Photo credit: bloodybee
I couldn’t wait to tell Chuck the good news!
The second I saw him, later that afternoon, I said, “Chuck, you have got to call Susan again, right away.”
I told him about what I had done. I told him I’d lied to the Pizza Hut manager, tricked him into changing her work schedule, and now Susan had the Saturday off. She could go with us to the amusement park!
That night, Chuck called Susan, and in his enthusiasm, thinking she would be flattered by our attentions, by our Machiavellian scheming, he told her everything I’d done.
Susan was not flattered.
She was pissed.
She hung up on Chuck.
He told me that the next day, at work, and he held up his hand for a high-five. “Well, man,” he said, “looks like it’s just you and me.”
It’s so easy to see the big moments in our lives. You know what I mean? We fall in love. We get married. We rent our first apartment. We buy our first house. We have kids. They grow up. They lead lives of their own. Maybe we become grandparents.
What’s harder to see are the small moments that make those big moments possible.
In that first date with Amy, I saw one of those small moments.
And I couldn’t slap Chuck’s outstretched hand. I just couldn’t.
I said to him, “Man, I am so, so sorry. But I can’t go with you to Cedar Point. I have to go with Amy. I have to.”
Chuck let his hand fall, and he looked away from me. “I don’t give a rat’s ass what you do,” he said.
A couple of weeks later, Chuck went off to college, and I never saw him again. And in that bittersweet summer of 1979, when the song My Sharona was topping the pop charts, Chuck Hager stopped being my best friend.
But that Saturday in August, Amy and I went to Cedar Point, and we were together the entire day, from sun up till sun down.
And four years later, on a rainy Christmas Eve, when I proposed to her, she said yes.
And thirty-three years later, with a house and two kids, we are still together.
I tell this story because it’s the only example I can think of in which two wrongs — a broken promise, and a lie — made, for me, such a perfect right.