We were invited to a Valentine's Day party at Linda's cousin's house in Ocean Beach. I'd met them before, and Sue's husband, Bill, is a funny and raunchy guy - as I thought I was. We go, and meet many of their friends, and I'm introduced as "Linda's good friend, Randy." One of the ladies (Sue's age then - maybe 40ish) corners me and says "How good a friend are you?" giving me a wink and raised eyebrow.
Without a blink, I blurt out "well, I'm proposing to her tonight, but don't tell anybody!" She says "Don't worry, I'll keep your secret" and gave me knowing glances the rest of the night. After we leave the party, she went to Sue and said "Guess what Randy told me" and tells Sue the secret (there's a lesson learned here, eh?).
We don't go directly home, as I still have to fortify my courage a bit more. We stopped at our favorite bar, King Luis Inn, for a drink and some bar singing (we loved doing this while dating). None of the regulars were there, so I can't blurt out the secret to them. I had talked to my Catholic priest friend, Father Jack, who was visiting San Diego, and had suggested that we meet at the bar, so he is there when we get there. When Linda goes to the ladies room, I tell Father Jack my secret.
Now well fortified and well committed, I carefully drive us to Linda's apartment and we have an appropriate amorous interlude. It's time to exchange Valentine's Day cards and gifts, and I only have a card. She opens my card and inside I've written "Will you be my Valentine ... forever?" She looks at me, now down on my knees, and says "does this mean your proposing to me" and I said "Will you marry me?"
Of course, another appropriate amorous interlude occurred, and I went to my apartment an hour later. We went to the church on Sunday (after about 3 hours sleep!) and talked to the pastor, and asked him if he would marry us on 21 March 1970. He said he would, and we set off on the whirlwind five weeks of preparation and planning, that culminated in a 7-day honeymoon in Acapulco, but that's another story.
So Mr. Romantic did a pretty good job of finding an excellent woman to marry, and after forty years we're still in love and living amicably together. It hasn't been much of a struggle. Life has been good for us with health, work, children, friends, church, hobbies, vacations and now grandchildren. We look forward to spending our 40th anniversary in New Zealand on a Grand Circle Travel Tour to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji - making more family history!