By Susan Corpany
Thom and I met in person on the 4th of July, after several months of getting acquainted online and over the telephone. I could have said that I saw fireworks the first time he kissed me, if he had kissed me that July evening sitting in a car overlooking the valley and watching the fireworks. Instead he told me how this was the first time he’d been alone with a woman since his wife had died and how he felt like he was cheating on her. He kissed me a couple of days later in a most unromantic setting, his best friend’s garage, there among the bicycles and yard tools. He didn’t say anything romantic as I recall. Instead he said “There!” as in “I had a distasteful chore ahead of me and I have accomplished it.” I understood, because I, too, had been widowed. I knew we had nowhere to go but up.
Therefore, we have stuck with the fireworks theme as opposed to the musty garage as a representation of our courtship. I have a silky black robe with fireworks on it. Whenever we stand for the National Anthem, he will lean over and whisper “They’re playing our song.” Perhaps it is no coincidence that fireworks follow us wherever we go. And he loves to travel, a wonderful bonus.
We’ve watched fireworks light up the Space Needle, the Washington Monument, and even the banks of the Mediterranean Sea when there was a wedding held at our hotel in Tel Aviv. In Paris we took a boat tour on Bastille Day to watch fireworks from “la Tour Eiffel.” I was stoked, sure this would be the ultimate romantic event of my life.
Instead, several of us ladies “oohed” and “aahed” together as our partners huddled together at the edge of the boat with their cameras, determined not to miss a single Kodak Moment. Towards the end, Thom finally came and sat down next to me. Offering a little help for the romantically challenged, and just a trifle fed up, I ordered him to stay put and be romantic, like in the movies. He still could not resist capturing a few more shots, but then, rivaling any leading man on the silver screen, he put his arms around me, looked into my eyes and kissed me, longingly, lingering, looking into my eyes. I let the moment wash over me. I reminded myself that I was no longer a sophomore in high school memorizing French dialogues about trips to the Musée Louvre and hoping someday to visit France. I was in a boat with the man I loved on the Seine River watching fireworks in Paris lit off from the Eiffel Tower.
Then I heard him utter that surefire romance killer: “There!”
Even so, it was the most romantic adventure of my life. So far. If you do it right, thirty seconds of romance can make up for forty-five minutes of neglect. And we got some great pictures.