THE FIRST DATE
Robin is an active member of the Boston Area Chapter of the Association for Psychological Type (BACAPT) and regularly attends their meetings and seminars. He off-handedly mentions to Vicky Jo that he plans on attending a weekend seminar run by Eve Delunas based on her book, "Survival Games Personalities Play." Vicky Jo expresses jealousy, explaining that she loves that book and would love to hear Eve talking about it in person.
Robin gets an idea! He explains that, because he travels a lot, he has sufficient frequent flier points to provide a free round-trip ticket for Vicky Jo from Los Angeles to Boston, as well as enough hotel club points to provide accommodation for the entire weekend. Robin actually lives in Milford, about 30 miles outside Boston, so he won't be anywhere near the hotel where Vicky Jo would be staying. All he asks is for her to attend the conference with him and have dinner with him one night so that they may spend some time together alone. (They've never been alone together after Vicky Jo brought a guest to their first meeting!)
Vicky Jo agonizes at length -- what a dilemma! Should she fly to the other side of the country to spend a weekend in a strange city with a man she has met only 3 times before! She expresses misgivings to her friends and family, but again receives reassurance. Vicky Jo's sister in particular insists she go to Boston and have a good time! The turning point comes when Robin himself anticipates the nature of her resistance and assures her that "it will not be a big seduction scene."
So Vicky Jo agrees!
Due to constraints imposed by the airline, the only flight that Vicky Jo can take departs at midnight on Thursday, arriving early Friday morning. She arrives at her hotel around 9:30am, stressed by the uncertainty of the situation, jet-lagged from time-zone changes, and exhausted from minimal sleep on the plane. The hotel informs her that her room won't be ready until 1pm. Exhausted, she flops onto a couch in the waiting room to rest -- hardly an auspicious welcome. In the meantime, Robin is consulting with a client in Pittsburgh, due to arrive back that same evening.
At last Vicky Jo is given her room, where she falls into bed in a stupor. A racket occurs sometime in the afternoon, and Vicky Jo eventually peers over her blankets to discover a vase of exquisite yellow roses Robin thoughtfully sent to welcome her. After catching enough rest, she finally crawls out of bed, enjoys a long, luxurious shower, dresses, and begins anxiously pacing.
Robin's plane arrives late and he phones Vicky Jo from the airport, offering to pick her up on his way home so that he can shower, change, and take her out to dinner. She agrees.
At long last, Robin's limo pulls up at the hotel -- he steps out, aware that he is sweaty and rumpled from a tedious working day and a long, crowded flight. Vicky Jo thinks he looks like a tall and rumpled but warm college professor who needs a reassuring hug. Vicky Jo feels like a caged animal, pacing anxiously in the hotel lobby and clenching her hands nervously. Robin thinks she looks like a femme fatale spy, tall and beautiful in her long beige raincoat. They approach each other -- hesitantly at first, then with conviction as they embrace and hug each other for a long time. There's a sense of comfort and well-being. Robin leads Vicky Jo back to the car and they ride to Robin's home in relative silence, holding hands and smiling at each other.
After showering and changing, Robin drives Vicky Jo back to Boston, where they dine together at an Italian restaurant near the hotel. They chat and banter like old friends, feeling very much at ease with each other and talking most of the night.
On Saturday, the BACAPT seminar is great! Both Vicky Jo and Robin enjoy it immensely, gaining a lot of
useful information and meeting many of the wonderful BACAPT people.
That night, Robin and Vicky Jo again dine out and again spend most
of the night talking. Sunday afternoon arrives too soon and Vicky Jo takes her
leave, flying back to Los Angeles, leaving Robin in Massachusetts.
The next few weeks are fraught with longing on both sides of the continent. Vicky Jo decides that Robin is worth serious consideration! They discuss the problems associated with attempting a long-distance relationship, and agree that it makes sense for Robin to move to Los Angeles since he has no ties in Massachusetts, whereas Vicky Jo has family, friends, and other commitments in L.A.
Robin investigates accommodation in L.A. so that he can be near Vicky Jo and continue the courting process. Vicky Jo remarks that she lives in a 3-bedroom townhouse with two bathrooms and casually suggests Robin move in as her tenant and see whether they get along.
A few days later, a FedEx parcel arrives at Robin's
workplace in Massachusetts, addressed to "Sweetheart Robin,"
much to the amusement of the secretary who receives the package.
Robin opens it to discover a pretty silver box containing a shiny
new gold doorkey and a note exhorting one word: "Hurry!"
Robin arranges a branch transfer with his company and then packs and ships his belongings to Vicky Jo's home. It's with some dismay that she receives 14 large boxes of personal effects, carried into her increasingly crowded house by a sweating and disgruntled FedEx employee! He won't carry them upstairs, so Vicky Jo leaves them stacked in the hallway awaiting Robin's attention.
Then, on May 1st, 1999, Robin arrives in person to discover a "Welcome!" sign posted at Vicky Jo's front door. Robin brings a surprise of his own for Vicky Jo -- he's sporting a new beard! (When they met in Boston, she commented that she preferred Robin with a beard rather than only a mustache as he had worn the past few years.) Robin explains that he grew the beard just for her, and she refers to it as "her beard" even today!Robin moves in and begins to assimilate to life in Los Angeles. Before long, Vicky Jo and Robin decide they are well-matched, and the spare bedroom that Robin inhabits is converted to a shared office…
The proposal comes shortly after.