Romance Beyond the Call of Duty.

Two to tango
Here’s a romantic date for you.

This story takes place 20 some odd years ago right smack dab in the middle of the most hectic, yet best times of our lives…raising our six kids. I’m not sure if it was the heat of that summer or what, but my lovely wife, Leslie, decided we could use some romance…you might say.

What followed was something completely off the wall and completely out of character for this girl. In fact, I can’t for the life of me figure out how she had the time to conjure up such a scheme…but I’m sure glad she did.

It all began one Friday afternoon with a message I received from my boss. He said a client named Ann, who wanted to meet me after work in the bar at the Seelbach Hotel to further discuss a project we’ve been working on, just called.
Something was strange because I didn’t have a client named Ann, and furthermore, there were no projects to be resolved at the time. I laughed and thought…why couldn’t something like this have happened to me back when I was single. I played it off as a hoax and went home as usual.

When I arrived, the house was eerily empty. You see, our Friday evenings are usually bustling with activity. But not this one…it was so quiet I could hear a pin drop and I hadn’t heard that sound in 12 years.

I figured wherever they went, they would be back soon. So, I decided to take a quick shower and enjoy the peace and quiet.

While in the shower, I realized the shampoo was missing…which seemed odd. Then when I got out, I noticed all our toothbrushes were gone. Not only that…but our suitcase was missing as well. I thought…what the hell’s going on?

Mind you, there were no cell phones back then so I couldn’t just call her…so I waited for what seemed to be an eternity. After about an hour and a half, the phone rang and I heard a soft voice ask, “Did you get a message to meet someone at the Seelbach Hotel after work?” I’m now thinking the same person who tried to set me up called Leslie convincing her I was meeting a woman at a hotel after work. Now, she taking the kids and leaving was starting to make sense.

As I began to explain my side of the story she said, “Hold on…I was the one who called your boss and left the message! I was trying to lure you to meet me for a drink. Then I was going to surprise you with a romantic date leading to a weekend for just the two of us.”

But it gets even better. She planned it all out very carefully…so she thought. After she dropped the kids off at my sister’s for the weekend, she went back home to put on the shortest skirt and highest heels she could find…just the way I like it.

Then she drove downtown, got a room at the hotel and a table for two in the bar. After calling my boss to leave the message, she ordered a drink thinking that at any minute, I would walk through the door and be totally blindsided seeing her sitting alone in that short black dress as our wonderful weekend would begin.

Well, an hour and a half went by and there was no Bill walking through that door…but there were plenty of other men. You see, unbenounced to her, there was a military convention going on in the same hotel. And to add insult to injury, she soon realized she was the only woman in the room with at least a hundred service men. Mind you, she was dressed provocatively, sitting and drinking alone for almost 90 minutes. After receiving more than her share of attention, she slowly got up, walked out and called home.

Hearing her story, I drove down to meet her. Even though I ruined the surprise, we had a wonderful, relaxing weekend.
As I’m writing this blog 25 years later, I still marvel thinking of all the trouble she went through trying to give me the perfect weekend. What a woman!

Although, I can’t help but wonder what she would have thought if I had shown up at that bar thinking I was meeting a woman who called requesting my presence. Knowing what I know now…I sure wish I would have taken the bait.

To this day, I think of that missed opportunity in hopes of someday, late one Friday afternoon, getting a message to do something…let’s just say…completely out of character.

Ladies, trust me on this one. You want to do something for your man he’ll never forget? Orchestrating a romantic date may just be what the doctor ordered. Think of something fun…a little crazy and completely out of character…and just do it.

With raising kids and climbing the proverbial corporate ladder, it’s easy to neglect the very one you love the most. Many couples wake up one morning no longer feeling the magic for this very reason as they wonder what went wrong.

Remember, it takes two to tango but only one to start the music. So whether it’s connecting with a smile from across the room as the kids are bouncing off the walls, sharing a glass of wine and a conversation at the end of the day, or finding a way to spend an entire weekend alone…take it upon yourself to start the music and begin the dance…even if it feels a little out of character to do so.

Bill Peak
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6 Responses

  1. Kathy Huffman
    Kathy Huffman January 28, 2013 at 8:43 pm | | Reply

    Imagine being in a room with all those military men….woohoo. What a great story and I bet that took a LOT of planning on Leslie’s part.

  2. Emily
    Emily January 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm | | Reply

    I remember that weekend… You should have seen mom trying to load julia’s playpen in the back of the station wagon, in those heels and in that skirt, in the gravel driveway… And then we were off to a weekend at Aunt Jackie’s! 🙂

  3. Sibyl
    Sibyl August 21, 2015 at 6:36 am | | Reply

    I love this story!!! You two are awesome. Thank you for sharing. I don’t think anything could top that.
    And the perfect song to end the blog. What version is this? I would like to download it.

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