I watched the Beatles’ 50th anniversary celebration of appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show the other night and got my feet to tapping and my heart to singing.
What a storm of both music and American history lie within their time of fame and how their songs rode the tide of change and consciousness.
But one of their early songs caught my attention again because it is the exact story of the way Tom and I met and fell in love.
“I Saw Her Standing There”
“Well, she was just 17
You know what I mean
And the way she looked was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another (Ooh)
When I saw her standing there.”
Well, I was more than 17. I was in college and I would be twenty-one on my next birthday. It was most unusual that I was at that dance at the St. John Catholic Student Center because I only went to dances with my girlfriends.
And it is true, we did talk amongst ourselves of the possibility or probability if we would meet the future “one and only” at these dances. We thought the probability mighty low.
The night of the dance where I met Tom for the first time was a night I had accompanied a co-worker friend to an dinner because she didn’t want to go alone. So when I returned home from that (I lived with my parents during college), it just felt too early and I was too young to stay home on a Saturday night.
In my parents’ car, I drove over to the center, just planning on seeing if I could meet up with some friends I was working on a project with. They weren’t there, so I thought I would “hang out by the wall” to see if someone would ask me to dance before I went back home.
Then he saw me standing there.
He came over and asked me to dance. He must have thought I looked beyond compare so …. how could he dance with another? We would have a two year courtship and engagement following that first dance, but there was something present that night when we looked at each other that had us – before too long – falling in love with each other.
“Well she looked at me, and I, I could see
That before too long I’d fall in love with her
She wouldn’t dance with another (Whooh)
When I saw her standing there.”
Tom has told me the following words were true for him:
“Well, my heart went “boom”
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine…”
We didn’t leave the floor after the first dance we had and I did keep hold of his hand as we made small talk. We danced some more and something changed within me forever on the dance floor. The words for it were not there to be spoken nor understood, but destiny was made manifest in my heart and somewhat unbeknownst to me, I would follow that destiny.
“Whoah, we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long I fell in love with her (him)
Now I’ll never dance with another (Whooh)
Since I saw her (him) standing there.”
He did dance with another that night though! After a few dances with Tom, I went back to “my spot” on the wall. Now I was not quite so anxious to leave the scene even if I weren’t “officially” at this dance. I decided to wait a bit and see if he would ask me again.
He started across the floor in my direction, my heart skipped a beat, and he came near me and asked a different girl to dance.
I left shortly after that. Later, he tells me he was distressed because he planned to ask me to dance next. I found that out because he had memorized my name on the dance floor and knew I wasn’t an on-campus student.
He found the Heffron name in the Lansing phone book (good thing my name was not Smith) and called me that week for a date to the MSU-Wisconsin basketball game.
He picked me up in his little black Volkswagen Beatle. Quite fitting I’d say.