Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day is Special for Me

It's Smile for the Camera carnival time, and the theme is "Valentine" - a picture or a story, or both. Here's a picture of my really special Valentine taken 40 years ago on her wedding day:

Yep, it's a 1968 Ford Mustang - we loved that car! It's outside our first apartment in Chula Vista. She's about to jump in it and go get ready for her walk down the aisle.

Linda had all of five weeks to plan and execute a wedding - and she managed it extremely well. I was so happy to see that she had project management skills in addition to all of her other talents.

Back up five weeks and what day is it? Yep - it's Valentine's Day. Here's the story of that day:

Flash back to 14 February 1970 - it's a Saturday night. I'd been dating Linda seriously for about six months and we know that we are "in love." We've had a lot of fun, met each other's families, talked about the future, what we want from a marriage, and know each other pretty well.

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!

We still laugh about 14 February 1970.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful Story with a Happy Ending. You write so well. I can picture the whole event. What a lucky man you are to have Linda!

Amanda E. Perrine said...

What a wonderful story! I can't wait to see pictures of your upcoming trip:-)

Joan said...

What a sweetheart story --- and you--a real romantic guy.

Kerry Scott said...

That's a great story...and congratulations to both of you on 40 years together. These days that's nothing to sneeze at!

Susi's Quarter said...

Randy, Thanks for sharing that rather private time with us. I also have a romantic link to Valentine's Day, Only 1959.

Elyse said...

Randy -
Any particular reason why the wedding had to be only 5 weeks away? I can't imagine having to plan such an event with such little time - Linda must be a very organized woman!

What a sweet and wonderful story! Congrats on your many years together and to many many more years!

Terri O'Connell said...

Thanks for sharing your story, it was truly sweet! You are a lucky man to find the special woman and spend your life with her.

Randy Seaver said...

Elyse - Linda was teaching school, so the choice for a honeymoon was Easter vacation or the summer. We chose Easter vacation just to get it over with and be able to enjoy summer without the hassle of a wedding.

Actually - my little secret - I could afford the honeymoon to Acapulco in March, but maybe not in June! Wooing and dating was expensive!

She did all the wedding planning herself - she was/is very organized!