The elopement – Part I

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 21, 2003

You gals out there who read what I write, and I hope you are legion, can look to one more episode that doesn’t concern itself with war, Muslims and, of course, the notorious Saddam. I say this because it was requested of me and I don’t dare not respond or I lose fans.

So, here we go. Know anyone who eloped? I do! Me! Boy! Do you have to be sneaky so your plans don’t get away from you and the whole thing goes up in smoke? These are the facts that must be noted so you know the skill that went into this earth-shattering event. I had a date with Frank and while dancing he asked me to marry him. First date with him and a proposal! WOW! I promise it’s good for the ego! There wasn’t a woman sexier than me at that very moment. We were in Geneva, New York upstate. I lived in Massachusetts – a real New Englander. Geneva was cold, snowy and far from my hometown. I was a college grad, a teacher. He was a New Yorker, college grad (Fordham) and a gold key winner for exceptionally high scores in dental surgery at Western Reserve in Ohio. Did I love him? I don’t really know, to be honest. But, I was put up on a pedestal so high no one could reach me. So, what did I do? I said yes. Then began the elopement plans.

No way would I marry without a beautiful white gown – not a dress, but a gown – and veil (a long one.) We would be married in Geneva where Frank was stationed. Home I went from my date (first one) to buy a gown and long veil. Into Boston to Filenes – store for those with special taste in clothes. Only the best, I was marrying a dental surgeon. Who’s better? Dress, veil, underwear, shoes sent to Geneva to be guarded by Frank.

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The tough part – getting out with all my clothes and no question asked. Told one sister-in-law so she would help me. Parents had four tables of bridge set (they were tournament players. I can’t stand the game.) Luggage had to come from my bedroom upstairs past living room door where bridge was in process. Eleanor brought bags (some of them – there were four) while I watched bridge players. Dummy player tended to walk around while hand was played. I’d signal &uot;come down&uot; or &uot;go back.&uot; Did the &uot;go back&uot; three times. Finally, she made it and to my car for the bags. She drove me and bags to train station. I was on an overnight trip.

Last episode next time – leave me sleeping on my way to Geneva and Frank.

Florence Arena is a resident of Hillcrest Retirement Center and a regular columnist for the News-Herald.