"Now, Jason will be too busy to worry about girls and can focus on his academics and sports since he finally dumped Joanie," Robert said.
"Wait a minute, I hope you didn't have your hand in this," Brandon said then continued, "I would hate my parents if they made decisions for me as to what to do and who to date."
"Dad, please!" Jason said quietly.
"Yes, I did persuade him that he needs to worry about going to college and not worry about little girls."
"Dad!" Jason yelled.
Al walked in from the kitchen, got some empty plates and glasses from the table, then walked back in the kitchen.
"Now, Jason we want you go to to college," Monica said.
Joanie got up, walked over to them, and said with tears in her eyes, "I knew it! I knew it. Your parents hated me, they are just like my grandparents, and unlike you Jason, my dad didn't dump my mom!" Joanie said then ran out.
Brandon got up as Jason motioned for him to move.
"She is not little girl, she always had the feeling that you two didn't like her and you just confirmed it. Thanks a lot," Jason said as he ran after Joanie.
"Well, that explains why those two aren't going out anymore," Brandon said as Monica and Robert looked quietly on.
At the Cunninghams-
Howard was at a Leopard Lodge meeting and Richie walked into the kitchen to get a snack. Marion and a friend were on the couch, while two other friends were on the chairs. Joanie came in through the back door and saw Marion with some friends.
"Great, we have company when I need to talk to Mom." Joanie looked for the jar of peanut butter. She was very upset about what she had heard, but with the guests in the next room, she tried stifling her tears.
"Uh oh." Richie closed the swinging door and shutters then sat down across from Joanie. Then he continued, "What happened?" Richie took a sip of milk and ate a cookie.
Joanie licked her finger clean of peanut butter she had scooped out then said, "Well, remember when I went to meet Jason's parents, and I got the sense that they didn't like me?"
"I was sitting at your booth, he and his parents were behind me. Jason's father stated that he didn't want Jason to be dating 'little girls' and his son should be worrying about college."
"Ooooh, I really wanna beat him up now," Richie winced.
"I wonder how far Grandma went to get rid of Dad when he was dating Mom," Joanie said as she continued to eat.
"I'm sure they did everything in their power. The thing is Joanie, if Jason loved you enough, he wouldn't have let his parents dictate who he should date. I'm sure Mom and Dad would agree to that."
"Yeah, I guess you are right. I just hated it that his parents acted like they could tell him what to do or who to go out with."
"Is it true, that he lost 6 straight matches since you guys broke up?" Richie asked.
Joanie laughed, "Yeah. I overhead them talking about the fact that he isn't even in the tournament. I'm just not sure I want to go and cheer them on."
"Too bad you can't catch malaria," Richie said.
Joanie continued to eat the peanut butter. "Thanks for listening."
"That's what brothers are for."
Joanie quietly walked upstairs and closed her bedroom door; Marion's back was to the stairs as she was chatting with her friends. Ten minutes later her friends left for home then Marion went in the kitchen and talked to Richie; a few minutes later she went to talk to Joanie.
"Hi, dear. When did you get home?" Marion said as she sat on the chair while Joanie was on the side of her bed.
"A few minutes ago."
"Jason's parents didn't like me. Didn't Richie tell you?"
"Yes, he did, but I wanted to hear your side of it. I'm sorry, Joanie."
"Mom, when Dad had come to your house, what way did Grandma and Grandpa react?"
"They hated him the minute they saw him. After your father left they told me they had someone else for me and didn't approve of your father and me going out. But I was so much in love with him. He was two years older than me and they wanted me to go to college."
"I guess you guys were stuck together period."
"Yes, we just fell in love and too bad they didn't listen. They did everything they could then your father graduated and later went in the Army. When he was shipped off, they pushed hard for me to meet someone else but I told them I was waiting for Howard and your father wrote me letters that I think they hid since he asked why I didn't respond in the last letter. I graduated and he was on furlough and well, the rest is history. I think you should ask him for his point of view on this situation."
"Okay, Mom. Thanks." She felt a little better but was still upset.
A while later after Howard came home, he went upstairs to talk to Joanie.
"Hi, Dad." She was at her desk when Howard walked in.
"Hi, sweetheart," Howard said as he sat on the edge of the bed then continued. "I'm sorry Jason's parents had to butt in. I would imagine Jason's feeling pretty bad about what his parents said and he didn't want you to get hurt if he told you the truth."
"How do you know?"
"Before I met your mother, I dumped a girl because my parents didn't approve of her and I told her that I wanted to move on. I told her face to face but I think she had a feeling that my parents had not liked her. I felt pretty lousy afterwards, took me weeks to get over it."
"What kind of things did Grandma and Grandpa do to you when you dated Mom?"
Howard sighed, "Oh, they told me she was out with someone else, she didn't love me, and there is someone else who is better for her. Your mother and I decided it would be best for me to not call, but rather have her friend relay the message."
"I guess Grandma and Grandpa are kinda like Jason's parents, not listening."
"Yeah. But if Jason really loved you, he would have told you the situation and decide to keep going out with you. Didn't you tell me he has lost 6 straight matches?"
"Yes. That's not the best part."
"He isn't playing in the tournament."
"That's what he gets for messing with my daughter." Howard got up, gave her a kiss on the forehead, and left.
A few days later at Arnold's-
Fonzie was at the booth talking with Al who stood at the table then they noticed Joanie walk in.
Joanie walked up to the table where Jenny sat. "Okay, Jenny, what is the big news?"
"Here. Talk to him! You are driving us crazy!" Jenny turned away as Joanie turned to see Jason at the booth.
"Hi." Joanie sat across from Jason.
"Hi," he said nervously then continued after pausing for a few moments, "I'm sorry that I let my parents dictate who I should date and I just didn't want to hurt your feelings by facing you and telling you."
"I really hated that and I guess I can understand why you did it. I still hate it."
"Even though my parents have fixed me up with a senior, I've turned her down and suggested I will be getting ready for college. Just to get back at my parents."
"I heard you had been offered dates but didn't know you had turned them down."
"To be honest, I don't want to wrestle, I mean, I don't think there are any professional sports such as wrestling. I want to be a lawyer."
"Yeah, but I just haven't told them."
"Because they are expecting me to go on this wrestling scholarship-."
"Come on Jason, you are a senior, are you going to let your parents run your life? My dad is very protective of me but I will do everything I can to keep him from running my life when I get to be a senior and after I graduate high school." She paused a moment before asking, "Would you like to walk me to the school?"
"Yeah, you're right. I would like it if you would walk to school with me." Jason and Joanie got up and walked to the school. Fonzie smiled with his thumb up and snapped his fingers and a woman walked up to him.
A few days later the wrestling team had won the championship as Jason cheered his team on and Joanie with her cheerleading mates did the same. After it was over, Joanie and Jason just happened to bump into each other.
"Can I walk you home?" Jason asked.
"Sure," Joanie said.
They didn't talk as Jason walked Joanie home, but she did slip her arm under his. He turned and smiled at her, and she smiled back.