It was a hot, July day; maybe, a Friday. We were four single girls working on our tan. Everything we did, we did together. That day, we were tanning. We went to school together. We had lunch together. We looked for jobs together. My mom would say, "Together, you will never find a job nor a husband. Go by yourself." But I was not so gung-ho to find a job, and I definitely did not want a husband. So, I didn't listen.
No one was ever bored, when we travelled and frolicked together. We were unemployed, yes, but we still had two years of schooling ahead of us. And that husband idea was just plain silly!
My favorite song went on...."you're breaking my heart, you're shaking my confidence, baby..." I sang along as I passed the large baby oil bottle to the next girl. The slippery, clear plastic bottle was tainted with iodine; guaranteeing us a fabulous, "to die for tan!" Sun reflectors in hand, we were now ready to sunbathe. Brighton Beach Bay 7..a hot, July day..maybe a Friday.
The sound of the single engine airplane caused me to open my eyes. I looked up at the sky. What was it? I thought. Ahhh...the plane was dragging a sign; probably a Coppertone ad. But,then the sound of cheers and yelling and people standing and waving confused me. My girlfriends, curious to understand the commotion, sat up. People to the right of us..what was that? Bay 6?...were going nuts! I have to admit, for a split-second, I felt frightened. Quickly, that emotion was replaced by anticipation!! We all stood up, as did the sunbathers close to our blanket. We were realizing that the sounds, coming from Bay 6, were of delight, and of glee! Those sun worshippers were applauding!!!
Anxious, we continued to stare up at the plane that was now nearing us. It was not dragging a Coppertone ad, after all, but, its message was persuasive, and heart warming. It said: SUSAN WILL YOU MARRY ME?
Now, as you know, my name is not, nor ever was, Susan..but for that moment in time, I WAS Susan! I started shouting and jumping up and down..."Yes!! Yes!!! Yes!!!!" Of course, I was not the only girl on the beach, that day, that had responded in the affirmative. We all had! My three friends were jumping uncontrollably in a circle dance. We hugged each other, while our shouts of "Yes!!!" were thrown up towards the plane.
As our excitement dropped a notch, I noticed that Bay 8 beach goers, to our left, were now starting to stand up and look up towards the plane. I was certain that this wave of excitment would soon engulf the entire beach community, and maybe, even move towards Manhattan Beach. "Wow," I said, "that Susan is some lucky girl. That guy loves her AND he is loaded, too!" The girls and I talked for a while about the guy's creativity, and what we thought it may have cost him, to hire a plane to pull off such a feat. We agreed that Susan had landed a romantic and we were convinced she would say, 'yes.'
That day, he not only proposed to his sweetheart, but to EVERY Susan who was at the beach. He even proposed to girls, like me, who WANTED to be Susan, who were at the beach that day! Heck, he even proposed to all the ageless women who only DREAMT about being a Susan, for a delightful five minutes, that day at the beach.
Happy Valentine's Day to everyone, especially to Susan and her husband..you know who you are..he proposed to you, on that very hot, July day at Brighton Beach.