Every winter, Boyfriend and I try to make plans to go ice skating. It’s one of the first things we did when we were in our getting-to-know-you stages; we later realized that we could point to one specific afternoon at Schenley Park’s rink as our first unofficial date. Every year, though, we can never seem to make it happen. There’s just always something else that keeps us from it, whether it’s plans with friends or family or a birthday or a holiday or just the desire to sit on the couch and watch terrible monster movies on SyFy.
This year, though, I was bound and determined to make it happen. With Christmas falling on a Tuesday and Boyfriend arriving into town from Philadelphia on Friday evening, I intended to monopolize his Saturday with shopping, ice skating, and peppermint hot chocolate. I warned him a number of times of my intentions, but in the end my plans were foiled by a family obligation on his side. And I was livid.
I grumbled about it for days, to anyone who would listen. My mom, my sisters, his sisters. When he finally arrived at my apartment Friday night before Christmas, I gave him a piece of my mind.
“I told you I wanted to go skating on Saturday! This is stupid. Why does your family have to have its stupid dinner on Saturday night?”
Yeah, I was in rare form. It wasn’t until he told me that his final semester of grad school didn’t start until the end of January – that he would have plenty of time to come home for ice skating in the coming weeks before he was tied up with classes again – that I began to calm down. And realized how childish I was being. Whoops.
Shortly after New Year’s, Boyfriend brought up the fact that he still owed me a trip to the rink. We made plans for a Friday night towards the middle of the month, the weekend before the start of the new semester; it coordinated nicely with plans to finish the last of the Christmas celebrations with his mom’s side of the family the next day.
For the next two weeks, I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas, a bundle of energy and excitement and impatience.
And in the end, it was a perfect evening. We had dinner at our favorite college hangout and sat and ate and laughed before bundling up and trying not to fall on the ice. Well, that was me. I hadn’t been ice skating in seven years or so, and it took me a while to get my rhythm. Boyfriend, on the other hand, used to play hockey and was literally skating circles around me (sometimes backwards!) while I made grumbly faces and threatened to pull him down with me. Even while surrounded by entirely too many Pitt freshman enjoying a night out, I don’t think we could have enjoyed ourselves more.
On our last lap around the ice, I pulled him aside and made him pose with me for a cutesy picture to commemorate the evening. It was, after all, almost exactly seven years after our first trip to the rink.
It was a perfect evening even before he asked me to marry him.