guess he got better at making her feel like she was worth something.

  10. Kyla

    I lovedlovedloved it! Who knew Cashy used to be such a rebel…playing piano and singing at all hours, particularly in the company of men who might be described as “fast”? And now I intend to call everything tuff. What a wonderful word.

  11. Jen Griffin

    Oh yes…this is my favorite part….

    “I sat down and added up all the hours I spent with him those 2 weekends and it came out to 29 hours and 15 minutes. Wowโ€“howโ€™s that! [Wait. It gets better.]
    I like him, thatโ€™s for sure, but thereโ€™s some others I like too. Like: Daryl, Larry, Gary, Asher, and Keith. I donโ€™t want to go steady with Dave because I donโ€™t want to get tied down with one. Understand?”

    Oh my word!!! This is the funniest, cutest thing ever. I’m glad she went from NOT being tied down to back with you daddy two months later.

  12. chris

    so….the story is hilarious, but being from near grace college the line about going to penguin point cracked me up! i guess maybe in it’s day it was a hot spot????!?!?

  13. colleen

    I can’t believe she let you print that…I’m sooo going downstairs to my basement and burning all my old journals and my huge box of mail…my girls will have a hayday…as you have apparantly had:) LOVED it! thanks for sharing!!

  14. katie neer

    WELL, that was hilarious!! but seriously, i’m sure glad they did get back together. otherwise i would not have the influence of all their awesome children in my life ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Betsy

    Your mom’s language in the letter (the use of “Tuff” and “Well” ) were so a large part of my own teenage language. Your mom is only 2 years older than me —graduated from high school in 1971. I’d forgotten how we talked back then, and am wondering about all the letters and diaries I wrote and kept. Now I’ll be digging that all out to look at it too. So glad the boy from Cedarville College married the girl from Grace! And had you!

  16. Peter P

    At one point I thought we were going to have to start counting how many times she could use the word ‘tuff’ about Dave!

    My parents did some pretty embarrassing things and they tell me the stories but I simply can’t believe that they would ever had done such things!

  17. Holly B.

    WELL, this was hilarious! Having gone to Grace, I can especially appreciate the references to McClain Hall and Penguin Point.

  18. Deborah

    ABSOLUTELY love! THANK her for sharing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll have to ask her if she knew my Mama…they were there at the same time. ๐Ÿ™‚ I could SO picture so much of what she was saying!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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