Earlier, I wrote about how I knew I had found the girl I was gonna marry. It was obvious to me. I broke up with a beautiful girl I was dating. And, I signed off another girl I had seen from time to time. (Yes, watch the quiet ones. Treat the gals nice and they’ll over look all sorts of shortcomings in looks, charisma, and character.)
On her birthday that year, I proposed. And, she promptly said “No!”. No hint of a smile. No hint of disgust. No hint of shock.
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Correction: It wasn’t on her birthday. It was in the Fall of 1967. I don’t know why I was confused about the date. Should have written it down. Should have written a lot of things down.
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In a trembling voice, I asked if that meant she no longer wanted to see me. And, she promptly said “No!”.
I asked for an explanation because I was crushed. She explained that it was too soon, too many things were outstanding, to many clouds in our way.
And, not on her birthday! She wanted a special day.
So I took the ring — of course, I had a beautiful, but small, ring in my pocket that I had picked out by myself without telling anyone — back to the jeweler. Paid the 10% “rental” on the $1200. And the old guy asked about it, he said: “She sounds like a great girl. You pretend she said yes. Assume it. And, eventually she’ll see what a good guy you are. And come back when you’re ready to propose again.” Yeah right. He made a $120 a pop dispensing that advice.
But, I was hooked. Line and sinker.
I later found out that my Mom had spoken to her Mom and they had agreed I had to finish school first. So her Mom had a conversation with her. When this all transpired, I was oblivious. Guess it was obvious to the women folk.
Some time later, when it was getting close to completion, my semester grade’s came in. At that point, I had enough credits and GPA to take my degree whenever I wanted it. (Remember the VietNam war was raging. And, I had a deferment for school.) She let me know that she would entertain another proposal. All she said was: “Remember your proposal? It’s time to try again.” With that sparkle of trickster, vamp, and Irish entertainer.
Hey, I’m not easy, I made her wait a month.
Pete Gunston, Andre Straza, and I were all in that same state — impending engagement. So, we decided that a triple engagement date would be a good idea. (Never considering what it would mean if one, two, or three would refuse? I was reasonable sure I could, would, might close my “deal”. But with a crazy headstrong Irish colleen, it was never assured.) So we planned a movie and dinner afterwards. Fancy restaurant reservations.
We met at the movie theater.
The boys paid. It was more expensive because it was midtown NYC, “premiere no passes no senior citizen discount”, and it just was. I member 8$ / head. We got popcorn and stuff. (I ALWAYS get pop corn.) And, sat down. I remember the opening. Jane Fonda, who was not hard on the eyes, disrobes in a zero gravity space ship. (Interesting concept. Which I was interested in studying. Just from an engineering perspective mind you. A woman’s bust unconfined in zero gravity does what?)
Our Girl had seen enough to know where it was going. She stands up, and in a loud voice, says: “I’ve seen enough. I’m leaving.”
Of course, I was a few feet behind. Followed by our companions. (I’m not sure if the other young ladies would have led the walk out but they were sure ready to follow her.) The rest is a little bit of a blur. I remember a ferocious Irish Princess convincing the theater manager to refund the ticket prices. And, the comment that this movie was improperly rated. “XXX” was her assessment.
I believe I was told that “I’ll tell you when it’s time for you to see such things.” (Boobs?) She never did tell me; guess she just forgot.
So “plans are meaningless; planning is everything”. The men regrouped. We end to a chinese restaurant for appetizers to await our reservation time. To fill the time, the rings were presented and we were three for three. Went on to dinner, and laughed a lot about the walk out.
Later in the evening, privately, she said she was surprised at the choice of movie and “I was disappointed that you were not first up and out. It was so unlike you.” I explained my engineering interest in the topic so I was temporarily “distracted”. She said: “Grow up they’re just breasts.”
But we were engaged. Of course, we were back by 1230 for the 1AM curfew. And, we sat on the landing at 39W8, her Mom opened the door and said: “I see your home on time. I’m going to bed. Don’t stay out here all night.” I knew my status had changed. How it had changed! We exchanged … ideas about the future that night. And she scooted in before too long.
But, after that, I always checked out the movie before I would take her.
The girl had grit, standards, and a fierce independent streak.
# # # # # posted 2011-03-06 12:42
# – # – # – # – # updated 2011-May-26 @ 11:53