Monday, February 21, 2011

Courtin', Rick Style

By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, Rick and I were pretty established as a couple.  He invited me to the Roszel Thanksgiving dinner at his Aunt Kathy’s and Uncle John’s home in Kensington, MD.  I was really nervous to meet the rest of his family.  I had already experienced Sunday at his mom’s house, Redskins and dinner every weekend.

Rick’s brothers had been telling me horror stories about their Aunt Kathy.  She was notorious for organizing games which everyone had to participate in.  Evidently, there was no saying no to Aunt Kathy.  We arrived at about the same time as Karen and Paul and the kids. Rick had gone in the kitchen and we were trooping in behind him.  Aunt Kathy and Uncle John were standing in the kitchen ready to greet us all.  Rick looked at his uncle and aunt and said, “Uncle John and Aunt Kathy, this is my girlfriend, Karen.”  I gave him an odd look.  I could hear Karen cackling behind me.

“I’m Jane and it’s so nice to meet you,” I said to his aunt and uncle and then kind of glanced over my shoulder and said, “I have no idea who he is.” There was a roar of laughter from all around me.  Poor Ricky, he was a nervous wreck; he turned bright red and continued walking into the family room.  It was 28 years ago and Karen is still talking about it.

It was sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas that I knew that this was it; he was the one.  It is strange how one day we're talking like a dating couple and somehow overnight we started talking about our future together and our plans.  I traveled up to NY to see my family for Christmas.  I remember that my mother looked at me and knew that it was serious.  She told me that she had never seen me as happy and I was happy.  It was difficult to be apart from Rick. 

I left the farm where my parents lived and took the Greyhound bus to NYC to visit my Aunt Kathleen.  She wanted all the details.  Over many cups of tea, I spilled the beans, which was great fun.  She was dying to meet him.

Our plan was to take the train home and arrive in DC before New Year’s Eve. Rick was at the train station to pick me up. He had secret plans for the holiday and wouldn’t tell me anything about it. It was good to be back in his arms.

The next day was New Year's Eve; we were all dolled up for the occasion.  I was wearing a sea foam green dress with heels and looked quite beautiful; Rick wore a suit and tie.  The weather was really bad.  It had snowed and the temperature had been hovering around zero since Christmas.  

When he picked me up he told me that I had to be blindfolded for the ride to our destination. Ah, a man of mystery, I had no idea where we were going.  Rick tied a scarf around my head in the car.  It was at least a twenty minute ride. It was exciting.  He stopped the car and took off the scarf;  there was nothing around but a few dark buildings.  We were in a parking lot; he helped me out of the car.  I didn’t know what he was doing and still had no idea where we were.  We walked up a path through the snow; I could see the city lights around us.  We walked toward the Potomac River; I knew because I could see the monuments and at the end of the parking lot I saw it!  It was a large boat.  We were going on a New Year’s Eve Party dinner cruise on the Potomac River.

It was a magical evening surrounded by the lights of DC and Virginia.  The monuments were glowing in the distance.  We danced to a live band, ate great food and enjoyed the view from the Potomac.  It was awesome. This man knew how to court me.

Rick and I hit a couple of snags after the New Year.  Gary, my former boy friend, called twice while Rick was at my apartment.  The first time I didn’t know how to handle it.  I asked him why he was calling.  He missed me, blah, blah, blah.  I was steamed and hung up on him.  I came out and told Rick about it.  He was pretty jealous.

The second time it happened.  He looked at me when I came back from the phone and said, “Jane, I don’t understand why you don’t just hang up on him as soon as you know it’s him,”he was ticked.  “Okay, you have a point. I will.” I said and did the next time he called.

Around Super Bowl time, I invited my friends Mary and Jack over to watch the game with Rick and me at my apartment.  We had made food and were pretty intent on the game.  The phone rang and it was him again.  Gary said if I would meet him downstairs that would be it.  He just wanted to see me.  He worked for the telephone company and had tapped into a line in the building with his hip set.  He was downstairs talking on the phone.

I took the trash down and there he was.  “Gary, what are you doing here?”I wanted to punch him.  “I missed you and wanted to see you,” he said.  “What happened to you dumping me and not being interested in being a couple anymore?”I asked.  I couldn’t  believe him!  He said,  “I just wish we could be friends; I would love to go sail with you again.” “As tempting as that sounds, Gary,” I said sarcastically.  “That ship has already sailed.  Do not call me again and don’t ever come here again."  I turned around and walked upstairs.

I came in the apartment and Mary came over to me in the kitchen.  Rick watched the interaction and he knew something was up.  I felt like it wasn’t fair not to tell him.  He was pretty annoyed with me for going downstairs. We talked about it later and I could see how I hurt him.  I would have been devastated had he done the same thing to me.  I had never met anyone quite like Ricky.  He had awesome blue eyes, a perfect smile and a gentle way about him.  He made me feel safe and loved.  I could see this situation had made him feel uneasy about us.  I was really sad.

At school, a week before Valentine’s Day the school secretary started taking bets on what hour of the day Rick would propose.  I knew that he wouldn’t propose because of what happened.  I told them that I got the money if they were wrong.  They insisted that it would be that day so I just let them go on teasing me and on the day after Valentine’s Day I was 14 dollars richer, sad, but richer.

No comments:

Post a Comment