For many people St. Patrick’s Day is a day of green leprechaun, green clothing, green beer, and green decorations. But for me, the only thing that I can think of on this sacred day is dark pink lipstick.
Picture bright lights, and busy streets late at night. The sights and sounds of Vegas on a warm March evening in 2001. My stomach giddy, giggling in gasps just waiting to get out of the cab and see our beautiful hotel. DW had a business trip in Vegas and decided to fly me out to meet him for the weekend. At that time he lived in Michigan and I lived in Texas. It made dating very taxing but the “dates” extremely dynamic. He planned our flights so that he would arrive at the airport first and be waiting for me at the gate. I had never been to Vegas. This was so exciting. I felt like I had been picked to be a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune. I always wanted to be one of those “Contestants Stay Provided By…” And now here we were, pulling up to the Paris Hotel.
The outside was astonishing. Now I’m not a small town girl but this surpassed any of the downtown areas that I had frequented. Besides, I was on a weekend get away with a man I was madly in love with and childless. Both an unusual occurrence at that time of my life. DW and I had just met on New Year’s Eve when he had been home visiting his family. I was a last-minute addition to his brother’s celebration and we hit it off instantly but unfortunately we only got to spend that one evening together before DW had to get back to work states away. It is hard to believe how quickly we got to know each other over the phone every night for weeks. I didn’t see him again for a month. We planned our dates around airline miles and work schedules. It had been less than three months and now we were on this very fun weekend adventure.
I noticed that DW was quieter than usual. If you hadn’t guessed by now I am not the quiet one in this relationship. But there was an ease between us, words flowed fervently. This evening however, he was quiet, almost anxious.
My whole body absorbed the excitement drifting down the “streets” of the Paris Hotel as soon as we stepped inside. The entire building is made to feel like you are actually on the streets of Paris. I just wanted to stand there and take in the smell of pastries, crystal sounds of clinking glasses, and taste the night. Everything was decorated for St. Patrick’s Day weekend and each bar had a party going. It was even interesting to watch the faces of gamblers blundering their way through their empty pockets. But DW was quick to check us in.
“Let’s get this stuff up to our room and then we can come back down.” he chirped heading down the cobblestone walk. I followed in a dream-like state barely keeping up with his crisp, short stride. The ride up the elevator was uncomfortably quiet. Something was definitely not right.
“This is such a great hotel that your work is putting you up in! I can’t believe you get to stay here all week.” I smiled.
“Yeah, I agree. I’m hoping to take in some golf”. Silence. We walked to our room, set our bags down and immediately DW’s voice started to shake. Oh God – here it comes. Whatever is bothering him is going to happen now. Couldn’t it just wait until the weekend was over?
He started fumbling around in his carry-on near the foot of the bed. I stood next to him, watching him kneel down, digging through clothes and a dop bag.
“Is everything alright?”
I’m not sure I really wanted to know. But then his pale blue eyes looked up at me and he just smiled. DW reached up for my hand and suddenly gave a little speech about the happiest couple of months of his life and how much joy the idea of being a step-father brought him…and then he asked me to marry him. His other hand revealed a ring box shaking nervously in front of me. Of course the tears welled and I threw my arms around him saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!”.
Why they hell then does St. Patrick’s day make me think of dark pink lipstick rather than a happy engagement? Let me explain the rest. Our flight got in almost at midnight. By the time he proposed it was officially St. Patrick’s day so we headed down to the casino and bar for an hour or so to celebrate our betrothal. Obviously we came back to the room to celebrate but then we called it a “day”. After a few hours of sleep, the rest was filled sight-seeing and wedding talk. I couldn’t help but hold my hand up and take in the beautiful ring on my finger either. I just knew it was going to look awesome with the little black cocktail dress I had brought for dinner that evening. We had reservations at the very elegant, very expensive Eiffel Tower Restaurant. DW confessed that he had originally planned to propose over dinner but he just couldn’t wait. It was a relief to finally get back to our room and shower off the city. My cute little black number hung on the door. It was a short, hour-glass cut crepe sheath with a deep V neck and rhinestone straps. Cute, right? I even brought these really sweet silver sling back heels to complete the package. I was going to be a knock-out showing off this rock on my hand over dinner.
I had just finished my hair and most of my make-up when DW poked his head into the bathroom.
“You’re not going to wear lipstick tonight are you?”
Uh – what a dumb question – did he not see what I was wearing? I do clean up pretty nice.
“I had planned on it. I brought my new dark pink one. Why”
“Just don’t. Not tonight.”
I thought about it for like a second and then started outlining my lips. He frowned.
“Seriously, Em. Why tonight? I just gave you that ring and I want to be able to kiss you.”
I gave you the ring…that’s all I really heard, because I finished it in my head with
I gave you something so now you give me something. Yeah, I don’t work like that anymore.
“We’ve been kissing and we’ll kiss some more and we’ll have a lifetime to keep kissing so I think you can manage for a couple of hours.”
Defiantly I filled in the freshly lined lips with dark raspberry pink lipstick.
R-I-G-H-T. I stared at him for a moment, pulled out a lipgloss and made one quick swish across my lips and headed out the door. He followed behind me in silence. We rode the elevator to the top of the hotel in angry silence. The hostess seated us, I ordered wine, we ate our appetizer in complete silence. Just before the main course was served DW put his fork down and leaned over the table.
“Are you ever going to talk to me tonight?”
“You planning on apologizing?”
He did and we finally kissed and made up … but not before we got some great pictures with my perfectly pink lips.