Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Preempted Trips

I suppose we all get into ruts, doing things that we like over and over, and my father once told me, "You overdo everything you like." (It's still true.) But Dee Dee was the queen of that.

She and my father had formed a mutual admiration society (her favorite phrase regarding him was "He's so cute!"). He moonlighted at a steak house and cocktail lounge, playing a Hammond electric organ in the lounge. He was a ham and is probably the source of my penchant for entertaining people.

One night following our post-work Chinese dinner, I took Dee to the steak house. We entered the lounge and I introduced Dee to my father. They bonded instantly. As a result, Dee and I spent at least nine out of ten Friday nights going to the restaurant and the lounge. She just didn't want to do anything else.

Now I loved my dad, and I enjoyed these Fridays, but really, there had to be something else in the world that we would enjoy doing. Once in a great while I could talk her into going to a movie, but that was about it, and on those occasions, even when she enjoyed the movie, she clearly regretted not seing my dad.

We did spend a long weekend in Quebec City, and that was fun. I began to think of other places she might enjoy.

Donnie: "Dee, you've never been to Disneyworld, have you?"

Dee: "No."

Donnie: "We should take a short vacation and go there."

Dee: "We could do that."

Several weeks later she went to Disneyworld with girlfriends. Sigh.

Down the road a bit . . .

Donnie: "Dee, have you ever been to Las Vegas?"

Dee: "No."

Donnie: "We should take a vacation and go there."

Dee: "Okay."

Yup. Soon after she went to Las Vegas with girlfriends.

I found this depressing. I never understood it and she could never explain it. Writing this now, more than thirty years later, I find myself actually getting angry about it. I gotta get a grip.


  • The first movie I took her to see, The Sound of Music, became her all-time favorite. Later this movie was to demonstrate that she had my number.

    She and I broke up and reconciled several times over the years. On a Sunday morning during one of the separation periods, I happened to notice that The Sound of Music was going to be on TV that afternoon. I grabbed the phone and dialed her number, knowing she'd want to see it. She still lived with her parents, and her brother answered the phone. We chatted for a minute or two and then I asked him if Dee was home.

    "No, she's out shopping with my mom. She said you'd be calling, though."


    "Yeah, something about a movie on TV."

  • I took her to see The Bad News Bears (in 1976, the first time around for this title). Their baseball team was competing for a chance to go to Japan. When the Bears won in a cliff-hanger, the movie ended. As we left the theater . . .

    Dee: "Phew. I was afraid they wouldn't win."

    Donnie: "Naw, there was no chance they wouldn't win."

    Dee: "Yes there was. Why do you say that?"

    Donnie: "Because otherwise they wouldn't be able to make The Bad News Bears Go to Japan.."

    Dee, shrilly: "You don't know that! You don't know that they'll make a movie like that."

    A year or two later I noted in a newspaper that The Bad News Bears Go to Japan was about to be released. It was a work day and I called her at her office. She answered. All I got to say was "Good morning." Then I heard, "I know. I saw the ad on TV."

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