Duane and Mary Blevins

by Rebekah Greiman


“If I was a gold digger, I think I could have done much better for myself,” Mary Blevins giggled and then added, “He really is not that wealthy.”

Duane Blevins agrees with his young bride, teasing her back.

“I have no gold holdings,” Duane laughs. “All I have are stocks and mutual funds.”

The romance between Mary and Duane Blevins began as many relationships do: out of sheer confusion.

“One Sunday after church, he asked me to have a meal with him. I thought he was married and that he and his wife wanted to take me out.” Recently returning to Tulsa, Mary was eager to meet new people and offered her phone number to a relative stranger.

A very unmarried Duane phoned her the following day to make their dinner arrangements. But, his triumph did not last long.

“She called me the next day and asked me what my intentions were,” Duane chuckles. “I told her my intentions were to eat.”

“I asked him if his wife was going to be there,” Mary said. “He replied, ‘I don’t know, is she?’” Shocked, Mary contemplated if this married man was openly asking her to have an affair.

An amused Duane let her squirm only a few seconds before admitting his singleness. With this revelation, Mary made it clear that she had no interest in dating him. He wasn’t the ideal man she had in mind for a husband. With much persistence, Mary did agree to coffee with Duane along with the stipulation that it was ‘most certainly not a date’.

“I was not at all attracted to him,” she recalls seeing Duane walk through the door of Starbucks for their non-date. “He looked like a middle-aged business man, which is what he was. His hair was thin and he wore an oversized sweater with a polo.”

But those weren’t his worst offenses.

“He wore pleated pants,” Mary sighed. “I thought I would be there for fifteen minutes and that would be the end of an embarrassing situation. But, he was surprisingly easy to talk to.”

And after two hours of great conversation, Mary agreed to meeting up with Duane in the future for coffee.

The frequency of the ‘non-dates’ increased allowing their friendship to solidify. Still, Mary couldn’t picture herself with a man almost 20 years her senior. Especially one that wore pleated pants.

However, an impromptu shopping excursion changed all that.

“I took him to Banana Republic and picked out things that were a bit more fitted and more current,” Mary smiled. “Every time he came out in a new outfit, he looked a little bit cuter. He had a new enthusiasm as well. He was sort of dancing around the store because he felt so good about himself.”

“I was catting around,” Duane added. Mary’s still not sure what that means.

Whatever Duane had been doing in the store that day worked. Mary realized she had found her ideal husband after all.

Several months later, the two married at the same church that had started it all. Mary wore a white gown and Duane wore flat front pants.