131.The ones that got away

My father used to say that he worried that I’d marry Jack the Ripper if he made me laugh.

I was an art major in college. In one class we were to go into the nearby park and sketch.

I had a boyfriend then who was a big football player with a broken nose, kind of scary looking. He used to meet me in the park and sit with me while I drew.

One day he took off his sneakers and his toenails were polished bright red. He’d do anything to make me laugh. It’s amazing that I let that guy slip through my fingers.

I just remembered why.

When he went home for Christmas he had to marry his high school girlfriend because she was pregnant (they did that then)

In my early twenties I dated a parole officer named Joe.

He was brave and tough but he had one problem that plagued him all through his career.

When startled he screamed like a girl. Unfortunately he was startled a lot.

One time he was arresting some perp (I learned the lingo) with some cops. He was climbing through what he thought was a basement window but it turned out to be a coal bin. He screamed all the way down the chute. He said that was particularly embarrassing because the cops were there.

Once on a date he put me in the passenger side of the car (men also did that then) and while he was walking around to the driver’s side I just lay down on the seat.

When he opened his door he saw my face looking up at him and he screamed bloody murder. After he pulled himself together I asked him whose face he thought it was. He had no good answer.

He told me one story about being stuck in traffic while on a date.  He got out of his car and looked to see what the problem was. It was 2 giant black guys arguing over a traffic mishap.

Joe, not really a big guy looked at his date and said with a knowing look, “I’ve got this” and he ran towards the arguing guys with his badge in one hand and his gun in the other.

When he got there one of the guys said to him “Put that gun away or I’ll shove it up your ass”. I asked him “What did you do then?”

“I put my gun in my pocket and zipped it up. What was I gonna do? Shoot him?”

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