He was a nice guy, was studying to be a forest ranger and a few years later, I heard, he was out West monitoring fire towers in a national forest. I should have gone out with him again. He asked over other holidays when he was home and helping out at the shop, but like I said I was shallow and picky back then about potential boyfriend material. It wasn’t the bird watching that didn't earn him a second date. It wasn’t his red hair either. It was the fact that when we stopped to eat he ate half the French fries off my plate. We might have played tongue tag out in the woods---okay, we DID play tongue tag a few times---but I didn’t like sharing food with him. I was polite and suffered in silent back back then but today I might have stabbed him with a fork because I still don't like people eating uninvited off my plates and getting hand cooties on my food. Given the world pandemic we're in right now one could say I was just ahead of my times wanting to avoid other people's hand cooties.
I think of him occasionally when I'm watching birds hopping around the tree tops because, really, who doesn't want to remember the fun times we've had in the past? Would it have worked into something serious had we gotten to know each other better, who knows. I do believe dating a forest ranger who could make me laugh until my sides hurt and who was as kissable as they come could have at least been fun fodder for writing a romance novel. You can bet your buttocks, however, that the guy on the book cover would not have red hair. Since those days I've become totally citified but back then my childhood of running around in the woods and living summers at a lake was not all that far in my past. I loved the great outdoors back in those days so the whole idea of having a forest ranger spouse did have its appeal. Today, I think of going in the woods and I see ticks crawling up my legs and poison ivy reaching out to grab me and few, scary survivalists living off the grid.