Dinner with the McCarthys

Denise was the perfect woman for me.  Tall, smart, cute, athletic and right around the corner on Barton Lake.  Who knows what forces got me to make the trek over to her house to visit, but they must have been considerable.  Once there, in a season I don’t even recall except we weren’t going swimming, it was an idle boring afternoon.  She recalls the fancy ’68 yellow Pontiac Tempest I drove over, a cut above the beaters her other suitors tended to bring. Not enough to spark the passions I’d hoped. How much can two kids say to each other, before they start groping, which unfortunately didn’t happen.  I got a little show as Denise picked up her socks and turned them into puppets.  Then, bye.  No calling from me (why?) and certainly no gestures from shy Denise.  We went forward into our VHS careers, me with my egghead rewards and Denise with a variety of accolades, ranging from cheerleading to competitive letter-winning sports to the homecoming court’s tiara and of course the Honor Society.   We ventured off to our respective colleges and never heard from each other.  Along the way she married and had kids and I did the same, less kids.

Then Facebook happened.  There was her luminous face, looking much as I’d remembered from Barton Lake, on top of a tableau from one of the many vacations she and her lawyer husband Kevin had taken.  Her occasional appearances on my Facebook were a joy, and I made a few comments so she noticed.  We were only a year apart in VHS terms, and shared many of the same friends.  Including Sam.  We both delighted in his droll postings.  Denise was connected through her classmate Sam’s little sister Beth, and I was enjoying a growing friendship based on postings, emails and personal visits.  When Sam died in January, I copied Denise on what I was writing about him, and her responses suggested a get together of us and Becky Durham Knapp and Roger, classmates of Denise and sister of my best friend Eric.   That wasn’t happening as Denise and Kevin were cleaning out their years occupied home to move into a condo.  But they had a lunch date in Ann Arbor February 1st and wondered about tacking on a dinner date with us.  Sho’ nuff and at 6 today I stood hugging the same tall gorgeous Denise I remember from high school, maybe the first time since I graduated a half century ago.  We all seemed to like our old each others just fine.  Kevin proved a space nut, so Kathy’s regalements kept him spellbound.  We learned we were all grammar nazis, so we shared tales from the front of the war on the English language.  The food at Metzger’s was simply sumptuous, hardly the boring German fare we’d worried we’d face when Kevin made the suggestion we go there.  My rouladen was melt in the mouth, hardly like when I tried to cook it years ago, and validated my own mentor Bill Castor’s practice of calling ahead to see if it was available.  With Kalamazoo and bed for them 90 miles away, we parted without dessert but with hugs and wishes we do this again soon.  I certainly hope so.

Published by rike52

I retired from the Rheumatology division of Michigan Medicine end of June '19 after 36 years there. Upon hitting Ann Arbor for the second time (I went to school here) it took me almost 8 months to meet Kathy, 17 months to buy her a house (on Harbal, where we still live), and 37 months to marry her. Kids never came, but we've been blessed with a crowd of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family that continues to grow. Lots of them are going to show up in this log eventually. Stay tuned.

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