I just remembered (how could I not have?) I really did take her to “dine out” once, though I didn’t pay for it.
Now and then, we would go to some nice place that served drinks and had good music. We would buy one drink and listen to the music as long as the people there tolerated it. Drinks weren’t too expensive then, and we were careful what we bought.
My wife was then a nursing student, and was very nice to a woman in the hospital where she was interning. The woman was there to have a baby. Anyway, the woman asked her if she would babysit on occasion for pay, and my wife agreed.
One night, I was to pick my wife up at the home of the woman and her husband, and did. The husband was very nice, and he asked me where we were going to go. I told him the one place where we were going for sure, then a couple more where we might go. When we got to the first place, which was a combined dinner and drinks and music place, a really nice one, the maître d’ asked if I was “_______” saying my name. Astonished, I replied affirmatively. He informed us that “the check is taken care of.”
Could have knocked me over with a feather, but my wife and I ordered a very nice dinner and enjoyed it. Sure enough, no check. Next place we went to, the same thing happened, except that we didn’t eat there. Next place, same thing.
I later learned that the husband was the son of the head of the Mafia in Kansas City, and was being groomed to take over the “family business”. I guess he called those places before we got there.
I was never asked to do anything in return (luckily) though the husband did tell me he might have a job opening when I finished graduate school. Needless to say, I didn’t take him up on it. I liked the river, but not enough to someday be at the bottom of it with concrete shoes on.
But yes, we did actually dine at a very nice restaurant on that occasion.
It’s interesting how poverty can be if you’re young. It’s almost romantic. Later on, there’s nothing good about it.