Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 25, 1985: the Dinner Date

We’d met at a business meeting April 15 and had several meetings and a lunch date. He went out of town for a conference, and then we made a date for dinner.

He showed up with a box of Frango mints from Marshall Field in Chicago, happy to show he’d noticed when I said I liked them.

He also brought a bouquet of mixed stems…a large allium, a blue delphinium, a handful of pinks and purples and whites and greens. I popped them into a vase, thinking I shouldn’t dawdle. But he arranged them, saying we should take a moment to appreciate them at their best. It was a point he would make often.

Allium
The day had been sunny and warm, and the restaurant seated us at an outdoor booth, with an open arbor above our heads. Before long, it began to drizzle. He went off to ask that we move indoors, and when he came back he sat next to me, protecting my head with his jacket while we waited for an inside table.

Pointing out that he had revealed more about his life than I had about mine, he asked many questions. When I told him at some length about my mother, who had died five years earlier, I found myself crying a little. Damn. What is this? I hardly know this man, and yet I’m so unguarded I’ve slipped right into tears. On our lunch date, he’d had a catch in his voice while talking about his father. At the time, I’d been a little skeptical about his sincerity, but here I was, and I knew I was not playing a game.

Delphinium
He called a couple of days later. It was Memorial Day, and he was taking his nine-year-old daughter to roller-skate around one Lake Harriet. Abby skated while Peter and I walked, and we stopped periodically to chat. She was bright, energetic, mature, polite, and charming. I couldn’t tell what she thought of me, but she was being nice and I hoped we were hitting it off.

Apparently she hadn’t thought much of some of the other women he had dated. And there were lots of them. He told me he’d spent the last couple of years looking pretty seriously for someone to settle down with. I wasn’t looking; I had learned to enjoy my own company, something I thought everyone should be able to do. I had settled comfortably into single life with two cats in a house I’d just purchased, and which I loved.

We made a date for the following Friday night, and then the Thursday after that. On one of those evenings, we went to a Mexican restaurant and emerged into one of those long Minnesota evenings when the setting sun turns half the sky rosy red. As we reached the car, he said, “I’m going to throw a monkey wrench into your well ordered life.”

I felt my face blush as red as the setting sun.

27 comments:

Kathy said...

Congratulations.....what a beautiful beginning it was. :)

Cheryl said...

This just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait for another anniversary of something. Like the one where he does all your laundry.

DJan said...

How beautifully written, a word poem about the beginning moments of a quarter century together. Do you have a description of the wedding in here somewhere?

Domestic and Damned said...

I love hearing about true life love stories. You just made my morning.

I came from WOW to check out your blog and say hi.

Kat said...

I love your way of telling things. Really enjoyed this read.

DJan said...

I just read about your Carousel project. Fantastic! You guys have created a beautiful thing, and I am so so impressed.

Emma said...

Lovely, as usual! He sounds like such a thoughtful man. And he was right about the monkey wrench.

Ms Sparrow said...

Happy 25th anniversary!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

You tell your story beautifully! What a great start. Happy Anniversary

carma said...

Ha - I like his "monkey wrench" quote - congrats on 25 years :-)

Big Boops said...

I love this! Today is my Anniversary and this gets me thinking back to our first date. Isn't it amazing how much fun falling in love is!

Far Side of Fifty said...

I love this series of stories, and you tell it so well! Even though I know how it ends..I enjoy it!! :)

Abraham Lincoln said...

Twenty five yahoos.

We are having some delightful weather here today. I have been out for a brief period and sat in a chair and listened to the birds singing and the mother robin scolding her baby about going there or here. The hummingbird popped in on me and left before I could really get a good look. I find I can fall asleep at the drop of a hat and it feels so good to wake up and realize it is still daylight. Your flowers are beautiful. I have some open but not much variety yet.

Colleen said...

I love this story, I love the flowers, and I LOVE your new header! Congrats on your marital milestone.

Grandmother said...

A love story from a couple married 25 years- priceless! Thanks.

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

You have such a loving way of remembering,it's a honor to be a part of it!

I love that you were surprised by your tears, crying in front of this man you didn't know well. For me, that's when I know I am in the presence of someone special.

FabuLeslie said...

I got chills at the end there. My parents have been married 42 years today. I am settling into my own well-ordered single life now with my condo and my dog. And my own AWESOME company. As I read this I wonder what's around the corner for me... Thanks for provoking my thoughts tonight! :)

Nancy said...

What a wonderful story! I lived in Minnesota, so I know that sky and saying you blushed that color was a very vivid picture. He sounded like a great catch, which, it appears he was. Congratulations.

Writing Without Periods! said...

Written so beautifully...very smooth and easy...what tone and voice...love the style.
Mary

Melissa B. said...

Congrats to you...And BTW, thanks for visiting on my BON Day!

hummer said...

Congratulations!...Sounds like a wonderful beginning and a lovely continuation.
Have been enjoying your posts.
Keep it up!

Golden To Silver Val said...

Oh but what a wonderful monkey wrench it has turned out to be. Congratulations.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

These are beautiful and I've enjoyed each one. Please keep sharing your story. And I've said before, I think the two of you are quite lucky to have one another!

Robynn's Ravings said...

What a wonderful line to end with!!!!!! :)))))

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Wow, you wrote that so well.

As for those Minnesota summer evenings, I know them well. The sun setting and your day has been long and fun and now, still only 9:30 at night. Or ten if you hit it near the solstice.

"I had settled comfortably into single life with two cats in a house I’d just purchased, and which I loved."

Perhaps that is why it happened - because you had found your place. Monkey wrenches thrown in. Familiar term to me.

Enjoyed the post.

injaynesworld said...

You touched my cynical heart with this. Lovely...

LadyFi said...

Lovely! I take it that he was that wrench? Happy Anniversary!

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