Previously in our series…
On April 15, 1985, my designer and I went to our typesetting vendor’s plant to complain about a messed-up, overbilled job. Their new man said if we gave him a chance to do the next issue right, we wouldn’t regret it.
I enjoyed these meetings. I thought it was because the process was so cutting-edge and fascinating. My staff was pleased enough with the new procedure, but confused about why I was so animated and chatty.
As the second meeting ended, Peter waited while my staff left. “We don’t have any reason to meet here again,” he said, “but I’d like to call you for lunch….I mean, personal.”
Oof. I was totally unprepared. I don’t date, I thought. I don’t have time for that. But by the time he calls I can think up an excuse. “Okay,” I said.
He called about 20 minutes later. “How about May 8?” Crap, I didn’t think I’d need that excuse so soon. “Okay,” I said.
On May 8 Peter picked me up at my office and we went down the street to Ciatti’s Italian restaurant. We talked a lot about our families—he was the youngest of six, I was the oldest of six. As he talked about his father, who died when Peter was 14, he got a little catch in his voice and teared up a little. Smooth, I thought. He’s doing a Nancy Reagan to show his sensitive side. Am I a bad person for doubting his sincerity?
The tab came with a couple of chocolate mints. He passed his to me, saying he didn’t like mint and chocolate in combination. “Oh, I love it,” I said. “Every time I get to Chicago I go to Marshall Field to buy Frango mints.”
“I’m going to Chicago next week for a conference,” he said. “Maybe we can get together for dinner after I get back.”
"Okay," I said. And this time I wasn't thinking about making an excuse.
Update: For the record, apparently May 8 was the day he asked me out, and May 16 was our actual first lunch date. I was relying on memory; he found his 1985 calendar!