On Xmas Eve 1988, I was proposed to.
It completely blind-sided me and was just, oh, glorious?
There are certain things that really stand out to me about that night.
I remember leaving our little “love cottage” in Toluca Lake and heading out to a dinner party at our friends home. As we turned the corner in the car we heard singing and saw a small truck filled with people. It was lit with strings of lights, and it roamed the neghborhoods while the passengers sang Xmas carols. We stopped and listened and enjoyed it immensely. I remember Tom saying that we’d remember this forever. Forever? ok…
I remember the dinner party where we drank Cristal champagne (which I had never had before) and all of the toasts were made to the married couples there. There was talk of how they were proposed to, how happy they were to be married, how surprising , or not surprising the proposals were. BLATANT stuff, that went right over my head, though not over Tom’s, as I found out later. He was sweating bullets, because, unbeknownst to me, every other person at that party knew he was going to propose that night. I was enjoying the Cristal, but I wasn’t completely oblivious because , you see, was also sweating. I had told all of my closest girlfriends that if Tom didn’t propose by New Years Eve I was going to propose to HIM on New Years day, and if he said no then it was over. OVER!!!!! Tom didn’t know that, and so all the talk of marriage and proposing was having quite a different effect on me…
I remember after dinner sitting with these people as they opened Xmas gift after gift, so many present, so expensive, and Tom and i eyeing each other through-out, quite shocked at the excess. It was really uncomfortable and I wanted to leave but we stayed, drank more Cristal and wallowed in the Xmas insanity.
I remember driving home, dishing the party, laughing as we did and knowing that when we got home we were going to open our stockings, since it would be close to midnight.
I remember opening my stocking and finding a date book with dates already added and…
well,it was a prop in the proposal. (I still have that datebook…)
And it was awesome.
And I cried and Tom jumped up and ran to the phone (what?), put a record on the stereo (the Hallelujah Chorus), called the house we had just left and when they answered just played the song….I could hear the cheers across the room.
I also remember a feeling of distinct relief, that he had proposed and that I wouldn’t have to…DISTINCT relief!
This post falls in the category of writing it down so someone can read it to me when I am old and can’t remember a thing. I want to remember this.
This is also about tonite. THIS Xmas Eve…
Because tonite I was at a friends house just across the way from the house we rented so many years ago. And we were sitting in the backyard when suddenly we heard singing. I remembered that truck and dragged everyone out to go find it, but what I saw was a HUGE light covered-train led and followed by vans with a ton of people on it blaring music and singing carols loudly. I wasn’t disappointed, it was great. And I stopped one of the men following the train and asked about it. Turns out it started about 24 years ago with a small truck they would cover in lights and drive through this neighborhood,and it has just grown every year.
Turns out also that my son is spending the night at his girlfriends home tonite, thus leaving me alone for the first time here at home on Xmas morning. I didn’t expect that either, was blindsided by it, but worked at processing it. Went to my friend’s home and bitched and then just had to let it go.
And then I heard some carolling….