The Way to a Girl’s Heart: Don’t Blow It.


love note

(this is an excerpt from last year’s journal, written in early January as I was starting to pack my life into boxes)

THIS is a love note:

Dearest Betty,

Through the abandoning of my defensive mechanisms, I am reluctantly forced to admit exactly how I feel about you.

My discipline, my pride has, up until this point, prevented me from telling you exactly how I feel.

I do not wish to manipulate or pressure you, but as you have asked for this note, here it is:

Without your smile, your touch, your kiss, I feel lost.

For whatever reason, through whatever mysterious process, I find I depend on the smallest sign of affection from you.

I love you Betty, and no amount of discipline or restraint can hide this from me.

I wished to keep the depth of my involvement from you, in order to keep you free from guilt or pressure, but now I am unable to control myself.

Remember: you asked me to write this.

I love you.  And whatever—I will never reproach you or myself, for what has happened or what might happen.

And if you decide never to see me again, to never let me hear your whisper again—I will always remember, and love—and wait in the hope it may one day return.


(follow-up note)

Dear Betty,

Whatever happens—whatever you decide—you are unbelievably beautiful.

Only love, Rob.


Wow.  Is it me…or is that an incredibly romantic note?

This note was given to me when I was 21, maybe 22, and “Rob” was 24 (24!!).

And it was total bullshit.  But who cares?  Not me.

Rob and I worked together in a restaurant–we were both bartenders and I’m pretty sure our tryst started out as a fun flirtation each night at the changeover in shifts, but as you can see by the note, it didn’t take long for things to get a little heated.

Now, I should say I had no preconceptions that this guy (who ate fire, among other talents) was as serious about me as this note suggests; in fact, we were both seeing other people at the time.

Rob was also seeing my friend Rachel. I didn’t know this at first;  I remember we found out about each other—Rachel and me—after we had both promised Rob we wouldn’t tell anyone about our little secret thing (I was going to call it a relationship, but it wasn’t).  When we confronted Rob, he was upset that we had betrayed a trust.   Hah! Total guy thinking (no offence, guys, but it is).

That pretty much put an end to the fling, and while Rob and I didn’t go all the way—at least not then—we had some serious make out sessions.  I recall that it started in the back of a yellow Checker cab, racing down Second Avenue in the middle of the night; the back seat of an almost empty Greyhound—the seat that runs across the width  of the bus– coming in from the airport after returning a rental car; in a corner booth in one of those uptown tourist delis (we couldn’t let anyone we knew see us, and only non-locals went to the delis that serve overloaded pastrami on rye sandwiches that were 20 bucks a pop, and I’m thinking any of our friends would rather die than be caught in a place like that); and in his apartment on his bed, which was in the storefront of a building in the East Village before it was cool (of course there were curtains, but back in the 70’s and early 80’s before the designers and established artists pushed their way in and blew the prices through the roof in that part of New York, it wasn’t uncommon to find people living in street level, storefront rental spaces—not exactly apartments, but they were suited to it, and they were really unique spaces).

And if Rach and I hadn’t found out about each other, who knows where this would have gone?

Anyway, Rob obviously penned those words before the confrontation that effectively blew the whole thing up.

I came across the note in one of my keepsake boxes, during my current life clean-up.  It’s on a half dozen dupe slips—restaurant order pad pages that no doubt came from the place where we all worked.

I’m not at all surprised I kept it, are you?

I was stunned, but it immediately brought back the memory of that time.

And in case you’re wondering, I did see Rob again—five years or so later, on one of my last nights in New York before moving to Canada.  He showed up at my farewell party and came along to the after-hours bar, and later, in the very early morning hours of the next day, we walked to my apartment and spent what was left of the night together.

Memorable…and over when it was over. I got in my car to drive west into the great unknown, and he went…wherever he went.  I haven’t seen him since.

I wonder where he is, what he looks like now, what he’s doing and what he’s done with his life…

Happy Valentine’s Day, Robbie. pexels-photo-220053.jpeg





Tell me: what’s the absolutely most romantic thing that’s ever happened to you?  What’s the most amazing thing a partner has ever done or said to you?  I don’t know if Rob’s love note is it for me, but I can assure you it comes close—even after all these years.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Go do something spontaneous. Take that leap!



15 thoughts on “The Way to a Girl’s Heart: Don’t Blow It.

  1. J B

    I discovered early last year, that I had a secret admirer from when I first moved to the city and that he felt I was “unreachable” and out of his league (unbelievable I felt!) To me, this, in a marriage that has been somewhat delusional and left me down and broken, although trying to be like the proverbial Phoenix, rising from the ashes I have connected with this wonderful man and have heard him say, I am the one man he would like to grow old together with…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim

    I had a secret admirer my entire first year of university. He sent me poems and sweet little thoughtful gifts, even took out an ad in the school paper. It made my days so special. I found out later in the year who it was and, though it didn’t lead to anything more, he became quite a dear friend, kindred spirit, and housemate. We haven’t seen each other in years, but I kept all of those things in a scrapbook (before scrapbooking became a competitive sport and my glue-stick-fueled memories began to seem tacky).

    Liked by 1 person


    I had a lovely summer/fall with Delicious Mauritius (as my sister called him), a beautiful man from Oz (who was born in Mauritius) who was also sweet, funny, smart and creative. If I had to look back I would say that he was the love of my life. Long story but I know he went back to Oz and I hope our paths cross again, even if in our next life as dolphins in the same pod.


    1. Love this BKNYYC….For me, as much as I’d like to see Rob again, I’m afraid reality won’t compare to the fantasy in my head….you, however…..may have a story to tell someday. Good luck!


  4. Jimmi Sommer

    Love it! Had a similar thing happen to me one summer in college when I worked in the restaurant industry. So much drama! I wonder what happened to them? Glad you have stayed friends with the other woman!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Myrna

    Hallway make out sessions with a boy in university. Surprise flowers on my car when hubby and I were first dating and lots of mushy cards. A hotair balloon ride gift certificate for 40th from hubby. Letter from old boyfriends which I still have signed Love – not a word I ever took lightly. This was such a fun read. Thanks for bringing back the memmories Betty and Happy V Day to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy Mansell

    I had a very sweet two week thing with a boy at my school in Japan, just before returning to Canada in 1987. He was the captain of the Kendo club, a young man of few words, and endeavoured at all times to do the right thing. We even went on a double date with my best friend Mary Frances, and one of his perhaps less handsome friends who had a serious thing but completely unrequited thing for MF back in the day. He was so sad about not being able to accompany me to the airport when I left for Canada, and not long after I returned, he sent a beautiful letter with photos of our time together, carefully folded into a piece of paper with a romantic scene from an old black and white movie. Of course being 17 and completely self-absorbed, I quickly scanned the letter and pics, and set it aside, without responding. His Japanese handwriting was time consuming to read, and I was frankly pretty lazy. Then ten years later, I resumed Japanese language study, and this time actually read the letter. He talked about when I would come to see him in Osaka, how we would see his hometown, and go walking in the mountains together. I realised what a complete jerk I had been. I tried writing a letter to the address he had been at in 1987, but by that time he had no doubt moved on, probably married with kids of his own. In 2006 I got a German Shepherd puppy Kohji, who I named after that boy, because he had all of the lovely characteristics of being calm, brave and sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s