#1 Staten Island Ferry

The romantic part is the ferry ride. I spent a whopping fifty cents – each – to get us on the ferry (New York’s cheapest/best date). While we headed away from Manhattan, we stood on the back of the boat, in the freezing New Year’s Eve Eve (yes, two eves) cold.

Me with my arms around her, both facing the twinkling city lights. Me babbling on about how I left this city that I loved behind to go meet her; her slowly figuring out that I was babbling for a reason. Me starting to ask a question, her blurting out “yes”; me reminding her that it is customary to hear the question before answering.

You know, the romantic stuff.

The rest is the part that is edited out of the movies because it doesn’t fit the swell of violins and cello (my imaginary soundtrack for the proposal is classy classical).

Me kneeling inside on the return trip to make it official – my jeans sticking to the floor to whatever the tens of thousands of commuters had deposited there. Her trying to rip the ring out of the card that I had over-secured with wire and duct tape for fear it would fall out of the envelope at some point along the journey.

Me calling her Dad from a payphone to ask for permission (or is that forgiveness, since it was after the fact?), and him gruffly saying, “It’s about time.”

Us waiting on the cold platform for the infrequent, now past-midnight, subway. The ride from Battery Park to 181st Street on the local. Her showing off how the ring twinkles in the lights of the passing train cars. Me pointing out that when (not if) the fellow late-night riders take the ring, they are likely to take the whole finger. Her deciding that a gloved hand with a hidden ring is better than an ungloved hand showing off a modest diamond.

Us finding out that we were locked out of Joe and Connie’s apartment (us not knowing Connie’s sister didn’t realize we were already in for the night). Us finding a payphone at 2am; us calling several times after deciding that sleeping on a park bench on the now New Year’s Eve (just one eve) would be detrimental to the start of our engagement. Us trying to reassure our hosts that us finally getting them out of bed at that hour should not make them feel bad; our hosts trying to reassure us that us getting them out of bed at that hour should not make us feel bad.

Us seeing that Connie decorated the living room with flowers and candles.

Us overly tired, overly not able to sleep.

Her on the couch, staring at the ceiling.

Me on the sleeping bag on the floor, staring at the ceiling.

Us holding hands, one newly adorned with a ring.

Me saying, Happy New Year’s Eve.

Her smiling, and saying, Happy New Year’s Eve.


I take it back; the whole ride is the romantic part.

Happy anniversary, Catherine.

{originally posted as part of the countdown to our silver anniversary}

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: