Some nights spent with Edward were domestic due to time stress. I purchased food on the way over to his apartment for our dinner. He dressed me, took me and I redressed. Then I fixed dinner. Like a married couple, after food we then watched TV, read or dozed off until my time to leave.
More often, we went out to an upscale establishments where he upgraded my dining, drinking and social deportment. Edward would first take me to the lounge and check with the bartender if his criteria for a Singapore Sling could be met. It had to have Beefeater Gin, Benedictine, Cointreau, grenadine syrup, pineapple juice, lime juice and a dash of Angostura. If the bartender could shake these with ice in his cocktail shaker, pour it into a glass and ddribble cherry brandy over an upside down spoon for a topping it was Singapore Sling time! The grand final was a maraschino cherry, pineapple slice, straws and sometimes a little umbrella. I watched,enthralled by the preparation ritual, but was limited to two.
If his criteria for a Singapore sling was not met he ordered me gin and tonic with a lime slice. Edward liked to converse at the bar and often we met new acquaintances and learned a little about their lives. He taught me how to socialize by initiating a neutral conversation and letting others talk about themselves, a topic he told me they never tired of.
At the dinner table our menue selection was accompanied with a wine lesson. I learned to select wine by area grown, year of vintage and the main menu choice. Neither of us liked dessert but he introduced after dinner liqueurs like Amaretto and Benedictine B & B. When we walked to the Porsche after dinner, my cheeks were flush from the cocktails before, the wine during and the liqueur after.
He said I was prepped for action getting in the Porsche. It was true.
Visits at noon in contrast were sober trysts but typically accompanied by some new item he purchased to accent my branding. He dressed me, added my newest adornment , pranced me around, got excited to where he couldn’t bear it and took me in a rush, fixated on his most recent acquisition. Deflated, I redressed in my good wife togs, carefully folded and stored his selected tryst attire, cleaned what was soiled in the prancing and subsequent rush and left for home. He, spent, was often asleep as I closed the door.
On a few occasions, it was San Francisco for dinner. Once he wanted to go to Fisherman’s Warf but I nixed it because of my first kiss there with hubby. Instead, that night we ate Italian in North Beach, away from the tawdry Broadway’s Red Balloon with its slide down to the bar and Carol Doda’s 44’s on her swing.
After dinner, flush with drinking, we walked out to the fog hand in hand. The valet ran to retrieve his Porsche, revved the engine as he returned, parked with a little squeal of tires, jumped out, ran around and opened the door for me. He stood close and brushed against me as I got in.
Upset, Edward, told him he just got his tip. I laughed as we zoomed up and down hills until stopped at the top of a steep hill by a red light. While he played with the brake, clutch and gas pedals to keep from sliding down, I kissed and hugged him and continued so on the freeway until in his apartment parking space.
We jumped out of the car, raced to his apartment, laughing, holding hands.
Past the door in our rush, on the sofa, we'd skipped protection.
Driving home near dawn, sober, I realized how stupid I was. I lived in fear for twenty-two days. Edward gave a pregnancy test and was assured after ten but it took more to convince me. He took responsibility but I knew it was me who got pregnant and my fault.
I knew I couldn’t have an abortion, confess to my husband or marry Edward. Each day I lived in terror and lost five pounds. I counted the days. No, I counted the hours. Was it a week, no it was longer, oh God not two weeks since my period? Hubby noticed and became concerned. My excuse, a supervisor at work was harassing me deflected him but his solicitousness compounded the terror if I had to confess. I told no one, not even the older woman at work who I confided in
While we talked on the phone I didn’t visit Edward. As the days added up the terror increased as the day of reckoning approached. Days fourteen, fifteen, on to twenty passed. By day twenty-one terror was slipping into depression. Then the next morning, a cramp pain, more joyous than any physical pleasure experienced came. I wasn’t pregnant!
To celebrate, Edward took me to the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. I’d seen it from the street but had never been inside. He dressed me formally with a black lace pencil dress, pearl necklace and high heels.
At its classic bar I had my Singapore slings, my terror left behind. He had his martinis with Boodles English gin. We then had a formal dinner with a bottle of Napa Valley wine in the hotel restaurant. Dinner finished, we stayed there. The trip to bed was a tipsy elevator ride. We had a view of the city before, while and after.
Edward knew the in spots" in" San Francisco, those not generally known by tourists. The next San Francisco date was to the Hotel Griffon, a boutique hotel in the Embarcadero.
In their intimate ground floor restaurant and lounge it was Singapore slings, wine, dinner and then up for bed with a view of the Bay Bridge. With the window open, exhausted, I fell asleep to the cool air of the Bay. Awoken by the requested front desk phone call at three AM we left, despite my being still grogg, so I could be home wearing my work smock before the children and husband got up.
With time constraints and sleep needs, however, a Friday date out was more frequently a local restaurant, a race back to his apartment until time to rush home, “from work”. The farthest afield we ventured outside of San Francisco was Jack London Square in Oakland and The Village Pub in Woodside, California where I learned the seating power of a $100 bill before dinner. Off the peninsula, our more typical dining experience explored San Jose, Almaden, Saratoga and Los Gatos faire. I learned a lot about food, wine and how to enjoy them relaxed, as if I belonged in an upscale restaurant.
I never went with my husband to these places. To do so would add to his betrayal. I did take him for Sunday brunch atop the Bank of America building which Edward told me was good but we couldn't go to as Sundays were my husband's. Other than the brunch at the top of the Bank Of America building, where we could actually look down at clouds, our San Francisco trips werer family affairs to museums, the zoo, Golden Gate Park, Steinhart Aquarium and Chinatown.
At the Aquarium, the kids tossed dimes on the crocodile snouts as that was okay back then. I wondered who got the dimes.
Author Notes: In addition to branding me as his Edward introduces me to a more upscale world, his world.