Welcome to Our Blog

Our hope is that this gives you all a chance to see what we're up to these days.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Day Story

Fifteen year ago today - yes, that's right, 15! - a nervous young man parked his car in a a crowded space at the 5th Street Public Market in Eugene, Oregon, got out and opened the door for his beautiful girlfriend and they walked arm in arm around the Market together. They eyeballed pretty flowers in the center square, smelled the aromas coming from the freshly baked bread, peeked in the windows of the upscale clothing shops, people-watched together while sitting on a bench, all while the sun set slowly over them. As the last rays of the sun silently danced across the treetops, they walked across the street to a little hole in the wall juke joint called Jo Federigo's (affectionately called Jo Fed's by those in the know) - a well-known jazz establishment with wonderful nooks for cozying up together to listen to some wonderful live piano jazz together. Little did that young, beautiful woman know, but there was a surprise in store.

They sat down together at a second-floor table, overlooking the central foyer and piano, below. A beautiful bouquet of flowers had been set at their table, the only one in the establishment that had them. They exchanged loving glances across the table as they looked over the menu to see what they fancied. They had heard good things about the Italian food and were eager to sample some of the wares.The young man fidgeted and fussed, seemingly nervous but also excited. She eyed him with curiosity and wondered if it were her piercing gaze that was making him squirm. They ordered their meals, her a linguine-style pasta dish, he a heavily seasoned meat and pasta shell dish. Although the place was packed, both were so engrossed in each other, they hardly noticed anyone else in the place - the world outside of them simply didn't exist for a spell. And, aside from the young man consuming countless glasses of water and looking a little nervous, they were delighted to be lost in the moment, together.

Part of the way through their meal, the piano music stopped and a familiar-sounding tune began to play over the restaurant's PA system. Both looked at each other with a knowing glance, each knowing that this was one of "their songs". As the tune played on (it was Depeche Mode's "Somebody"; see links below), the young man got up from his chair, opened a secret compartment in a well-disguised faux rose that was part of the table's bouquet, pulled out a ring that had been in the family for many decades, got down on one knee, and asked her to be with him through thick and thin, for better and worse, to spend the rest of their lives together. As tears streamed down the young lady's face, she paused for what must have seemed like an eternity for the young man, gazing into his eyes, then smiled, wiped her tears...said "yes" and tenderly kissed him.

As they kissed and were enveloped in their own solitary, "time-stood-still world", they became rapidly aware of the rest of the world outside of their own table. Cheers and applause rang throughout the multistory establishment and all eyes seemed to be resting solely on them. They both flushed with slight embarrassment but reveled in the moment, happy to be holding each other, secure in the knowledge that they would be sharing the rest of their lives together.

A waiter brought over a bottle of their finest wine, compliments of a couple a few tables down. They had apparently been watching the couple all evening, figuring from the nervousness of the young man that he was about to propose marriage to the young lady. Neither of them could figure out where the ring might be and had guessed that it was in the young lady's pasta and they had begun to worry when the young lady only ate half her pasta and only poked at the other half. They were delighted when the young man had pulled the ring out of the flowers (why hadn't they guessed it was the flowers?!) and felt honored they had been able to witness it. The wine was their gift to the couple. It couldn't have been a more magical experience

Life has changed a bit in those 15 years - the distance between here and there sometimes feels like a long ways and at other times, just a flash. The couple no longer lives in Roseburg, Oregon. They both have worked in a variety of jobs over the years, some not so flattering, others seemingly well-suited for them. Both have earned advanced degrees, have adopted several needy animals along the way, and now have two magical children gracing their lives. And they've grown even closer together over the years. It hasn't always been easy - indeed, far from it. But it has also been the most rewarding experience for them both. And they continue to rest secure in the knowledge and certainty of each other. And their future together.

I'm sure you've already guessed it. That young couple those 15 years ago was Cathleen and me. And I remember many of the details from that day as if it were just a few hours ago. Other details, Cathleen remembers better than me. Together, they paint a beautiful story. One that is still being painted and will be for many more years...

Happy Valentine's Day, my beautiful bride!


Note: Sadly, Jo Federigo's is now closed, replaced by the Granary Pizza Company, a place with mixed reviews. Sad, too, because the venue is so wonderful!

Listen to the song, with lyrics in video format.
And lyrics from the official Depeche Mode website:
Appears on: "Some Great Reward" album
"Catching Up With Depeche Mode" album

"Blasphemous Rumours" single
Lead singer: Martin L. Gore
Songwriter: Martin L. Gore
Publishing credit: ©1984 Grabbing Hands Music Ltd/EMI Music Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. Lyrics electronically reprinted with permission.

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who'll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She'll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She will hear me out
And won't easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she'll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and with every breath
Someone who'll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don't want to be tied
To anyone's strings
I'm carefully trying to steer clear
Of those things
But when I'm asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I'll get away with it

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If this didn't get you marital relations, you will never have marital relations ever again.