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Love on Loan

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More stories from Ken D’Angelo

I didn’t really need the money. It was just an excuse to talk to her. In the Spring of 1971 there was a program at Le Moyne that allowed students to borrow money for their weekend activities. All you had to do was go to the Dean of Men or Dean of Women offices (yeah, that was a thing) and you could borrow up to $10. At the time, that amount of money could finance a reasonably enjoyable weekend.

Distributing the loans at the Men’s office was the responsibility of a petite, dark eyed girl, with raven hair and alabaster skin; an utterly lovely young lady whom I had admired for quite some time. My inability to talk to her was strange considering I could usually talk to anyone. But for some reason, the idea of approaching her and actually engaging in conversation turned me into a quivering bowl of pistachio pudding.

The weekend loan program gave me an excuse to approach her without, and it was perfect because it gave me something to say. Financially, I was in okay shape. I was blessed with hardworking frugal parents and I worked summers, and most school breaks, which covered part of my school expenses and provided pocket money.

I didn’t really need the money, but I needed to talk to her. For the next few weeks I found myself borrowing money every Friday, and promptly paying it back the following Monday. I found out she was just as friendly as she was beautiful. After about five consecutive transactions I worked up the courage to ask her out on a date. She said yes. After about six weeks of going out she invited me to have dinner with her family.

She gave me directions to her house in East Syracuse and as I was making my way there for dinner, I found myself entirely lost. It was an unfortunate realization. Either she had left out the last turn I needed to make to get to her street or I forgot to write down her last instruction. So I backtracked and decided to ask directions at a random house. Eventually I found myself pulling into the right driveway, the last name on the mailbox confirming it. I met her mom and dad and they were frighteningly exact copies of my second generation Italian folks. The evening was a success in spite of my scare earlier.

Another strange event happened when we drove to Rochester for a day trip to meet my folks, who were at their warm and loving best. My girlfriend was was her lovely, cute, and enchanting self. I hadn’t realized at the time, but I was in love with her. Later on I learned that as we pulled out of the driveway my dad turned to my mom and said, ”You’ve just met your future daughter-in-law.” Now, I admit, that old man was always smarter than me; but I still don’t know how he guessed where things would take us.  

As usual, he was right. This July it will be two kids, five grandkids, and 45 years of marriage for us. We plan to keep going as long as we can.  

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