Pine Nuts: A rocky first date |

Pine Nuts: A rocky first date

It pains me to think back on that first date. It was a disaster, thanks to me. I so wanted it to be romantic, memorable, perfect — it wasn’t.

I had noticed on my Tahoe calendar that the moon would be full on the 19th of October, so I invited her to share a bottle of fine wine up at Crystal Bay Lookout, and witness the rising full moon mirrored upon the Lake of the Sky.

She agreed. So far so good. What I had miscalculated was a simple fact that everybody else in America knew but me, that a black full moon on a calendar means, no moon!

So off we marched upon our little hike up to Crystal Bay Lookout with my bottle of fine wine to bear witness to a light show, such as the two of us had never encountered.

Well, we reached the bench near the Mark Twain Interpretive display up there and took a seat in anticipation of a harvest moon, which was not to come.

Always the gentleman, or at least always impersonating a gentleman, I offered the lady a glass of wine. She assented. I reached for the opener, but like the full moon, it went missing, along with the wine glasses I had forgotten to pack. Undaunted, I managed to dig the cork out of the bottle with my car key, leaving a few fragments of the cork inside the bottle. Thinking she would not mind a few small chunks of cork with her wine, I went in search of the wine glasses, again without result.

Apologizing for the delay, I took a sip from the bottle and passed it over to her. She gave me a look like I was passing her a bottle of rat poison and waved both hands in protest.

By the time I had consumed my half of the wine, we both realized no moon was going to reveal itself on that particular evening, and so, disheartened, we got up to go. But no, it gets worse.

Counting on the light of a harvest moon, I had neglected to pack a flashlight, and it was suddenly dark as the inside of a cow. Feeling our way along in the inky night, first she, then me, tumbled off the side of the pathway, then it was her turn again.

At last we reached my vehicle and she broke into tears of gratitude. I wanted to cry too, but held back my tears.

When I dropped her off at her home I got out and went around to open her car door and perhaps give her a kiss, but she was already out of the car and into the house.

I called the next day to ask her on another date, but her roommate told me she had moved to Montana.

I miss her, but I now know that a black full moon on my Tahoe calendar means no moon at all, and I will be better prepared for my next first date. On second thought, maybe I’ll just stay at home and watch the Warriors.

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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