Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Well, I’m going to take a break here from the Nine Muses Challenge and go for something completely different. I’m late signing up, but in honor of the day, here is my contribution to the Love at First Sight Blogfest.

We met in school, as undergraduates. I thought he was strange.

I mean he hung out with friends of mine, I'd see him in class and in the lounge, and I'd talk to him, but he seemed kind of intense, and that scared me. When he looked at me, I felt a vague sort of uncomfortable, as if he knew something about me that I didn't know about myself.

We danced around each other, him pushing me and me backing away. He'd asked me out, often, every time I saw him, for months, and I told him no. I was kinda, sorta, sometimes going out with another guy.

Mike asked a friend of mine to go on a double date with us.

Him and his friend, me and this guy. We sat at dinner, the four of us.

Except it wasn't really the four of us. Mike isolated the two of us even though we sat on opposite sides of the table with the others between us. He focused everything on us, talking to me, hitting on me all evening.

Every once in a while, when I could tear myself away from Mike, I'd stolen a glance at our two companions. Mike's date was apparently in on whatever he was doing since she was watching us with a wicked grin on her face. Kyle, the other guy, just kept looking at him like he had an extra head or something.

I'd never sat through anything so bizarre or surreal before. It was like I was outside myself watching this strange evening unfold.

Before we left the restaurant Mike, asked me out again. I said yes. Like I said, bizarre and surreal.

Our first real date was really low key. After my last class of the day I took the train uptown, got out and met Mike down at the bottom of the station. He had his dad's car and we drove east while we made small talk and tried to decide where to eat dinner and what we'd do for the rest of our date.

Both of us were in college so the choices weren't very hard to make. We'd get Burger King from the drive through and then go to the piers to watch the submarine races.

It only took about twenty minutes or so to get from the station to the piers. Once there we settled down into a comfortable silence, eating our Whoppers and looking out over the water at the setting sun.

We just sat. Together.

Mike broke the silence. "We should probably think about getting married."

I looked at him like he had grown another head. I wondered if he was used to getting that look. It didn't seem to bother him at all.

"Why would we think about that?"

Strangely enough, the implication of the statement itself didn't faze me. I just wondered why the hell he thought that might be a good idea.

He looked sideways at me and gave me his best half-assed grin. "You know why. I'm not an idiot or a hopeless romantic, never even believed in love at first sight.”

His left eye twitched in a wink. “I had a plan.”

He shrugged a careless shoulder. “I'd just gotten out of the Navy and back into school and I figured at this point in my life I'd be going out with all kinds of girls, having lots of terrific, meaningless sex with lots of willing partners.”

He popped a fry in his mouth. “You kinda messed that up for me. The first time I met you I realized I was meeting the woman I was going to marry. Plan A went right out the door and it was on to Plan B."

"Plan B?" I don’t recognize my voice in the stillness.

"Plan B. Getting you to realize I was right all along."

I couldn't believe the affection I heard coming from this man. The affection in his voice and in his eyes.

"You really are a stubborn wench. Never had to work so hard for something in all my life."

I couldn't believe the way his eyes were looking at me in the twilight.

Yeah, definitely bizarre and surreal.

Even more unbelievable than what I was hearing and seeing was what I was feeling. The rightness of what he was suggesting was blowing me away.

It didn't even seem so incredibly ludicrous, the more I listened to and watched him. He seemed so certain, so calmly convinced of his decisions and feelings.

I tried to assemble rational thought as I sat looking at this man, because I am nothing if not practical. I am organized and disciplined and make lists of things to do. I am orderly and like things in their place and in their time. I am anal-retentive. A control freak. I am all about planning and follow through.

According to Myers-Briggs, I am an introvert, a sensing, thinking, judging type.

Despite this predisposition in my personality I have also known myself, at certain points in time, to just chuck everything in my life in a moment of life altering spontaneity to do something so completely out of character that it defies all attempts at rational explanation.

This apparently was one of those moments.

And he seemed to know this.

Turning in his seat to look at me full on, he smiled. "So, whadaya think?"

"About what?"

He was right. I could be a stubborn wench and now I felt the need to be deliberately obtuse. I needed to be sure I was hearing what I thought I was.

"What do you think about marrying me?"

"I think you've never even kissed me."

"I can fix that. If I do, whadaya say?"

"Yeah, sure."

Why not?

He leaned over to me as I slowly closed my eyes.


  1. Thank you. I hope your day is lovely. :)

  2. Hi Sarahjayne,

    I just found your blog through another writing blog. I am also a wife and working mom and journeying toward being a writer. Always happy to find more like souls! :)

    Lindsey :)

  3. Hi, Lindsey. You're right, it is nice to be meet like souls on the journey. :) So welcome, I'm glad you're here.

  4. By your own admission you like darkness, but let me tell you that you travel just as well in light - and warmth and sweetness.

    I still have a big smile pasted on my face, and it shows no sign of going away. Not that I want it to.

    See mama? No flashlight! :-D

    THANKS! **virtual chocolate**

  5. Hey, Nym.

    By your own admission you like darkness, but let me tell you that you travel just as well in light - and warmth and sweetness.

    Thank you so much but shooosh. That's a secret we don't want getting out. :)

    I still have a big smile pasted on my face, and it shows no sign of going away. Not that I want it to.

    I'm glad I could make you smile, since most of the time I...well...don't. :)

    See mama? No flashlight!

    LMAO! Happy Sunday/Valentine's Day to you. I hope you enjoy the day.

  6. As usual Sarah Jayne you have simply blown me away with your words. That was so touching, and honest, and sweet. Please tell me this story is true. I so love happily-ever-afters.

  7. Great scene! I love the part about Plan A and B. :)

  8. I'm so intrigued by Mike and his assurance--that he would ask her to marry before he'd even kissed her. It's a wacky love story and quite fun.

  9. Is it true? Nothing like a love affair!

  10. Thanks, Anne. I love happily-ever-afters too. :)

    Hi, Roni. Hee! I love A and B too. It's such a guy thing. :)

    Hi, Tricia. Welcome and thank you. It is a wacky little love scene. :)

    Hi, Amy. You are absolutely right. There is nothing like a love affair. :)

  11. Loved this! I love how he never gave up and even planned out their double date like that- great job.

  12. Oh my word, this was brilliant!! Felt so genuine. It actually parallels my own story with my husband. He said such similar things to me--looked at love and marriage so pragmatically. You are just amazing with characterization. Loved how you make the bizarre and abnormal seem perfectly acceptable. Beautiful job!

  13. Very surreal--close to my husband/our beginnings!. And very real. Wonderful job bringing it to such a down to earth level.

  14. Oh my! That sure left me wondering what in the world was going on! Nice. :)

  15. Hi, Kelly. Gotta love a man with a plan. :)

    Carol, thank you so much for the kind words. And how cool for you that this really, kinda, sorta, happened. :)

    Hi, Tara. Thank you. I'm glad that this brings back such surreal memories for you. :)

    Hi, Nisa. Welcome and thank you.

  16. Wonderful! I have a great big grin on my face. Love the guy, and I *am* the girl--almost. (INTP)
    Such a fun scene.

  17. Hi, Merissa.

    Hee! Welcome and thanks. I love the guy, too. I'm glad you liked this.

    And I love your name. :)

  18. Very interesting! it makes me want to know more about this guy! Thanks for sharing this!

  19. Hi, Amalia. Thank you and I'm with you. I want to know more about this guy. :)