My new friend Jenny, invited a mutual friend and me to lunch. As we enjoyed her delicious lentil soup, Jenny asked me how Peter and I met. I told her that in 1965 when I was starting a new job, my red VW bug hadn’t arrived and there was no way for me to get to work by public transportation. My new employer told me that if I could get to Harvard Square, someone could give me a ride to work until my car arrived. Lo and behold, on my first day of work, a red VW pulled up in front of the Out-of-Town Newstand in Harvard Square and the driver asked if I was Judy. That driver was Peter.
Almost three years later, I grew tired of “dating” and I told Peter that my lease was going to self-renew in a month and that I was either going to break it or break up with him.
I had been spending my weekends at his apartment. (My mother died in 1989 so I guess I can say this in public now.) One Sunday, shortly after my “ultimatum,” Peter went to buy a newspaper. Unbeknownst to me, he had taken my key from my purse, used it to get into my apartment and “borrowed” a ring from my jewelry box. He took it to a jeweler the next day who used it to size the engagement ring that Peter had commissioned.
He presented me with that ring and a marriage proposal the evening that Bobby Kennedy was shot. So happy and so sad all at once.
However, the ring that Peter “borrowed” from my jewelry box was a fake gold band that I had used with a previous boyfriend, and it was about three sizes too large.
I haven’t told that story in ages. It’s still a good one.