As I'm considering going out to grab something, my phone rings, rather, it plays "Can't Fight This Feelin", by REO Speedwagon, which tells me it's Susan calling.
Make what you will of the ringtone.
"Wish", she says, "are you decent? I'm coming by there in an hour, with breakfast, and I'm not taking 'no' for an answer." She hangs up....I should argue with this? So, I wash, dry, scrape, and brush everything that needs attention, put on my favorite sweatpants, my Captain America t-shirt and sneakers, and am ready when my doorbell rings. Susan breezes in, carrying three plastic grocery bags, looking yummy herself in a dark green running suit, matching jogging shoes, and a ponytail....I become a fifty-seven year old seventh-grader, just looking at her.
Pretty soon, there's great smells coming from my kitchen, and a honey-contralto voice singing "Both Sides Now" tickling my ears. I've been told to take a seat in the dining room, and even Dougie's been ordered out of her way,which to my suprise he complied with; he's stretched out on the floor, nose pointing toward the kitchen like a compass needle, purring like a Rolls.
In a few minutes, Susan comes out, and sets two places at the table, retreats back into the kitchen, then comes back out bearing my grandmother's serving platter, laden with dishes of scrambled eggs, wisked full of butter and cheese, bacon, just so, English muffins, Smucker's strawberry preserves, cream cheese, butter, and fresh coffee, with sugar and cream.....I've died and gone to the Savoy.
After grace, we dig in....no doubt, Susan knows her way around a kitchen. Dougie is on the floor between us, wearing Starving Kitty Expression Number Six, and accepting bites of everything. Everything is wonderful, the food, the conversation, the company, which is probably why I said what I said.
I had wanted to say it, thought about saying it for a bit, but not just then....I wanted to do it right, the knee-bending, all that, but it just escaped my lips, and....I proposed.
Silence....three full beats. They're both looking at me like I'm about to produce playing cards from my navel, when Susan starts....laughing. This was not the reaction I expected, by any means.
I decide I'd better say something.
"Uh," I began, "I didn't mean....that is-"
"You sweet man, do you know how relieved I am, you FINALLY said it? It's been on your face for weeks, and I've been hanging, wanting to hear it.. YES!"
She comes to my side of the table, seats herself on my lap, and gives me the kiss of a lifetime...I dunno why I feel this, but I get the sense that Linda and my Ma are high-fiving in Heaven.
I want to marry her right now, not because I'm afraid of getting cold feet or anything like that, but because I know that she's my future, the next step in my life, and I want to get going. Having Susan around has made me realize how lonely I've truly been, and how right we are together.
There's probably a lot of folks I know who'd think nothing about us just living together, but it never occurs to me-this lady, this relationship deserves much, MUCH better than that.