We met in church, at one of those coffee hours after the Sunday service, in early 1976. She was young, attractive and flirted openly. I was between wives (divorced in 1972, remarried in 1979), dating a fair number of young things, and always on the prowl for someone new.
I made my move. She said “no.” I asked again the following two Sundays and then gave up. The next Sunday, she invited me over to her apartment after church and introduced me, fixed me a drink, and then introduced me to what the Starland Vocal Band called an Afternoon Delight.
These were the 70s, the swinging times when the birth control pill liberated women and AIDs had not yet appeared on the horizon. I knew a number of young, energetic and exciting young women in the swinging 70s. I can remember the names, details and other enjoyable times with just about every one of them. And I remember that afternoon very well.
After that first Sunday encounter, we would meet at her apartment during the week for an hour of fun then head back to our respective jobs. She may have had a boyfriend. I never knew. We never went to dinner, to a movie or any social functions. We never wasted time with small talk. Just an hour of passionate, exhausting sex. Keeping the relationship at that level was her idea, not mine, and the afternoon delights lasted for nearly two years before she moved out of town. It took a while before I stopped missing those afternoons.
I didn’t hear from her again until four years ago when she came to Washington and asked, finally, to meet for dinner where she revealed she was now the mother of four and married to a Methodist minister.
When I asked how they met she said “in church.”
“He came by to visit me after church one Sunday,” she said, smiling. “That’s when I introduced him to afternoon delights.”
The Lord does move in mysterious ways.