I wish I had a picture of the outfit.


It would make this entire story so much better.

But you see, this story happened when phones had cords and bangs were high and pants were stirrupped and you went to Olan Mills to get your picture taken.

And besides. No one was really thinking about pictures back then on a cold December night under the stars sitting on the curb in an Oldsmobile Cutlass with duct-taped seats and a jam box blaring out “Nothing Compares 2 U.”

It had been an amazing first date.

But I was young and he was young and I was at a college two hours away and I was leaving to go back.

A hopeless situation.

It all was going to be over before it had had ever even begun.

I paused for a moment with my hand on the door of the Cutlass.

Ready to push it open.

Ready to walk out of his life forever.

Tomorrow I was leaving to go back to Waco to college and he was staying here. Would I see him again? How could I let him know that I liked him? How could I let him know that my heart was racing? How could I let him know that I wanted him to ask me to stay?

I sighed and my shoulders drooped just a little at the overwhelmingness of the situation.

And then through the haze of anguish of disappointment and despair, I heard him ask quietly.

“Do you like Rush? I have concert tickets to go see them in a couple of weeks.”


I drew a blank.

Ummm? A band?  A group?  Rock?  Country?  Classical?

I had absolutely positively no idea who they were.

Never heard of them.

But I seized the moment. I went all carpe diem and blurted out without a second thought, “How did you know? I love them. Yes, I do. I…I….I love Rush.”

“Really?”  he said in disbelief.  “You like Rush?”

“Of course,” I nodded enthusiastically.  “They are my favorite band in the whole world.”

We made plans for a second date and a month later he drove two hours to pick me up and bring me back to Dallas for the concert. I counted every minute until I saw him again and planned the perfect go-to-the-concert-with-a-guy-that-I-had-only-been-on-one-date-with-who-was-a-really-good-kisser outfit ready.

I planned it so carefully.

It was a prairie skirt with a concho belt and high-heeled shoes with ruffled socks and a bow puff painted with my name on it.


Classic rock ‘n roll.

And he swept me off my feet and drove me two hours back to the concert arena in his souped-up Cutlass. And I talked and giggled and held his hand and exclaimed how much I loved duct-taped seats because they were bouncy and that it didn’t really matter that the radio was broken because a jam box was so much better anyway because the music was portable and that I was on pins and needles with excitement…

…to see my favorite band Rush.

And before I knew it we were there.

Together we walked into the smoky haze of the concert hall-full of people in leather and chaps with fringe and boots with bandanas and sunglasses looking like they all just rode in from an episode of Knight Rider.

And my bow with my name on it wilted a little.


This was Rush?

I couldn’t understand what they were singing and the music was so loud and the drummers were drumming and the leather booted-people were chanting and swaying and lifting lighters in the hazy darkness.


One song.

That’s all it took for me to turn to my future husband and nervously whisper, “This group…..umm…..this isn’t the Rush group I was thinking about.  I thought they would sing songs like Achey Breaky heart.  I’m really sorry, but I think I was confused. I was thinking about another Rush group.”

To his credit he said nothing.

He just smiled and took my hand and guided me and my prairie skirt back through the haze and the lighters and the leather through the doors of the concert hall, outside where those same stars were twinkling in the night sky.

And kissed me all the way home.

PS  The duct-tape seats and the jam boxes and the prairie skirts and the lettered bows are long gone, but sometimes on a quiet night under the stars he pulls out his guitar and strums a little Rush…

…and gives me a concert of my very own. 🙂

PPS These hydrangeas are planted next to the curb where this whole story started.

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  1. Image for Michele Venable Michele Venable

    Karianne, I am sorry it has taken me so long to subscribe. Since we all have extra time on our hands with this horrible virus, I wanted to let you know how much I loved your beautiful story. Your taste in decorations are beeeeauuutiful!! Miss all of you!! Say ¡Hola!to Denton for me!! Much love from Paducah, Kentucky, Michele Venable


    Love your stories-they always bring tears to my eyes. I can see the whole thing happening- your words are like paintings!

  3. Image for Heather Heather

    I love your story, and just wanted to say when I started dating my husband in college, he also drove a souped up Cutlass :) ( I didn't really like his music either) However, here we are 34 years later, and he now has a restored '74 Cutlass that he likes to drive on Saturdays sometimes when we drive 30 miles to get to a Whataburger. (we grew up on them in Texas, but now live in Alabama where they just have a few!) Thank you for sharing your story and lovely pictures!!

  4. Image for june june

    I love this story😍. My first beau drove a Cutlass. Your hydrangeas look amazing. I think that one was created by Bailey Nursery here in Minnesota. Thanks for keeping the posts coming...stay safe❤️

  5. Image for Kathy Menold Kathy Menold

    Such a beautiful love story. May your marriage continue to bring you all the happiness you deserve and as one who celebrated 52 yrs of marriage this past Feb I think the secret is being able to laugh together even when the world turns upside down.

  6. Image for Julie Julie

    I smile reading it all like a book I can't put down wondering what's coming next..........while thinking of my own stories of early days when hubby and I were dating.........we kissed more than once on that first date and I was concerned he would think I was 'easy'.......... ha

  7. Image for Janet Janet

    That's a story with a happy ending. Mine is slightly different. My husband asked a girl to a concert and she declined. Thankfully, we both like this band and we have been to several concerts to see him and I always think, thank goodness she turned him down.

  8. Image for Mary Smart Mary Smart

    Wow! I loved this story and it brought back so many memories! Stirrup pants! Meringue Bangs! We are really dating ourselves, but I wouldn't trade those days for anything!

  9. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    Girlfriend! I could tell that SAME story, but it was a Def Leppard concert! OH MY! And, my dad was a police officer, and I just KNEW I was going home reeking of pot smell... AHH, the good old days. I didn't marry that guy - no idea what happened to him. This just brought back so many memories! :-) Thanks!

  10. Image for Diane Ruebel Diane Ruebel

    Story!!! Your story always uplifts and encourages with fun filled light. The image of your "Rush" fan driving all the way to and from is told by a beautiful woman still in love after all these years. Thank you. Diney on Camano Island

  11. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Sweet, Karianne I can totally picture the entire scene... and attire. What a heartening, delightful love story. It does the heart and spirit good to reflect and read your account. Happy day to you and stay safe and be well. xoxo

  12. Image for Joanne Joanne

    Thank you for some light, love, and laughter in an otherwise dreary day. Your stories always transport me to another time of feeling care free and safe, Something we all need during this scary time. Whether I am laughing or crying by the end of the story, I am always feeling uplifted. Thank you for that....and btw, your hydrangeas are beautiful. Here in New Jersey, mine are just sprouting, so I was happy to see yours in full bloom. Stay safe and well, and keep your lovely stories coming.

  13. Image for Nancy Nancy

    Oh KariAnne! My story is 1963. Summer before college for me and 1 more year for him. I was in love with him before he ever rang the doorbell in his letterman’s jacket (in July!). Fifty seven years later he still takes my breath away sometimes as he rounds the corner. Thanks for sharing the love story!

  14. Image for Beth Beth

    Reminds me of the time in 1970 when I took my less than a year hubby to see Alice Cooper. He thought it was going to be a girl :-)

  15. Image for Kim Kim

    I got a little choked up reading this story. You are a wonderful story teller, such a great writer, and the fact that many of your stories are about events that took place in the 80's is just the icing on the cake. I needed this diversion this morning. Thank you so much.

  16. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I love this - I see so much of ME in YOU! LOL! I would have done the exact same thing! Just think, NOW we would be able to just GOOGLE "Rush," and be all schooled before we ever got there! Happy social distancing, my friend - I'm so glad we have the Internet to stay in touch with everyone!!

  17. Image for Linda Linda

    My now husband had tickets to the band Chicago and planned to asked another girl, thankfully she said no. He asked me and we will be celebrating 44 years of marriage this fall. ❤️

  18. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Aww..you made me do some reminiscing..lol..not because I ever saw Rush...but just remembering what it felt like to be young and in love ( in the summertime especially) It "is" the most wonderful feeling. I have always hoped that my kids would have a chance to experience that same feeling at least once in their lives... It also reminded me how fast life has whizzed by. Too many roller coaster emotions lately, KariAnne! Thanks for the sentimental journey. (I had a prairie skirt and a concho belt too..."back in the good 'ol days"...) 😊

  19. Image for Kris Kris

    Oh KariAnne ... prairie skirts .... did you have the prairie blouse too, with the big puffed sleeves? I wore glasses and they were those huge oversized things that had the not-so-pretty effect of making me look like a fly. When my kids see pictures from my high school days, they erupt in hysterical laughter.

  20. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    This is the sweetest memory and i love that you enjoy sharing some of them with me. Your husband does seem like a very nice person and the perfect match.

  21. Image for Mary S Mary S

    Oh my gosh! You write the VERY BEST LOVE STORIES!!!! I have to honestly say that I dont' know very many people who have been together so long and are STILL SO MUCH IN LOVE. It really gives me hope for the future and I'm so HAPPY for you and your "good kisser with sparkling eyes'..... Count your blessings! And don't you know, God doesn't make mistakes! Stay well pretty lady.

  22. Image for Deb Deb

    My only concert experience was with my handsome new boyfriend who wore bellbottoms and the band was Cheap Trick. I was deaf for 2 days. But that boy’s hazel eyes and mischievous grin and, lordy, was he smart! Married 42 years this June.

  23. Image for Sandra Mickewicz Sandra Mickewicz

    Thank you so much for sharing your love story. It makes me smile fondly as I recall countless precious moments with my beloved husband.; how wonderfully magical it was to love & be loved & enjoy life together. A RARE & precious gift. My dear love died in August. Your story warmed my heart, flooded my mind with MANY treasured, fond remembrances & made me smile. THANK you! PS he too was the BEST kisser!🙂

  24. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Always so sweet and heart-tugging! So glad you remember all those wonderful things. Such precious memories. May the Lord bless you with many more years together! ❤

  25. Image for Barbara Chapman Barbara Chapman

    Sweet story, KariAnne!! Love the picture of you two!! Steely Dan or Huey Lewis would have been better to see. 😉 Your future hubby was a good sport. Maybe he already knew... 💞✨ Stay well and happy spring to you! Barb

  26. Image for Nancy Nancy

    You’re just the cutest thing ever! Love reading your stories! Your hubby is a cutie too! May your love continue to grow which each passing year! ❤️❤️❤️


    Such an amazing story, KariAnne! You two were just meant to be together -- forever! Bless you both!

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