Did your friends ever talk you into going on a blind date? My two friends convinced me to go on a blind date when I was in nursing school. We went out as a group. My date looked like Moe. He was a nice guy, but he just wasn’t my type.

I went to nursing school in the backwoods, redneck town of Danville, Illinois. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I moved there. During the 1970s, the biggest social event in Danville involved putting on bed sheets, going into a Black neighborhood every Friday night, and burning a cross. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Mike, my blind date, was a native son. His idea of a successful life was getting a job hauling garbage for the county, and earning enough money so he could go out drinking every weekend with the boys. He thought it was nice I was going to be a nurse, but said I was wasting my time. He said a woman needs to “know her place,” and that place is in the home after she gets married. Yeah, right Jug Head.

I shudder to think what my life would be like if I had married a guy like Mike. I get queasy just thinking about it. As soon as I graduated from school, I packed up and moved out of Danville as fast as I could, never to return again. Today, I’m married to the most wonderful, enlightened man I’ve ever met. Sometimes you really do get to live happily ever after.