Invite her to winter
Take initiative to love the winter
’Twas one of the coldest Chicago winter nights that year, and it was our first date. We were dressed up for dinner and dancing. Yet, after dinner, my suitor drove to a public parking lot by the lake and prompted a walk along the lakeshore path.
I protested. It was icy cold out there! The blanket of snow was ice-glazed, and so could be the walking path upon which he escorted me. And I was wearing shoes for dancing, not boots for a winter walk. O, I protested! Graciously, firmly and with furled brows.
My suitor insisted, gently and tenaciously. I wondered who he was, asking this of me when we were just getting to know one another. It will be fun, he asserted.
But it’s so cold! I repeated.
Finally, I gave in. Perhaps because I wore a long coat, gloves and hat — being a gal from Minnesota. So perhaps I thought I could take on this walk. I do recall telling myself this is our first and last date if he could be so insistent of something I’d clearly expressed didn’t want to do.
Well, it wasn’t our last date. It was our first date in what quickly evolved to a relationship.
He and I stepped into that cold together and went to the beautiful lakeside path. He was accommodating of my pace wearing non-tread, fancy shoes, and was ready to steady me if we met ice patches.
The snow alongside the path crunched if we stepped on it. The trees, and their bare branches, made silhouettes beneath the streetlamps. Lake Michigan was vast with velvety dark blue shades, and speaking with rich, lapping waves.
The air was frigid, below zero temperatures, and became part of the atmosphere as he and I talked and laughed, and he reached to rescue me from potential slipping.
The walk took ten minutes tops, yet I remember it ever. We got back in the car, which was still warm as he started the engine, and drove to a place we could dance.
How did he know, I since wondered, that I would relish in that winter walk?
That walk by the lake was a romantic gesture. And I might have surprised him by resisting. Because somewhere in our initial meeting, he picked up that along with loving to dance and to laugh, I was also a devoted romantic.
He might have thought that for a devoted romantic, cold was no deterrent in a romantic walk. He might have known it, more than I did.
He took the effort to persuade me to relish in the experience. And we were both rewarded.
Make it a date
Fellas, if you live in a snowy winter climate, be so bold as to prompt your darling to enjoy the winter with you.Invite her out to love the winter.
Be it for pauses, like represented above, or to invite her to an outdoor festival. This may be the main event, or the prelude to your date.
If an outdoor festival is part of the date, let her know, so she will put on layers appropriately. Or bring a winter scarf for her. Yet, if you feel an impulse for a winter walk, keep it impromptu, and feel reasons to persuade, and not to apologize.
Be respectful to her potential resistance, yet respectful to your reason for prompting this outdoor activity.
You might win her heart over, for the moment at hand. If so, that will surely resonate.
*** Originally published in Winter 2011.