Saturday, March 24, 2007

Wooing Paula

I guess I have taken a long enough break since last writing about the heart breakers. Next, after the Great Michelle, was Paula. About two weeks after I received the letter from Michelle breaking things off with me, I flew to Los Angeles to attend a law school recruitment fair. I had already missed the one in New York, so I decided to catch the LA one. This was in November of 1989 and it was held in one of the big hotels near LAX airport. While walking through the ballroom where all the exhibitors' tables were, I happened upon the one for the New York Law School. The representative from the school was the Assistant Director of Admissions at the time, Miss Paula Bryan.
Standing behind a table piled with recruitment brochures, Paula was tall and slim, with chocolate brown skin. She had a small, delicate face, with dark brown eyes that twinkled. Her eyes were framed with long, soft eyelashes and she had a smile that a friend of mine later described as "lighting up the room." Instantly charmed by her dark, warm beauty, I turned up my natural charm and humor to maximum overdrive. I ended up spending two and a half hours talking with her. She gave me her business card and urged me to call her when I got back to New York. The question in my mind was, was she interested in me on a personal level, or was she just trying to recruit me?
I did call her back in New York, but still things were ambiguous between us. After I didn't receive an offer from my first choice schools, Paula sent me an offer of a full scholarship to attend the New York Law School. I accepted, starting in the fall semester of 1990. I kept running into Paula, once I began attending the school. I kept flirting with her and talking to her at every opportunity, but she seemed to be playing things very reserved. I saw one of my classmates talking to her and I felt jealous. I figured women would think he was better looking than me, but he came across as a bit sleazy and insincere. I hoped she wasn't falling for his bullshit. I eventually managed to arrange to have lunch with Paula at a restaurant within walking distance of the school, but still she acted like we were just friends.
After a year and a half of this inconclusive banter, I decided to make a play so blatant that she couldn't be confused about my intentions any longer. In the late spring of 1991, I asked Paula to go to see Penn and Teller on Broadway, on a Saturday night. Happily, she accepted. I arranged this to be the date of all dates. I picked her up at her Brooklyn home, where she lived with her mother, in a stretch limousine. As I walked up to her door, carrying a dozen roses for her, people all over the block stopped to stare. One of her older sisters had come over to see her off, as well. Once under way in the limo, I opened a bottle of champagne. Paula only had one glass and I was left to finish the bottle on my own.
The limo dropped us off at the door of the Marriott Marquis Hotel, on Times Square. We had a reservation for dinner at the revolving, rooftop restaurant, the View. I was a little tipsy from all the champagne and ended up banging my head on the edge of the limo door. Happily, Paula didn't notice. After dinner, we walked a couple of blocks to the theatre where we were seeing Penn and Teller, the illusionists. If you ever get a chance to see them, they put on a great show. When the show was over, another stretch limo was waiting for us outside. It whisked us to my favorite dance club in New York, the Palladium. We spent a couple of hours dancing and drinking cocktails. Finally, the limo took us home. We dropped her off first, of course. I walked her to the door, but there was no kiss goodnight. I rode the rest of the way to my home on cloud nine. Whatever happened now, at least my intentions were clear.
After a day or two, Paula called me to thank me for the date. She agreed to see me again. Finally, we were dating. Our second date was a complete contrast to the first. I went to her house and we walked to a local ice cream parlor. We bought ice cream and walked back. It was so old fashioned and laid back, I was totally bewitched with her. I don't remember whether it was our third, or our fourth date, but I remember the first time we kissed. It was standing on the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge, overlooking South Street Seaport and the East River. I later learned that our first date was the first date Paula ever had. As amazing as it seemed, this 26-year-old beauty had never had a date before, nor a boyfriend. She was virginal in every way. I was glad I made her first date ever a night to remember.

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Blogger Layla said...

It's rally woo! I can imagine Paula's feeling! Especially this stretch limousine, it was impressive.

3:19 AM  

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