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Hood's Winks – Game of love predicted by board game (Sept. 9, 2015 issue)

I started reading at a very young age, and learned many words that I could neither spell nor define. One of those words was potpourri. I thought it was a food of some sort, like, uh, porridge, maybe. I couldn’t even say it right. I called it pot purree (that’s with a short “o,” long “u’ and long “ee.”)
I can’t remember exactly who straightened me out about potpourri, but do remember that it was an unbelievably beautiful girl in the eighth grade, and I was in the seventh. She laughed at the way I said potpourri. I was absolutely crushed. She ruined my life for at least three days.
She basically explained that a potpourri was a little bit of this and a little bit of that—a mixture of things. I knew in my heart of hearts that she had told every girl in the school about my naiveté and inanity (I didn’t know those words then, but I knew what I believed).
That feeling—that all the girls in a given group were laughing at me—haunted me for years thereafter. More than a decade later, I worked in an office wherein many girls were employed. All of them were married or otherwise spoken for except one, named Gail. I was the only single male.
All the men urged me to ask Gail for a date. She was a knockout, and I was tempted. However, those girls all got together during lunch and breaks and played with a Ouija board. They giggled and carried on. No way was I going to ask Gail for a date and have them giggling about me!
Then, early one night I was out with a few guys and—I gotta admit it—I may have consumed one or more beers. That was enough to get my courage up and about 7 p.m. I called Gail and asked her out—for that night! I shoulda known better. She turned me down.
Oh, Lord did I hate to go back to the office the next day and listen to those girls giggling about me! I went, but was determined to avoid Gail all day long. It didn’t work. I barely cleared the door when, bang, there was Gail.
Oh, what was I to say? Something witty and urbane, that was the ticket. I opened my mouth and blurted out a statement that even I knew was sheer idiocy. “How,” I asked, “is the Ouija board?” That sounded so dumb that I wanted to kill myself on the spot.
Gail, bless her beautiful heart, said, “Oh, Ouija is just fine. You know what he predicted today?” “Uh, no,” I stammered, “what did he predict?”
“He predicted you would ask me out again, but give me more advance time.” Overjoyed and jubilant, I asked, “Did he predict you would say yes.” “Oh, yes, he said I must go.” “Did he say where we would go?” “Yep, he said we would go to Theater Under the Stars to see The King and I.”
I asked, Gail accepted, we went and had a good time. About a year later we got married. As mentioned in an earlier column, that was 48 years ago and we’re still married. I still can’t believe it!