Our church Sweetheart Supper is being held tonight. We were asked to tell about how things were in the "old days" when we were dating and married. Come on! 1965-67 wasn't THAT long ago!
The things that have changed the most since we were dating are the methods of travel and communication. Leroy was in service in New Jersey most of the time we were dating. Out-of-state phone calls were expensive and used only for emergencies. But I got a letter from him every Wednesday or Thursday. Why make an expensive phone call when four cents will mail a letter? I still have all those letters up in the attic. (Maybe I should look at them and see if I really want my children to read them someday.)
One winter night he got stuck in a snow drift on his way home after a date. He spent the night in his car until a farmer was able to help him in the morning. Before he could call his parents to tell them where he was, his mom called me and asked if he was still at our place. No, he had left at the usual time. Then we were both worried. He didn't have a cell phone in his pocket to let us know where he was.
Young people usually went to a youth meeting at a church somewhere on Saturday nights and then did something afterward. We often went to the Twin Kiss which sold mostly ice cream and root beer at that time. Fast food places were still in their infancy and not on every street corner like they are today. We didn't always get something to eat but hung out there mostly to see who else was there. There was a Twin Kiss at Ephrata and at Myerstown, about 15 miles apart. Sometimes, if we went to the one and "no one was there" we went to the other one. We couldn't call each other to find out where our friends were and get together on the run. We usually made our plans in advance for the next weekend and it didn't change after we were on the road.
We did not eat out as much as young people do today. If we went somewhere for a day we packed a picnic lunch. The times we went places where tickets were required for entrance were rare rather than regular events. We did not fly all over the world. Traveling to a neighboring state (by car) was about as far from home as we went.
Although the methods of travel and communication have changed the way young people get together and pair off, the object of the dating game is still "guy gets girl" just as it has always been. Guys chase girls who are often quite willing and eager to be caught. Girls pass messages to guys with their eyes and guys either take the bait or keep on fishing. Sometimes they do the catch-and-release thing but eventually most of them get hooked and their generation pairs off to produce another generation that will repeat the process. And so the world keeps going 'round!