The first time we went out on a double date with his parents, we went to an Italian restaurant. His family had lived in Sicily for four years while his dad was stationed there with the Navy, so Italian is a family favorite. Just a few days before our double date, Oswald had taken me to my first every Hockey game.
Hockey is not just a game in their family, it’s THE game. They love hockey.
We climbed out of the car at a Jacksonville Barracudas game. It was cold, much colder than I expected. Lights were pointed at the arena, making the ice as bright as if the sun were shining inside the building. The stands were not completely full, but the fans who were there, were hockey lovers. The lines on the rink were dark and the ice was without a single scrape.
The teams took to the ice and, with a blow of the whistle, the game began.
The entire time, Oswald sat next to me telling me all the rules of the game. He told me about “icing” and offside passes and being offside. I tried my hardest to memorize those rules because I wanted to impress Oswald, but I also wanted to impress his dad. I wanted his dad to like me and see that I was willing to learn things and like the same things his son and family liked.
A few nights later, we met his mom and dad for our first double date. After we got to our table, we looked at the menu and made small talk. But soon after we placed our order, Oswald started in, “So Dad, I took Jennie to a hockey game.”
“You did. What’d you think, Jennie?”
“It was interesting. It was my first time ever seeing a hockey game.” I replied feeling very nervous.
“What does it mean when the puck crosses over two lines, Jennie?” Oswald asked me with a smirk.
“Ummm, that’s icing.” I said raising my eyebrow, hoping he would understand to please drop this line of questioning, but he continued to fire away.
“And what about when the offensive team has the puck and one of their teammates crosses the line before the puck?” He continued, ignoring my raised eyebrow.
“I believe that’s called, off sides.” The grilling over hockey rules and regulations continued.
As the night continued, the conversation turned from hockey to other things. It was nice to be with his parents and get to know them better. Because, after all, I wanted to marry their son and be a part of their forever family. Little did I know just how quickly it would happen.