A sequel to Record Store Tales Part 111: The Girl in the Sam Roberts Shirt.
Guest Shot by Mrs. LeBrain
GETTING MORE TALES #434: The Man in the Bob Marley Shirt
10 years ago was a very interesting part of my life. I had been out of college for a few years, and took a promotion at a company that I had been working at for some time. I was single and enjoying my life as a woman in her mid-twenties doing a lot of volunteering and making great friends. A lot of my friends from earlier years were getting married and having kids, but that didn’t seem like a part of my future at that time. Until September, 18th.
I had made a friend through the world of social media who lived an hour down the highway in Kitchener Ontario. We were spending a lot of time using Messenger to chat and occasional phone calls on land lines. One day this friend was having a bit of a bad day. He had been on a first date the day before with a woman he found on the internet who he described as creepy. He was having a bad day at the job he no longer enjoyed. In our chats I invited him to make the drive up the highway to Bramalea Ontario. He accepted and we made plans for him to pick me up at my family home.
He told me that he wanted a laid back evening with a walk in a park. I told him that I could handle that, but in actuality, I was scared shitless. I had never gone on a single date with anyone from the World Wide Web. I had heard horror stories of serial killers and this guy wanted to walk in parks on a Sunday night. Not the smartest of ideas, but for some reason I went with it. Something was telling me that things were going to be okay.
When he arrived at the house in his green neon I was outside having a cigarette. I approached the car and opened the door. Inside was a very cute guy in a grey Bob Marley t-shirt and a blue sweater. Very cute. We drove around for a bit turning on a lot of streets that started with the letter A so I could get him a bit lost (Bramalea is divided into ‘sections’ where streets are all named with the same first letter after UK communities – I figured if he was a serial killer, I could out run him and call 911, telling the police there was a green neon, lost somewhere on Aberdeen.
We took a walk into the park and played on some swings before making our way down to a creek to talk about our lives. He told me that he was starving and saw a Wendy’s. He asked if we could grab a burger there. For all burger aficionados, Wendy’s is at the bottom of the totem poll. I told him there was a much better burger not too far away. We got back in the car and drove to Sonny’s, a drive in burger joint around since the 60’s. We ordered two hamburgers with ‘funky onions’ (a fried onion with paprika seasoning) and other toppings too our likings. We shared a large poutine and talked a lot on the hard to get picnic table. (The joint is so busy, you usually can’t sit – a picnic table is a prime piece of drive in real estate). We talked so much, that we didn’t even give our burgers a try. We left them in their wrappers to eat at a later time.
After our first dinner, we decided to go to another park to hang out some more. I directed him to Gage Park in Brampton Ontario. This is more of a romantic park that girls like to hang out in. We walked around the park, talking for a while, and then moved to a knoll of grass to sit and do more talking. After a few minutes, the man in the Bob Marley t-shirt leaned in and gave me our first kiss. It was ground-breaking. All bets were off.
After a bit more time of kissing in the park, Bob Marley boy realized that he needed to get home because of an early work start. He drove me home, kissed me one more time in the car and drove back to his home in Kitchener. I entered the house to my half-asleep mother. She asked me how my date went. I sat on the reclining chair next to her and told her that I met the man I was going to marry.
She stood up, looked at me and said “You’re just like your father”* and went to bed. That was September 18th in a nutshell.
I love you LeBrain.
* In 1976, Jen’s father was in a Florida hotel. He saw Jen’s mother for the first time in the lobby and went to the phone where he called his best friend and said “Graham, I just saw the girl I’m going to marry. Now I just have to figure out her first name.”