This was a brand new word, or concept, to me. There is really no equivalent in Chinese. My first experience was a blind date. A friend’s fiancée needed me to accompany her friend to a movie. I thought that would be fine. After the movie, we all got together in the lobby of the girls’ dormitory. The dorm at the time closed at 11pm on the weekends. Everyone was chatting, kissing, and playing in different corners of the lobby. My date, Brenda, who was supposed to have already been engaged to someone else suddenly asked me if I was going to kiss her. I was certainly not prepared to say”yes” to her. So I told her, “absolutely not”. Certainly the ending was not very pleasant! There just was no “dating” for fun, in China! I had to learn quickly, but I did not anticipate any problems!
Then, I started to date Tish Sevier whose home was in Greenville. She lived in an apartment on top of Preas Hill on Buffalo street. I later met her parents at their home for Thanksgiving dinner. She was “requested” to meet with the Dean of Women, since she was seen with a Chinese TA on campus. In 1963, that was still a no, no! And this Dean of Women was just trying to do her job. Tish told the Dean of Women that her parents did know that she was dating a Chinese and I was even invited for Thanksgiving dinner.
Later, when Taotze, my junior high school friend, came to visit me in Johnson City, she drove to Bristol to help me pick up him at the Trailway bus station, since she had a VW at the time. We all took this following picture together. I certainly learned quite a bit about dating from Tish.
Taotze and I even went to a picture booth to take a picture together, in the American style!