The Blind Date and the Tie
When I first heard the name Kara Rogers, my youngest son Aaron, was calling home from college to say hello, but that was a guise for what he eventually got around to as the real reason he called. I suspected that something else was coming even though I did not know what that was.
“I’ve met somebody,” he said, with a sense of I want to tell you that I have a girlfriend. “Oh, tell me more.” I relaxed in my chair waiting for the deets! “Well, he said, I’ve been dating her for a few weeks now and I really like her. Her name is Kara Rogers.” He continued with a few details about her major, her hometown and the usual other background info. I knew that Aaron had had a serious relationship that had ended the summer before, and I didn’t think he had been dating much. He was working a lot and was trying to finish up his last semester of school and was very active in his Social club that he was instrumental in starting just three years earlier. He was also starting to look for a youth ministry job for when he finished school in May.
Then the most surprising and exciting bit of information was passed along to us. “How did you guys meet,” I asked? “We met on a blind date,” Aaron said. It was a club function for one of the women’s social clubs on campus. Delta Gamma Rho, a social club with about 100 young college co-eds, planned a blind date function! First they gathered all of the names of the girls in their club who was willing to go on a simple group event where they met their dates for the evening at the first of many locations for which the event would take place.
Aaron got the invitation to the blind date function through campus mail. he received an anonymous postcard with just a box number on it with a sandwich bag attached. He then put his tie in the bag and mailed it to the box number on the card.
Megan Hitt, now Meghan Jones, gathered the willing club member’s names and went out asking guys on the campus that she knew if they too would be willing to go on a blind date? If they responded yes, they were to bring her one of their neck ties (remember neck ties?). After collecting all the ties Megan sat down and got to do what a lot of young women would love to be able to do - play matchmaker, deciding which girl would be handed each boys tie. The girls didn’t know who’s tie they received and the boys didn’t know who would be receiving their ties!
As the blind date event got started, all the participants were to gather in one of the large classrooms on the Harding campus, McInteer 150. There were probably 75 girls that were willing to participate and Megan had a guy lined up for each one of them. The guys would come in, find the girl that was wearing his necktie, walk up to her and introduce himself. For the rest of the evening that young lady was his date. The event was a progressive dinner where the group would travel from their starting location to a variety of different locations for the different courses of the meal.
As the event unfolded for the introduction part of the evening the many young men came in a few at a time, found their dates and starting meeting each other. As fate would have it, Aaron got stuck at work, while Kara waited, and waited… I’ve never been stood up for a blind date (I only went on one in my life and it was a good experience), but I think we’ve all heard stories of such nightmares. Aaron called Meghan and told her he would be late so while Kara was probably anxious, she wasn’t worried that she wasn’t going to be stood her up. She had never had a boyfriend although she certainly was girlfriend material! Kara was cute, sweet and she exuded personality! A few weeks later when I first met Kara I immediately gave Aaron the two-thumbs up sign. But back to the blind date event… As the different participants arrived and paired up Aaron was nowhere to be found.
Aaron had got held over at work. He worked at the Bible House, a local Christian bookstore in Searcy, and for whatever reason couldn't get out the door even though he knew he had a date. Finally, he was able to hurry home, hop in the shower and rush over to McInteer 150. There was Kara, standing all alone wearing his tie! Aaron was very embarrassed and very sad that Kara might have been worried.
“I’m so sorry!” Aaron exclaimed again and again! Kara was too nice to say anything other than, “No worries, let’s have fun this evening?” And off they went on the progressive dinner making stops at various locations for the next course of their meal as they had different games and activities at each stop. They exchanged the normal stories about each other as anyone would that was on a blind date.
Throughout the evening Aaron felt bad about being so late… They had a lot of common friends. During the next two weeks they had a couple of group activities together before Aaron asked Kara out for a one-on-one date. And the rest, as they say, is history! They never dated anyone else and remained a couple during the next 21 months before they got married.
Aaron finished college in May of 2007 and promptly went on an 8-week Mission Internship to Mozambique before returning to the states and leaving the next day for our family’s only all member mission trip as we went to Belize for a week. Soon after, Aaron was off to start his first professional post college job as the youth minister of the Bayside Church of Christ in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Kara had another year of college left so they started a long distance relationship, making as many trips back and forth as their finances and schedules would allow. As graduation 2008 approached they decided that Kara should move to Virginia Beach so could continue their relationship in the same town before making any decisions about forever more.
Upon one of the visits to Virginia Beach Kara made some connections with a few school teachers and soon was offered a job teaching Middle School English and Honors classes. Just the fact that she was skilled at teaching Middle Schoolers, seventh and eighth grade students, gave me a higher admiration for her than I already had. I often quipped when telling others about my son’s girlfriend that she got a “Go-Directly-To-Heaven” scholarship and surely would receive a few extra stars in her crown for teaching this age group!
A few months later Aaron was proposing marriage. (I’ll let them tell that story in another post.) On December 18th 2008 they got married. They had “the tie” from their blind date in a frame and a bit of copy telling the story of their blind date… And I got to officiate while they “Tied the Knot!”
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Steve Shaner is a professional story teller that delights in traveling to meet new and old friends. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.