Thursday, January 24, 2013

No. 497 – With Your Love

Performer: Jefferson Starship
Songwriters: Marty Balin, Joey Covington, Vic Smith
Original Release: Spitfire
Year: 1976
Definitive Version: None

I always liked this song as a clean sequel to Miracles, but it hit me in a big way as I was driving around Chicago in fall 2007.

Things were going great as I passed the second anniversary of my move to Chicago. I had been promoted earlier that year, bought a new car for the first time in 16 years and now lived in a great, large apartment. Things were going great with Laurie, and I decided that it was time to make an honest woman of her.

We had a trip to visit Paul and Jin and see Bridget, who had just turned 1, in Los Angeles planned for December. However, one of the days we were there, we decided to return to the scene of the crime—our first date—in Santa Monica. I thought of proposing to Laurie on the pier. That would be cool.

However, I was woefully unprepared. Unlike last time, with Debbie, this time I wanted to do it right. I would present her the ring rather than have her buy it herself later.

One problem: Just any old ring for Laurie wouldn’t cut it. Her jewelry tastes run to the antique—I’ve had great success buying jewelry for her—and I hadn’t done enough shopping after I reached my decision to when our trip was scheduled. Even if I found the right setting and diamond—a long shot without multiple shopping trips—I didn’t have enough time to get it resized.

I suppose in retrospect, I could have gone ahead with it without the ring, but, like I said, I wanted to do it right this time. So I decided to delay the proposal to get my act together … but till when?

In my family, 44 is a magic number. Laurie was 44 when we met, and I was coming up on my 44th birthday. May 2008 would mark our 44-month anniversary, so that seemed like a perfect time.

We had a great long weekend in sunny California just before Christmas. It was particularly fun to tour Santa Monica. We stopped at Fatburger for lunch—the only time I’ve been—and hit up Yankee Doodle for a celebratory drink before heading out to the pier. That part of the day felt weird, knowing what could very well have happened then and there if I were better organized. Laurie was completely unaware.

But my revised plan was better, I concluded. I’d propose at the Morton Arboretum—a crucial location for us—at our favorite spot in May. What could possibly go wrong?

What indeed.

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