How did we meet?
Well, it goes something like this:
I was working for State Parks at the time as a Ranger and our Lodge manager who would normally represent our park at trade shows left with Ms. Assistant Lodge Manager to go to another state and run their own lodging business. The next show they were to attend was the “Southern Women’s Trade Show” in Memphis. I had never been to Memphis, was single, and liked southern women so I quickly volunteered for the job. The boss said “OK” and to Memphis I went.
I was one of four or five sister parks that attended that show so I had friends to hang out and eat with. We had a good time eating BBQ and seeing Beale Street.
Back to work: directly across the isle from my booth was a large display for a local chain of hospitals. They had a cute safari theme going with a parrot mascot, chocolates, and free blood pressure checks. Interested to know what my BP was I had it checked twice. The nurse said I had a dangerously low pulse, but I assured her it was simply the strength of my heart and not a health concern…I had been running a lot in preparation for a race later in the year.
While working the show I did happen to see a beautiful, dark haired, tanned, khaki pant wearing woman who was either extremely busy or just wanting to be noticed, so I obliged her and noticed. She had to be close to my age. She was flitting about trying very hard to act important. Being directly in front of my booth I would catch glimpses of her often, I now know that she was making an effort to ensure that I noticed.
She came by my booth several times and flirted somewhat, I guess she was flirting, I was pretty much a novice with such, but finally came to the conclusion that she was definitely flirting, mostly I just answered her questions and tried to “sell” the park I was there representing.
The days went by and at the end of the show I packed my booth and was on the way out with the last load when I saw her carrying some boxes. Figuring I had nothing to lose and under the impression she had flirted with me, or was just awful nice, I asked her if I could help her. She quickly replied, “no” and I was a bit taken back that a what appeared to be a proper southern lady would not let a man help her, even if she had it completely under control. Usually a southern woman knows to act like she just couldn’t have done anymore and to be expressly appreciative of the offered help. I began to wonder if she was from up north, but later found out she had been the only girl with five brothers. I wasn’t too interested at the time and said “fine, just thought I would offer”. I was taught growing up that you always offer to help a lady. At that point she suddenly wanted to talk. She asked me where I had been while in town and after telling her where I had been she acted as if those were the places that only tourist who didn’t know any better would visit and popped off that if I was ever in-town again she would take me to a “good” restaurant giving me her business card with her home number on it. I said OK, put the card with the others, and told her it was nice to meet her, thinking I would not be back in Memphis again, at least anywhere in the near future.
Read Chapter 8: The Park Wife and The Ranger ~ The First Date