Sam is the wonderful man I have been married to for thirty-five years. He surprised me with a special night for our thirty fifth anniversary. I don't know how, but he set up everything without my having a clue. It was so romantic and perfect I will never forget that night.
Like most couples we have a song, we consider "ours". It is from the movie. "Casablanca" is our favorite movie. We saw it at a revival theater on our first date. He took me to another screening of the movie a year later to propose. So the movie is doubly special for us.
The weekend before our anniversary I asked Sam if we were planning to do something special as it was our thirty-fifth, but he just kept reading the paper and muttered, "We'll see." I bugged him about it a couple more times, but he wouldn't say much more.
By Friday I was getting a little aggravated, and hoped Sam was planning to at least send some roses or take me out to dinner. Little did I know he was planning a lot more than that. The doorbell rang in the early evening and I was surprised to see my sister Francie on the door step. I asked her why she hadn't called, but she said she was there to get me out of the house while Sam got it ready for our anniversary celebration. I asked Sam what he was up to, but he only grinned and told me I would have to wait. I was going crazy. I wanted to know what Sam planning. Francie drove me to her house and we sat drinking coffee while I questioned her, but she wouldn't tell me anything because she didn't know, Sam hadn't told her a thing.
Two hours later the doorbell rang. Francie went to answer it and came back with a lady carrying a case. She was stylist and had come to do my hair and make up. After the make-up artist was finished with my hair and make-up, Francie brought out a beautiful black and white, 40's style gown and told me to put it on. I looked in the mirror once I was dressed and I felt like a million dollars. To me nothing compares to that era. The styles were so elegant. I felt like I had just walked off the silver screen. Francie took some pictures of me posing like a movie star. As we were leaving her house, Francie squeezed my hand saying even though she did not know exactly what Sam had planned she was so jealous. This made my curiosity even more unbearable. All I wanted to do was to go home and find out.
It was about 11:45PM when Francie dropped me off at home. I stood on the front porch, suddenly, I was nervous as if I were about to go on stage. My curiousity finally got the better of me and I went in. At first everything looked normal, but as I entered the dining room, my breath was taken away. Sam had turned it into a miniature of the bar from "Casablanca". A small round 1table, covered with a white table cloth sat near the window, but the curtains were drawn. The table was set with pure white china and there was had a single white candle and a red rose in a crystal vase on the table.
There was a Moroccan style painting hanging on the wall and a framed movie poster of "Casablanca" hanging across from it. A gentleman in a tuxedo was playing, "You Must Remember This" on our piano. I nearly started crying when I saw Sam was dressed just like Humphrey Bogart in a white jacketed tuxedo. He handed me a bouquet of white roses, told me I looked beautiful and kissed me.
Sam pulled out my chair and I sat down. A waiter brought out our dinner on a silver tray. It was my favorite, Duck a L'orange. Sam poured red wine into our glasses and we toasted to thirty-five years of marriage, right at midnight.
After dinner we danced to the piano player's melodies; loosing ourselves in another place and time. I had such a memorable time of that special evening. The "Casablanca" is now hanging on the wall above our couch. A memento for both of us of not only our first date, but his proposal and our wonderful 35th anniversary.