|Our first Christmas|
I’ll never forget it, that first Christmas with TLW (The
Little Woman) as we had just planned on getting married. It seemed that
everything I saw, everything I did, and everything she said was magical. My
world was so much younger then, and was just opening up.
The long hard winter of personal austerity was finally over
for me, the days of hitchhiking and taking trains to school, the two jobs and
saving every penny was behind me. I had a new job as a professional designer, the
very thing I had hoped to achieve was a new reality, and the world was fresh
and new once more.
The lovely Miss Manning was working in Manhattan as an
executive secretary for Mobile Oil. She was sweet, had a high moral ceiling and
seemed to like me! The last factor should have made me suspicious of her, but
instead the opposite occurred, and I was head over heels in love.
I don’t think I felt the cold that winter, nor did I mind
the long commute into the city, because she seemed to fill all my time in thought
and every waking hour was devoted to her. The sleep was a continuous dream of
this wonderful lady who would one day be my wife!
It is funny how souls connect. You meet someone who settles
you down, makes you comfortable and doesn’t openly judge you, and you don’t see
so much as feel. I think if she had two heads but made me feel the way I do to
this day, I still would have married her.
Christmas in those days seemed very special before the
children came. For the first time someone was doing something special for me
and I in turn was doing something special for someone. It was this first
Christmas that she got more building blocks for her spectacular reputation as a
person with talent. She bought me this beautiful silk tie, dark blue with small
tastefully placed red polka dots. It was her first present to me, and I wore it
with such pride, and joy, that it still remains in my memory, and since that
day, whenever she bought me a tie, people would remark how nice the tie was!
I’d say: “Ellen got it for me!” There would be a big smile behind the
It seemed once we announced our engagement, everything
became so magical, the job, the seasonal music, my whole life-style, all rolled
into this lovely lady. I remember how much my family took to her, as I
introduced TLW to my family the first day after Thanksgiving and the very day I
had asked her to marry me. Someone once remarked to me that she seemed just
like one of my sisters, and that make me very happy. Dad never paid attention
to my girl friends, but he did when TLW showed up. He took her seriously,
showing her respect and welcomed her. I had risen in stock in my father’s mind.
Mom saw her as the one person she would want to stick with her son, and said
before I mentioned that I asked TLW to marry me that she wouldn’t mind calling
her one of her daughters.
I waited to tell my family after I proposed to TLW because I
feared that TLW would say ‘no’ and secondly, if by some small miracle she said ‘yes’
no one was influencing my decision. Having dated women from all walks of life,
TLW was not about her self, had no selfish ideas or high opinions of who she
was, instead she was and still is humble, making me realize that she was a
great catch and worth every effort to marry her. Her family was a lot like
mine, just Irish instead of Italian, and frankly, it was time to break the
bonds in a new generation and enjoy the American experience, as did most of my
sisters and just as most of her family did too.
I remember the office where I worked, the surprise
engagement party they threw for us, and how she met them all and acted
professionally, respectfully and above all, with an innate class the impressed
everyone. They presented us with this beautiful cake cutter set and asked her
to cut the cake, and in her nervousness, she flubbed the first piece!
My grandmother absolutely loved TLW, making a big fuss when
I first introduced her, as she took out some brandy glasses and we toasted.
So Christmas means a lot to me, in many ways. The period
will be the setting for many more great things, and some pretty terrible
moments as well, but that first Christmas, with TLW will always be very special
Labels: Commentary, holiday, personal