Studly and I met on the condiments aisle of the Piggly Wiggly store my dad managed in Dumas, Texas. The year was 1974, the summer preceding my senior year of high school. Studly had recently started working for my dad, and I was new to Dumas, having just moved from the metropolis of Floydada, TX. Yep, Floydada. Look it up; it’s a place.
A provocative question began our romance: “Excuse me sir,” I said. “Could you please show me where the ketchup is?”
I felt a little flustered when he stood up and pointed to the neatly lined bottles of Heinz and DelMonte arrayed right in front of me, and I’m sure my face turned a bright ketchupy red. He was cute, but I was a geek, so I put him out of my mind. The variable I hadn’t considered, though, was my double whammy status as the new girl AND the boss’s daughter.
According to Studly he followed me around town all that summer. I had no idea, and that was a good thing. I was so awkward around members of the opposite sex that had I known of his interest I’d have certainly screwed up any chance of our ever dating. So, I remained happily oblivious until school started.
Call it destiny, karma, or luck, our schedules coincided to put us in the same second hour class that first semester. Studly started walking me to class. He even carried my books, something that was sweet and touching and slightly embarrassing all at the same time. He was funny and easy to talk to and pretty soon I was smitten. I’m glad he was smitten, as well.