Charlie hadn’t been on a date in decades.
His friends kidded him and said he was “Rich, retired and a great catch.”
He married his first wife right out of college – everyone was doing it – it had seemed like the right thing to do. Within two years, they realized the folly of their ways and quietly divorced. She moved back East and he buried himself in Grad school then Med School. The White Coat ceremony at Columbia was a defining day in his life.
He “First-Dated” a lot of nurses in Med School and rarely had a second date. On some level, he figured there was something wrong with himself and, like two of his uncles, rolled over and became a Confirmed Bachelor. His sisters, cousins, neighbors and office staff all tried to fix him up.
He became very well respected and famous in his own right. He had three cars in the garage at his Ralph Lauren ranch-style home on the outskirts of town. Single women made a bee-line for him at social events and he never took the bait. Always a gentleman, he slipped out of and skirted conversations that pertained to his social life and lack thereof.
Charlie was 62 when he met Chellie. She was a waitress and the Club and served him breakfast every Saturday. They bantered back and forth. It took a year before he realized how much the two had in common. They had read the same books, had seen the same movies (solo) enjoyed the same Country Western singers and were curious about opera. They were like two ships -and he was patently oblivious – until he woke up.
One day, Chellie told him about the Chihuly art opening at the university. It was free to the public – she was going- did he want to met her there? He had a Chihuly chandelier hanging in his entry way and readily agreed. They met at the gallery, spent two hours examining every inch of the exhibit. They had lunch in the school cafeteria and talked for another two hours. They spoke like two old friends. It was easy and comfortable. Totally out of character, he asked her to come over for dinner – they could create something together. Chellie, agreed – one if she could bring wine and dessert.
To say they made “beautiful dinner together,” only begins to describe how the two fell in love.