February 14, 1989
A Valentine’s dinner date
in his 1987 silver Grand Am
a box of 3 large chocolates,
I ♥ U
a bottle of Liz Claiborne perfume (the red triangle),
a porcelain Precious Moments figurine,
and a dozen long stemmed red roses.
My student budget could only afford
a teddy bear pilot
sitting in an airplane shaped pillow.
A drive to Butch’s Anchor Inn in Oshkosh.
A hut reserved.
French onion soup,
shrimp and lobster,
and another couple sitting a few feet away,
sharing the “private” hut.
A car ride home
listening to a mixtape created just for me:
Sheriff’s When I’m WIth You,
Robert Palmer’s Simply Irresistible,
Eric Carmen’s Make Me Lose Control.
His right hand (unusually cold and clammy)
holding my left,
his left hand expertly shifting gears,
(his knee on the wheel).
but unusual quiet.
An impromptu request to go park.
A little red envelope
(carefully hidden in a pocket)
A heartfelt proposal.
The best 30 years I could ever have dreamed of.