Dating at Bible College

by Elouise

I’m still scratching my head. Not because I don’t remember, but because the list is so, well….What do you think? Take a look. I’ll tell you everything I remember. Beginning with my first date with David in 1961.

We’re on choir tour. We’ve traveled from South Carolina to Texas, singing in churches along the way. Just outside of Dallas, Texas, D asks if he can sit beside me on the bus. This is a big deal. For which you need a little more background.

Background. Being a member of the touring choir had its advantages. The biggest was that our social life (not the rules!) was at the discretion of our beloved choir director, Mr. Supplee.  Mr. and Mrs. S. were our musical chaperones on every choir tour.

Mrs. S. had the lilting, second soprano voice of an angel. Short, small and vivacious, she was a good influence on everybody. Cheerful, funny and not afraid to be a bit bawdy. Mr. S. had his own sometimes quirky sense of humor. He loved to get couples together. In fact, he first called D’s attention to me and suggested we might like to get to know each other. So we did.

Back to choir tour. Now we’ve arrived in Dallas. D is sitting beside me on the bus. Mr. S. announces that we have one hour downtown to ‘socialize’ before we head for our concert venue.

D is a shy guy. We’ve never had a date. But he’s been smiling at me a lot on this tour. In his shy way, he asks if I’d like to walk around with him in Dallas. I say Yes, I would.

Just before we get off the bus D sees the Dallas Public Library. He asks whether it would be OK to go visit it. He has just a few things he’d like to look up. Of course. No problem. I don’t know a lot about D yet.

We get to the library and find the reading room. We select a table and sit down. D sits on one side, I sit opposite him. D opens his brief case. It’s very quiet in the reading room.

D heads for the card catalog, finds a number of books he wants to consult, and starts doing his research across the table from me. From time to time he looks up and smiles. I smile back. I’m thrilled to be here with him. He whispers that this won’t take long. I get some reading material and begin catching up on the news.

I need to use the restroom. I don’t know where it is. I’m embarrassed to tell D or to go ask where the ladies’ room is. I decide I can wait. D said his research wouldn’t take long. He looks up and smiles at me. I smile back. My bladder is not smiling.

Bottom line. We reach our time limit and head back for the bus. I never find the ladies’ room. I never tell anyone I’m looking for it. I’m mortified to talk about anything so mundane on a sublime day like today. We walk back to the bus and board it on time. My bladder is screaming at me. We get to the church on time. Thankfully.

Now we’re back on campus. Most of our dates look like this:

  • Board the campus bus with the rest of the basketball team and their dates.
  • Arrive at the downtown YMCA and sit in the bleachers watching D play on the team for the rest of the evening.
  • Leave the game, walk to a nearby Krispy Kreme shop, gorge on just-baked KK doughnuts.
  • Walk back to the bus and ride back to the campus.

The rest of our dates involve a mix of the following:

  • Occasional Friday evenings downtown walking around, sitting in public parks, being good, sometimes stopping at the ice cream shop on the  way back to campus for butter pecan ice cream cones or banana splits
  • Annual open house nights on campus—women’s campus one night; men’s campus another night
  • Special event banquets on campus such as the eagerly anticipated Valentine’s Day banquet
  • College-wide picnics each fall to meet new students
  • College-sponsored musical programs, talent shows, homecoming activities
  • Class-sponsored social events such as the Junior-Senior Banquet each spring, and class picnics
  • Ping-pong games in the bookstore; no date permission needed; play ‘round robin’ until you’re too dizzy to keep going

Bottom line:
Everyone knew what NOT to do.
It was much more difficult deciding what TO do,
given all the Thou Shalt Nots.

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 6 March 2015