NORMAN — Nowadays, soulmates may find each other through computer matching. In the past, it seemed to happen more by chance and often secretly.
Sophie and Arch, Will and Grace: they’ve known each other since first grade. One evening, Archie takes Sophie home from a movie. On the drive back, he spots Will running beside the road.
“Hey, Will,” he greets him, “Get in this broken-down Chevy and I’ll take you home.”
Arch drops Will at the family’s farm in the country and drives back to town. He can’t believe his eyes when he spots Will running back to Grace’s. He beat him back into town, running.
“Why didn’t he tell me he secretly had a date?”
Valentine cards were frilly, often unexpected.
“Why did you give me a Valentine’s card?” a young lady complains to a lad. “I didn’t give you one.”
“I just wanted to, that’s all.”
“But what does it mean?”
“Nothing. It means nothing. Just that you’re a good friend.”
“I don’t know — I’m not sure ...”
While one needs to think about that valentine, the other just wants a good friend.
Some couples date for years. Others wonder what it would take to help them break that pattern. One of those, Teri, tired of waiting for Dan to pop the question.
“I’ve decided to move to Chicago. I’m planning on finding a better job.”
“A b-b-better job?” Dan never stuttered before. “Why Chicago? It’s t-too cold there.”
“I can stand it better than some things,” Teri tells him. “Maybe I’ll learn to dance those wild new Latin rhythms.”
“W-w-with someone else?” he says. “Why?”
“Just need speed,” she answers.
The next day, Dan appears with a box amazingly small.
“W-w-will you marry me?” he says to Teri, giving her a ring.
“Oh, my, yes!” she answers. “Did you suddenly wake up?”
“I’m mildly exhausted,” he admits. “From chasing you.”
A bachelor comes to the city to visit his brother.
“How about getting me a date while I’m here?” he says.
“Oh, I doubt I can,” his brother replies. “I know you. You’re not really interested in settling down.”
A young neighbor girl drops by to borrow a cup of flour. After she leaves, Hank asks his niece, Ann, “She’s a very pretty girl. Could you get me a date with her?”
Ann starts to say, “But she wants to get married.” Then she had another thought. She visited the neighbor.
“Marsha, how would you like to go to the movies or something with my uncle?”
“Well, he is good-looking? Is he married?”
“No. He’s married to his farm.”
After a week of dating Marsha, Hank hints to his brother that she may be getting too serious.
“Well, it’s about time for you to turn in your bachelor’s badge.”
Hank leaves the next morning without saying goodbye. It stuns everyone when Marsha hops a bus and follows him.
Hank says later he never planned to marry, but “how do you say ‘no’ to an American beauty rose?”
Shirley Ramsey, a retired professor of journalism, lives in Norman.