This date dinner is sure to win anyone over – showing the creative, romatic person you really are.
I S P E N T S E V E R A L of my teenage years on the sunny California sand playing beach boy. Never planned to leave the Golden State. Then my firm relocated me to Virginia Beach.
The sun didn’t seem quite as bright there until I met Ann, one of my new co-workers. She had the full package–a rare combination of appealing traits. She had a great sense of humor, a winning personality, a great job, and incredible beauty that would stop any man in his footsteps just for a glimpse. Ann was different from the overblown California beauties I had dated. Her beauty was enhanced by her innocence and small-town values–the kind of values that bring men to their knees at the altar.
As I settled in, I tried some of my standby lines with Ann. She looked at me with her you-gotta-be-kidding look. I figured she’d been hassled forever with men who saw only her prettiness. I decided I’d been stupid to waste her time with lines. If I liked her all that much, I ought to invest in some genuine attention. I started spending more time with her in meetings, conferences, and private discussions. Her positive attitude and sense of the ridiculous kept the whole group laughing.
We discovered we both liked in-line skating, professional football, ocean waves at night, and Chinese food–the hotter the better (even though I break out in a sweat). The more I saw of her, the more I liked her. When she continued to turn aside my suggestions for dinner and the movies, I decided I’d have to do something special. I had to get her attention. I checked out all the Chinese restaurants and finally found one better even than the best I’d found in California.
I checked the calendar for a big moon and an incoming tide. Then I invited her out for a Chinese dinner at a moonlit beach.
She went for it.
Friday night I called the Chinese restaurant and ordered an array of Ann’s favorite dishes. I packed the trunk with all the essentials for the perfect date with the perfect girl. I put in the beach blanket–to sit on later, but now to cushion the old wicker picnic basket my mom courted my dad with. It held the best bottle of sparkling wine I could find and two tall crystal wineglasses. I took my turbo-charged Nissan 300ZX to the car wash on the way to pick up the Chinese food, which I also hid in the basket, smothering it all in the beach quilt to keep it hot–and so she wouldn’t smell it.
When I picked Ann up, laughter danced across her face when she saw my car, making her more beautiful than I had ever seen her. ” So,” she said, once she settled in, “where’s this fabulous Chinese restaurant? I don’t know of any nearby.”
“Restaurant?” I replied. “I didn’t say ‘restaurant.’ I promised fabulous Chinese food. And that’s what I’m going to deliver.” I grinned, feeling like the wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Once we arrived near the oceanfront, I pulled down a side street by a secluded area of the beach. I turned off the car, handed her out of it with a soft kiss to her palm, then headed for the trunk to get my supplies. “Shall we?” I said, taking her hand again in one of mine and carrying the basket and blanket in the other.
We headed toward the sand and picked out a smooth spot, slightly raised so we could see the waves breaking. I stretched out the blanket, poured the wine, and began to set out the food–Orange Beef, Hunan Jumbo Shrimp, Broccoli with Garlic Sauce (if we both ate it we’d be fine!). I served Ann, just as a gentleman would. I turned so I could see her face silhouetted by streaks of orange and purple shooting across the sky behind her. We were just finishing up when the sun settled and sank. The timing was perfect. As Ann sipped on the wine, looking out into the water, I caught her smiling. More than smiling really–she was beaming. “This is very special,” she said quietly. I got the feeling that no one had made her feel special in a long time.
After dinner, we talked, we laughed, and sometimes we just listened to the sound of the waves crashing in. When a cool breeze came through, I slipped a sweater over her sun-kissed shoulders and then nestled her in my arms.
Before long, we were kissing under the stars. “There’s a full moon tonight,” I whispered.
“Yes,” she replied. “It’s the brightest night I’ve ever seen.”