I have a few favorite songs. Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes, To Make you Feel My Love, This Guy’s in Love with You to name a few. It’s hard to pin down my all-time favorite. Where ever I am, what ever I’m doing, and how ever I feel, when I hear even just the first few notes from songs I love, I smile, turn up the volume, and start singing. Martin is a song guy too. He’s got his favorites and we share lots of them.
Since last January the idea of marriage has permeated late night Skype conversations with sweet notes hummed here and there like a new song that neither one of us had ever heard before. A beautiful song where all the notes are just long enough, the pitch just right, and the tempo sexy and sweet at the same time. We instantly liked this new song. The more we listened to each other sing this tune the humming turned into playful yet deep lyrics.
Let’s sing it. How does that song go again? Ah yes, that’s it, I like that one. Sing it again. Before we knew it we had the words memorized and we were belting it out each time we met. We should get married. Yes we should. Would you marry me? Yes I would. Tomorrow? Today? Any day. I will marry you.
We traded parts and sung it to each other. Little by little the special people in our lives began to tap their toes to the beat along with us.
On Saturday though it was all for us. We went on a fantastic and adventurous hike in Trabuco Canyon to a waterfall. Adventurous because my sedan braved potholes and seemingly impassable water across the dirt road to deliver us to a luscious green canyon where we hopped, climbed, and meandered our way along as happy as could be for being together. Never mind the warnings of poison oak. Never mind the fear of rattlesnakes either. We breathed long deep breaths, held each others hands as we tip-toed across carefully chosen logs and rocks at home in the stream, and shared water and tangerines along the way. Perfection. Just what I hoped for.
The previous night we dined at Cafe La Boheme in West Hollywood and had the best meal we’ve had in ages. We sat by a blazing fire under several large chandeliers and chatted and laughed and forgot there was anyone else in the room. I had just picked him up from LAX earlier that day and to kill time we wandered over to the Roosevelt Hotel for a drink. Martin read the swimming pool had been painted by David Hockney and wanted to check that out along with the historic hotel itself. We awaited the valet behind a Lamborghini who I’m sure was in for the Grammy weekend and noticed mobile homes set up in the parking lot for a reality cooking show taping. I humbly gave over the keys to my unwashed and cluttered Mazda 6 and we walked up the same tiled steps Shirley Temple danced with Bojangles. We sipped on our drinks by the pool with a wannabe crowd decked in the latest fashion trends that we made fun of and I thought to myself. Why haven’t I ever done this before? It was fun.
Before leaving the hotel we mistakenly intruded upon the set where I’m sure the cooking show would be unveiling the culinary masterpieces or flops because there was a gigantic dining table set to perfection with the most gigantic soft box I have ever seen hovering over the entire table. As I looked around the room there were lights and cameras all over as we were told quite politely that we needed to exit immediately which we did. But that was fun too.
With each step of my soggy hiking shoes that memory which was only one night before seemed ages ago. We were making the most of our time again. We were making each second count. And I was having the time of my life.
After stopping off at the store on our way home for ingredients Martin needed to make me dinner that night we rearranged the family room so we could have a romantic dinner for two by the fireplace, with candles all around. I escaped upstairs to shower and put on my long black and white halter dress as he cooked. I never did put on shoes that night. We talked about how good it was to be sitting across the table from each other again, about our hopes for this trip getting us closer to a real job for him in America so he could move over to the US from England, and about how much we wanted time to go slowly while Frank Sinatra sang in the background and we ate a great meal.
It was perfect. And I felt again like I was living a fairytale that I didn’t expect or deserve but mercifully was experiencing all the same. Completely content to be with this man I had hoped and dreamed for all my life and thought I would never meet but met quite by accident on the other side of the world.
After dinner I switched the playlist to the one I had prepared with fun, romantic songs we could dance to and we did. We laughed, sang, hugged, kissed, danced, and danced, and danced.
“Yes you’re lovely, with your smile so warm And your cheeks so soft, There is nothing for me but to love you, And the way you look tonight….”
“I needed the shelter of someone’s arms, there you were. I needed someone to understand my ups and downs, there you were. With sweet love and devotion. Deeply touching my emotion, I want to stop and thank you baby….”
“I wandered around and finally found the somebody who, could make me be true, could make me be blue, or even be glad just to be sad thinking of you….”
“Every song I sing I’ll sing for you, when I come back I’ll bring your wedding ring. Dream about the days to come when I won’t have to leave alone, about the times I won’t have to say, kiss me and smile for me, tell me that you’ll wait for me. Hold me like you’ll never let me go.”
And he said, “Sit down a minute” and I said, “Why we’re having fun!”
As I sat I tried taking in everything. The glow of the candles, his pinstriped vest, the lingering smell of rosemary from our dinner, the crackle of the fire. He knelt in front of me for a kiss. My thoughts were bouncing from one crazy thought to the next.
Now? It’s now? On the couch with the green blanket? Oh no the music is too loud, I wish I could turn down the music. Maybe he’ll let me jump up to turn it down? No probably not…just listen Livvy, you’re missing it!
He pulled out a box and looked into my eyes and said,
“You know I’ve told you I have never met anyone like you and I haven’t. You’re one of a kind and I love you. And you know how I have said ‘anything’. I meant it. I would give you anything as long as I live to make you happy. Marry me. Marry me.”
I was stunned. What did he just say? I couldn’t remember.
This was our song. That familiar tune we first hummed and later sung time and time again. Somehow this time it sounded different, I was reeling on the inside. And I completely missed what he said.
“Can you tell me again? What did you say? How did you say it? I want to remember it!”
“Marry me! And I want you to know this ring isn’t THE ring. It is all I could get at the moment but I want to get you something nicer.”
I opened the box and saw five diamonds set on a white gold band glinting from the candlelight and I was instantly confused. Why is this not the real ring? Haha…The conversation that ensued after that was about how I would be happy with anything even a Cracker Jack ring and he said, “Well you said that but I didn’t know what that was so I got you this one instead.”
We laughed and hugged and kissed and danced some more. The moment had passed as many had before it on Skype. Was this another practice run? No surely not. He had gotten down on one knee and asked me with a ring in his hand. This was it!
The next morning I was getting his coffee in the kitchen and he leaned against me to kiss me and I said, “You know I never said yes last night did I?” And he said, “I got that…” and kissed me again.
I put my arms around him and I said, “I will marry you tomorrow, in two months or in a year if that’s what it takes. I want to spend the rest of my life loving you and being your wife.”
And he said, “It’s settled then.”
Later after we told and showed the kids. We released our début song to the world via Facebook. And we were happy to see it was a hit! I heard from nearly 100 of my friends how happy they were for us and how they wished us well. Including my ex’s sister and mother. I was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement.
And it feels good to sing this song now out loud from the rooftops. Belting it as loud as we can for anyone and all to hear. Now I know how it feels to have a favorite. It’s my favorite and I’ll sing it forever and ever as long as I live.