The date: July 15-19, 2000. The place: New York City…
What a wonderful day it turned out to be. My favorite day of the whole trip.
We went downtown again, this time visiting the majestic twin towers of the World Trade Center. Zooming up the express elevator to the observation deck, a wall of windows overlooking the entire city. Taking the escalator up to the roof, standing 102 floors above life below as the wind whipped through our hair. Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. But that wasn’t the best part of the day.
Dinner was at 8:00 at Mesa Grill, one of the homes to Food Network’s Bobby Flay. After arriving fashionably late for our reservation, we sat at the bar with umpteen other waiting diners. She’s perched on a stool with a glass of bottled water, I’m standing in front of her with a glass of wine. My hand on her knee, our eyes never leaving each other as we cooed the way only people in love can. The maitre d’ breaks our reverie to announce that our table is ready—as luck (fate?) would have it, a primo (and much quieter) seat on the balcony overlooking the main floor below. Another bottle of water for her, another glass of wine for me, both—we found this out later—comped to us by the aforementioned headwaiter. (Maybe he does this more often than we think, I don’t know, but it was just one more piece of a delightful evening to us. Regardless, he was a charming man, and I thanked him after dinner as we chatted by the front door. He, of course, thought nothing of his gesture. But I did find out from him that Mr. Flay was coincidentally in Boston that week, and we were down from Boston to visit; otherwise, he would have arranged an introduction. Figures.)
As we’re sitting around for after-dessert coffee, I ask the waiter, uncharacteristacally for me, for decaf, which leads him to remark, off-the-cuff, “Don’t want to keep you up all night?” To which my sweetie cheekily responds, “No, that’s my job!” The waiter, momentarily stunned, stops in his tracks, then catches on and literally gives her a big thumbs-up. Priceless. But still not the best part of the day.
No, the best part of the day started in the cab ride to dinner. She slid into the seat before me, and I perched my hand on her leg as I climbed in after her. But it wasn’t the silky feel of her dress that got my attention, it was what I felt underneath her dress, just out of sight. A little bump… a soft ridge running down her thigh… oh god, she’s wearing garters. My reaction was something incomprehensible, yet completely impossible to misunderstand, and it caught her off guard in the best possible way. You see, I have always had the biggest thing for garters and stockings. Always. But she didn’t know that, and she had no idea I’d react that way. And it is impossible to describe the absolute look of joy on her face when it all happened.
But that was only part of it.
Fast forward to the cab ride back to the hotel after dinner. Again she climbs in before me, and again I slip in after her. But this time, her dress rides up ever so slightly as she slides across the seat, and what was once out of sight peeks momentarily into view. The lace top of her stockings, the narrow black band of a garter belt before they both disappear again beneath her dress. And it floors me, and by the tone of the… how to describe it? a growl?… yes, the growl in my voice, she knows it. And though it seems impossible, she’s even happier than before.
And that was the best part of the day.