Sweetest Day Surprise

“But where are we going?” I persisted when R put the car in gear and pulled out of my sister’s driveway.  We’d just dropped off my son for the evening, because it was “Sweetest Day”.

In the years since, I’ve discovered that Sweetest Day is a Midwest version of Valentine’s Day that occurs on the third Saturday in October.  It’s an excuse for people to buy more cards and fancy dinners and flowers than they normally would in the fall.  Having grown up in Michigan, I took Sweetest Day at face value, a given:  a time to celebrate if you were part of a couple, a day to be bitchy as hell if you weren’t.  I’d been part of a couple exactly one other Sweetest Day in my life:  1988.   Joe had bought me flowers and enclosed a card that said, “Flowers for My Sweetest, Today and Every Day.  Love, Joe.”  We’d been at Michigan State then, and he’d bought them at the florist near the semi off campus drug store that I would later purchase my pregnancy test at.

So I was kind of looking forward to this year’s Sweetest Day.  I was not only dating, but actually living with R, which I figured would merit a really special recognition of the day.  Sure enough, R asked me to have my sister babysit for us that evening, but told me nothing else about how we would be spending our precious child-free hours.  I hated surprises, so I was carefully keeping track of every turn the car made.  “The freeway?  Are we going somewhere downtown?” I asked.

“You’ll see,” R responded, a smirk playing at the corners of his mouth as he drove south and west.  “You’re not really very good with surprises, are you?”

“No,” I answered.  “I am a planner.  I like to have everything laid out in advance, be prepared for contingencies.  Surprises don’t go very well with that part of my nature.”

“Well, I hate to break this to you, but I love surprises.”

I glared from the passenger seat while R continued to drive.  “Am I dressed appropriately for this place?” I asked.  I was dressed in clothes I would have worn to work:  a pair of khaki slacks and a long sleeved, knit top.  If it was a nicer restaurant, I probably should have worn a skirt.

“It should be fine,” R answered, noncommittal.  “Nice try, though.”

“Crap.”  I looked around.  R was taking the turnoff for the Tunnel to Canada.  “Oooh, Canada?  Fun!”

Michiganders like me who live just a short drive from Canada always think of the foreign country next door as a fun place to visit.  For one, most of us spend our 19th birthdays there since their drinking age is lower, and then the next two years frequenting their bars.  You can also watch male strippers (and female, I supposed, though I’d never done it) take it “all” off there, something that apparently isn’t allowed in the States.  Plus your money is worth more (or it was, traditionally, back in the 80s and 90s).  All in all, going to Canada nearly always meant a good time.

We passed through customs, R handling the agent like he’d done it a million times before.  I remembered, somewhere in the back of my head, that R had told me that he’d worked in some of the same bars I’d gone to in this town.  That was where he’d been bitten by the DJ bug, back in college.

R drove down the main drag, parallel to the Detroit River.  I watched down the road trying to guess which place he’d finally turn into.  But the restaurants slowly peeled away and the area became more residential.  I shot my confused face at R, who studiously kept his eyes on the road while pretending not to look at me.

The car came to a stop at a 1920s bungalow on a quiet boulevard of well kept homes.  “Where are we?” I asked, panic starting to rise in my chest.

R looked at me, turning off the car.  “My parents’ house.  You kept saying how you thought it was strange that you hadn’t met them yet, right?  Well, Happy Sweetest Day!”

I gulped.

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One Response

  1. Nice replies in return of this issue with
    firm arguments and describing everything regarding that.

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