A Strangling Winter

Other things
When the sand turns to glass, and all that's left is the past, I will love you still.
Other things
Take from me my disbelief
I know it should come easily
But it remains inside of me
It battles and devours me
It cuddles up beside of me
In whispers, it convinces me
Other things
Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.
Other things
As happens sometimes, a moment settled and hovered and remained for much more than a moment. And sound stopped and movement stopped for much, much more than a moment. And then the moment was gone.
Other things
If love's a word that you say Then say it, I will listen.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Proposal -- Part 1
"Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be." -- Robert Browning.

It was the week before Christmas. Ethan and I were sitting across from each other at my favorite Italian restaurant. We had just finished our appetizers (baked clams, if you must know) when the following conversation took place:

Ethan: What are you doing on Christmas Eve?

Me, puzzled: I thought we were stopping at your mother's house and then heading over to my godfather's house. Isn't that the plan?

Ethan: Well, yes, but I meant the morning of Christmas Eve.

Me, still puzzled: Um, nothing. Why?

Ethan: Well, don't make any plans. I rented a hotel room for after we see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on the 23rd, so we won't be home until Christmas Eve morning.

Me, suspicious: You rented a room? At what hotel?

Ethan: I'm not telling. It's a surprise.

Me, still suspicious: Why would you rent a hotel room? I live pretty close to Radio City.

Ethan: I have a surprise planned for the next day.

Me, somewhat alarmed: Are you going to propose?

Ethan, adamantly: No!

Me, narrowing me eyes: If you were, would you tell me?

Ethan: Of course. I can never keep a secret from you.

Me, calmer now: Oh, okay. Good.

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It is now December 22nd. I am attempting to pack for this impromptu overnight stay at the mystery hotel. I call Ethan and ask him for advice. The only thing he'll tell me is to "pack warm clothes." I hang up and proceed to pack a large suitcase with several outfit choices, none of which include a scarf or warm shoes. As an afterthought, I throw in a hat and some gloves, because really, how cold could it be in NYC in late December?
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It is December 23rd. I arrive home from work and take a significantly shortened version of my daily afternoon nap. Ethan drives over to pick me up and we begin our traffic filled trek. He tells me that we will be stopping at the hotel first, to drop off our things. I am relieved because I am not sure that I can sit through the entire Christmas Spectacular waiting to be surprised. I am appropriately stunned when we pull up in front of the Ritz Carlton. The freakin' Ritz Carlton. I immediately burst out into an off-key rendition of "Puttin' On the Ritz." Ethan looks at me as if I have lost my mind and asks me what the hell I am singing. I spend the next five minutes searching YouTube on my iPhone for the song, so that I can assure Ethan that I am not insane. Even after I have played it for him, I have the feeling that my sanity remains in question.

We check into our room, which overlooks the Hudson River. It has an enormous bed that is quite possibly the most comfortable one I have ever slept in. It also has a telescope for stargazing. Despite my doctoral degree and his Eagle Scout past, neither of us can figure out how to make it work. We give up and focus on freshening up before we head to the Christmas Spectacular. I slut it up a bit with a low-cut brown satin top, but add a sweater over it when I remember Ethan's directive to dress warmly. We take the elevator to the lobby and Ethan asks the doorman to call us a cab. While we wait, we take a few pictures beside the Christmas tree in the lobby.

The taxi arrives quickly, and Ethan asks the driver to take us to Radio City. On the cab ride over, Ethan realizes that I am staring at him suspiciously. He asks me why I am staring at him so intensely. I smile sweetly and tell him that it is because I love him. In actuality, I am wondering if he is going to propose this evening. I glance at his pants pocket and do not detect the shape of a ring-box. I visibly relax.

We arrive at Radio City and take our seats for the show. We have amazing seats, only a few rows back from the stage. My suspicions immediately return and I spend the entire show panicking that Santa is going to call me on stage. I have told Ethan time and time again that he is forbidden to propose at a sporting event. Would he propose at a Christmas musical? I look over at him and he looks...bored. I force myself to pay attention to the show.

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To be continued... Guesses as to what happens next are welcome in the comments!

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posted by Aurelie @ 3:21 PM   2 comments
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