My name is Roman Anthony McMasters. Yeah, Mom went a little over the top when she named me, but my brothers and sister all got it too. My oldest brother is Achilles, my younger brother is Octavius and my sister was actually given the name Cleopatra, but she goes by Cleo, wouldn't you?
Born with a name like that either makes you stronger, or gets you beat up as a kid. I grew out of the resentment, and I decided to focus on my studies. I'd often say, "You can call me Tony" right after introducing myself to someone.
As did all of us kids, I had red hair – some people who didn't know my name would often yell out, "Hey Red" to get my attention. So, Tony or Red, either way - it works!
I spend all my available time working on genealogy, looking for other people with interesting or strange names. With my last name, people would often assume I was Irish, or Scottish, and they were right, at least partially.
I primarily use the Internet for my genealogical pursuits, including Ancestry, Geni and Rootsweb to look around. Geni, actually, is where I found 'her.'
My grandfather's grandfather was Ronald Dalrymple McMasters. He had four sisters and 14 brothers - one of them was Donald Dalrymple McMasters. Parents can be cruel in all eras.
Well, Donald had a Donald, who had a Donald and so on, until there was a Don Masters who lived in the same city as where I currently live. I also found the name Caroline Masters as a teacher at the local community college. I found that she taught, you guessed it, Genealogical Studies as well as General Studies and History.
When I saw her picture online at the school website, I absolutely knew we must be related – she had the exact same shade of red hair that I did, except that hers was long and beautiful, while I could never get mine to do much of anything.
I went to the community college and found her office and knocked on the door. I heard the most lilting Irish voice say, "Come in."
I opened the door and before anything else, I said, "Hello, Cousin!"
I must've caught her unprepared, because she immediately started laughing, and I started laughing because her laugh was so contagious. Finally she settled down and said with a glint in her eye, "Does that line ever work, boyo?"
I asked if she had a moment to talk, and she said 'yes' and moved some stuff over so I could sit down. Well, here we go, "Was your GG grandfather named Donald Dalrymple McMasters?"
I must've shaken her up a little, because at the mention of this name, she'd looked up and saw the seriousness of my face.
Carefully, she said, "Yes - it was!"
"And did he have four sisters and 14 other brothers with one named Ronald Dalrymple McMasters?"
Now her interest was piqued, "Yes – and who are you?"
"Oh – I'm sorry, my name is Roman Anthony McMasters ... Ronald was my GG grandfather. I believe that makes us 3rd cousins."
"Or barely related," she said smiling.
"Well," I pursued going out on the proverbial limb. "Our children most certainly would have red hair and I hope your really beautiful blue eyes."
"Wow, You move pretty fast, Roman!"
Never has my name sounded so wonderful coming from her lips. I was emboldened.
"Are you seeing anyone, Caroline because I would really like to take you out to dinner?"
"Well," she said toying with me a little, "I had plans for tonight, but I can cancel them?" She leaned towards me, batted those eyelashes at me and asked, "Do you want me to cancel them, Roman?"
I was so entranced by her eyes, her smile, her brogue and just her overall beauty, I said, "Yes – Caroline, I'd like you to cancel your plans."
"Well, I've two more classes to teach today. Call me at this number, and we'll meet wherever you want." She hurriedly wrote her number on a piece of paper. "Call me anytime after 3:30 – I'll be home by then."
I was on my way to my apartment when I realized there were some things I had to get done first, get a haircut, clean the apartment, wash the car, clean the apartment, get some cash from an ATM, and clean the apartment.
Where would I take her? Any of the places I usually go, suddenly all seem inadequate for her. I know, that steak place ... what's it called? – Yeah, Steak 'n Shake. Not too fancy, not too casual.
OK, that's settled – get a haircut. I pulled into a Cost Cutters and told them I would like a clean up and take a wee bit off the top. A wee bit – I haven't used that expression in ages ... she's already rubbing off on me! The whole time I was getting the haircut, I was thinking about what to talk to her about.
I hadn't been on a date in a while, but she makes me nervous and excited at the same time. She called me Roman and for the first time in a really long time I didn't cringe at the sound of my given name.
I went home and spent about 20 minutes cleaning the apartment. I must be in love – I never clean! We're going out to eat, so 'coming back to the apartment' is a possibility, but I told myself not to freak out about it.
I printed out a copy of my genealogy to show her – I even printed out one of hers, even though she probably has done that herself. I put on a shirt and jeans, and put a sweater and blanket in the car.
Oh, the car – I have to clean the car! I went through a car wash and parked and vacuumed out the junk. OK, Roman - ready as you'll ever be.
It was coming up on 3:30 and I programmed my phone with her phone number, and I assigned her number the ring music – 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart.' I was investing a lot into this, but there was something that told me she was worth every minute spent on preparation.
OK; I called her, "Hello Caroline – this is Roman!"
"Hi Roman – I'm just leaving my office at the school. Where do you want to meet?"
"Steak 'n Shake on Centennial Street – Is that all right with you?"
"Oh – I've always wanted to try that place. See you there in about 30 minutes. I want to get home and change first, OK?"
"Sure, I'll be there waiting for you! And don't change too much!"
"You're so sweet – See you in a bit, bye."
It was exactly 32 minutes later she pulled up. I went to her car and opened the door for her, and we walked up to the order counter. Caroline said, "What looks good to you?"
"You look amazing to me – Oh - Oh, you mean to order?"
That got a giggle from her, "Yes, silly – you're too much!"
"That's what my last girlfriend said," I chuckled to myself.
"I'll just ignore that, Roman," turning to the order counter, she ordered, "I'll have a Steakburger and a chocolate shake, please?"
"The same for me," I said, "I'll get it, Caroline – the gentlemen always pays for the first date!"
"Oh, feeling pretty confident about yourself are you – haircut looks good ... actually, you look very nice."
"Thank you Caroline, you look wonderful – that pale green dress brings out ... your beautiful blue eyes and your sparkling red hair."
"Pulling out all the stops, Roman, aren't you?" she said.
"When I saw your picture on the school website, something drew me to meet you, and to find out more about you. We may be third cousins, but I feel like I've met my ... soul-mate today."
"Soul-mate, Roman – now that sounds like a line?"
"I'm sorry – I just feel so comfortable around you, like we'd met before and are just meeting again."
"I feel a wee bit of that too," she said with a smile.
They brought our food out to us, and we ate in relative quiet, both of us trying to peek at the other one, every chance we could get.
"Excuse me Caroline – I know that a gentleman shouldn't ask this question of a lady ... but how old are you?"
"I'm 26, my birthday is June 29th, Roman. How about you?"
"I'm 27; my birthday is also June 29th. How is that for a great big coincidence? If we plan it just right, all of our kids could have the same birthday as us."
"And ... how many children do you want?"
"Oh – half a dozen of each." A stifling pause, "Gotcha!"
"Well, yes you did, but actually, I've a child, he's four years old. Will that scare you off?"
"Not even a wee bit. What's his name?"
"Richard Apollus Masters – and HIS birthday is June 29th – so we've started out right on plan."
"Would Richard like a brother or a sister – and a Daddy?"
"Yes – So would his Mommy!" She answered coyly.
After finishing our meal, I walked Caroline back to her car. She got in, took out her keys and her car made that sound that meant your battery was dead. Caroline poked her head out and said, "Can you jump me?"
I quickly responded, "On the first date?"
"I meant my car, you dummy. I don't have jumper cables, do you?"
"I'd absolutely like to jump you ... and your car, too!"
"You're so bad, Roman!"
"Except, when I'm real good, Caroline. I'll get my cables – stay in the car – I'll do everything to you ... for you – just lay back and enjoy it."
"Ohh, I will, Roman!"
In a little while her car had roared back to life. I told her to let it run for a minute or so. After putting my cables back in my trunk, I offered to follow her, and make sure she got home all right.
"You just want to know where I live, don't you, boyo?"
"Busted – but I'm concerned that your car may die on you before you get home, and some ... unseemly type may try to take advantage of you."
"I wouldn't call you unseemly, Roman!"
"It's my responsibility as the jumper to make sure the jumpee gets home safely," I said with a huge smile on my face.
"All right. Follow me, Roman?"
"To the ends of the earth, my dear Sweet Caroline!"
I followed her to a newer part of town I hadn't been in before. We pulled up to a pretty home. As she turned off her car, I recommended she immediately try to start it up – and it did!
"That's too bad, Caroline!"
"What is, Roman?"
"With your car starting right up, like that – I was hoping to give you another jump?"
"You're so bad, Roman!"
"You have no idea, Caroline!"
"I'm afraid to ask you to come in for a drink?"
"Why is that, beautiful?"
"Because I may never be able to get rid of you."
"And that's a problem because? Is your little boy at home? Who watches him while you're at work?"
"My Mom, his Gamma, lives five blocks away. He's with her – I call her when I get home."
"Is she expecting a call anytime - soon?"
"She stays home because my Dad works as a pharmaceutical rep and is on the road for days at a time. She knows when I'm likely to call or come by to pick up Richie."
I walked up to her and standing very close, I asked her, "Can we make a date to do this all again, tomorrow, Caroline? I want a chance to sweep you off your feet! Same time tomorrow, gorgeous?"
"You just don't let up, do you?"
"In all honesty, can I tell you something, Caroline?"
Hesitatingly, she responded, "Sure, Roman – what is it?"
"I've been searching for someone to spend time with, and love, and have children with. I know you think I'm moving way too fast, but why move slowly when you think you've found 'the one.' I hope I'm not scaring you, but I feel we've met a long time ago and are just meeting again ... and this feeling also tells me ... to tell you, just how much I care."
Caroline's eyes were moistening, like mine. She was listening intently to my admission and said back to me, "That feeling we've met before ... I ... feel it too. I like playing the flirting game we've been playing, but I'm only really looking for a long-term relationship right now."
"Can I please kiss you, Caroline?" I whispered softly.
"I've never had someone ask me so courteously, Roman ... OK!"
We stepped that final step towards each other – the electricity was everywhere our skin touched; our hands, our lips ... our hearts. I put my hand up to her face and went for the kiss – she'd closed her eyes and was waiting for my lips. They touched. It was absolutely the most passionate first kiss I've ever had, and much too soon, it was over.
"Wow, that was intense," said Caroline, catching her breath.
"That's the only way I'd know how to love you, Caroline."
"I've to go get Richie. Bye – tomorrow at 3:30 again?"
"Tomorrow at 3:30 – you've got a date!"
Back at my apartment, I was going over everything that happened today. I've met the most beautiful, amazing red-haired Irish lass and it is clear in my mind that we will end up married, eventually.
I went on my usual genealogical websites and found her parents, her parent's brothers and sisters, and their parents and their brothers and sisters. It appears that the McMasters name changed to Masters just two generations after brothers Donald and Ronald. I looked up a lot of data, and put it together into a gedcom file to give to Caroline tomorrow when I see her.
My cell phone rang! I hoped it might be Caroline, but it was my mother, Claudia. I answered it and said, "Hello gorgeous!"
"What brought that on, Tony?"
"Call me Roman, Mom - My name is Roman!"
"What's her name ... Roman?"
"Am I that obvious, Mom?"
"I can hear it in your voice – you've found 'her' haven't you, son?"
"Yeah – Mom. I was looking up GG Grandfather Ronald Dalrymple; found he had 14 brothers and 4 sisters, including Donald who is her GG Grandfather. It's absolutely amazing, Mom. Her name is Caroline Masters; she's my 3rd cousin. She has a four-year-old son named Richard Apollus Masters. She has red hair, just like mine and she has the biggest, bluest eyes in the whole world. Mom ... I'm in love! Love at first sight exists, Mom. I'm going to marry her – I'll woo her, break her down, and marry her!"
"Take a breath, honey – you didn't tell her of all this, did you? It could scare her off, Roman – I know how full your heart is, don't rush it too fast. If she's the one, love will win out. I'm so happy for you, Roman. When do you see her again?"
"Tomorrow at 3:30. I'm going to sweep her off her feet, Mom. She won't know what hit her."
"Well, keep me up to date, as often as you feel comfortable with. I'd love to meet her, when you're ready to share her."
"Soon, Mom. Real soon. Bye, Mom – talk to you later."
I couldn't help it - I called her at home.
A very young voice answered the phone, "Masters residence. This is Richard. Who is this?"
"Hello, Richard," I said. What a well-spoken little boy. "My name is Roman. Can I please speak to your Mommy?"
"OK!" I heard him yell 'Mommy.'
That beautiful brogue lifted my spirits, "Roman, is that you?"
"Yes, Caroline – you should be very proud of your little boy. He answered the phone with more self-assurance as someone much older."
"He's quite the little man, isn't he? What can I do for you, Roman?"
"We've had one date, correct, Caroline?"
"And we have another scheduled for tomorrow, right?"
"And we both feel ... something of a kinship?"
"I'd like you to meet my parents?"
"Roman – there you go again, moving too fast."
"I think I'm moving kind of slow, actually, Caroline."
"You're really something – I'm just not sure what, yet."
"How about Friday night, I'll pick you and Richie up and we'll all go out to dinner. OK?"
"Please, please ... please ... I told her about you and she wants to meet the young lady that has, to use her own words, stolen the heart of her little boy."
"I'll leave Richie with my mother. That would be too much, too soon for him."
"Whatever you say, I'll pick you up at 7pm on Friday night – and we have a 3:30 date tomorrow, right?"
"Right!" – "Roman?"
"Don't break my heart ... please?"
"No chance – I plan to fill it with more love than you've ever had in it. Is it too soon to tell you I'm in love with you ... because I am?"
"Roman Anthony McMasters – how can you say that to someone you just met?"
"Because until today, I never met you!" I caught myself crying a little.
"What's wrong, Roman?"
"Nothing, I'm just so happy that I've met you."
"I'm happy you met me, too!"
It's 9am the next morning, and it's amazing what things pop in your mind, when you think you've met that special somebody!
Let's see, to have a baby born in late June, you would have to conceive in September ... that's doable. It's the middle of May, now – If we get married by the middle of August and conceive by Labor Day, that gives us a chance at a June 29th birthday! Yeah – Labor Day would be the perfect conception day.
Boys names ... would we continue the pattern set down previously or what about Roman Anthony McMasters II? The Second? The 2nd? Or a girl, Caroline could be her middle name – we could use my Mom's name, Claudia, or maybe her Moms name ... I don't know her mother's full name. Whatever – I can't get any work done. All I do is think of her – of Caroline. That beautiful red hair or those delightful blue eyes or that absolutely marvelous Irish brogue ... Wow – am I lovesick or what?
Something I wanted to find out, without coming out and asking, was what happened to Richie's biological father? With Richie's last name being Masters, it must mean that his father is dead, and his mother Caroline had his name changed to her maiden name of Masters. This intrigued me, but I wasn't sure how far to go in my research, without asking Caroline's permission. I decided to sit on what I was doing, until a more appropriate moment in our relationship.
While I spend a great deal of time on genealogy, it's not what I do for a living. I work as a computer software consultant, specializing in Windows-based machines. Every new iteration of Windows causes problems with the older machines and, depending on how insidious the problem, it sometimes even causes problems on the newer generation PCs.
Although I'm only 27, I remember clearly when I was about 10 years old, that Windows 3.1 came out and the gray screens were gone and now computers had 16 colors and something new called 'icons.'
When I got into actually 'using' a computer, I was 12, it was 1995 and Windows 95 came out. Wasn't it the Rolling Stones song, 'Start Me Up' had something to do with the advertising? I still get a call a week from people using Windows 95 – thank you Dad for never throwing away any manuals!
So, I make money because people either have thrown their manuals away, probably the day the machine was brought home from the store; or they have tried to install software that doesn't work with a 15-year-old Operating System.
While about nine out of 10 people use PCs, I get the occasional call about Apple Macintosh Computers. I bought one a few years ago to find out, how the other 10 percent lives. They're pretty cool – I know enough about them to handle about 75% of the calls I get – interestingly, Mac people keep their manuals, although my guess is that they're still in plastic, unopened – until they call me.
"Hello, this is Tony, the PC Guy – What can I do you for, today?"
"Roman – is that you?"
"This must be the girl that I daydream about – or, is this Caroline?"
"Very funny, Roman – you're a piece of work, you know?"
"Yes, I do! - Oh-no ... You're not calling to cancel either of our dates are you?"
"Get a grip – No! I'm calling just to say hi ... HI!"
"When I get to talk to you, I actually feel high."
"I had a break, in-between classes and I thought I'd call and talk. If I'm interrupting you, I can call back."
"No, no, no, no, no – I would drop anything and everything to hear your beautiful voice, my dear sweet Caroline. By the way, what is your middle name? I assume you have one, because they're very common in Irish families for both boys and girls."
"Actually, my complete name is Caroline Laelia Masters. My married name was Caroline Laelia Beaumont Masters."
"Is that L A E L I A? And B E A U M O N T?"
"Yep, right on both counts – you're good, boyo!"
"You have no idea - Well, Beaumont means beautiful mountains and Laelia is the name of a beautiful orchid flower named after one of the vestal virgins of Roman mythology. So, that makes you a beautiful, beautiful flower, with beautiful mountains."
"Roman – that's rather rude – but funny at the same time, anyhow you haven't seen my mountains ... yet!"
"Maybe I could - on Friday night?"
"I'm not so sure – not in front of your parents."
"After dinner, we could go for a walk – there is a well-lit park only three blocks from my folks house. Maybe with enough light - to see the mountains?"
"You're the strangest ... and yet the most fascinating person I've ever met – and I've met some pretty weird fellows!"
"Good thing I came along – you don't need to meet any more guys, I'm in your life, now!"
"Oh – Somebody's at my door. I've office hours now. See you at 3:30 – Where are we meeting today?"
"I'll text you the address, OK?"
"OK, bye Roman."
"Bye Bye, girl with beautiful mountains."
I heard a giggle as she was hanging up. I'm wearing her down - ever so slowly. I need to find an interesting place to meet her today – let's look on the Internet to see what's close. Oh, here's a good place called Scores, It's a Rotisserie and Ribs place. Oooh! Looks like a step up from yesterday. Oooh! They got baby back ribs. We could share a full rack, don't laugh, I thought the same thing when I saw the ribs on the menu – and ribs are messy.
Looks like an opportunistic place to eat. I texted the address to her and had included an ILY to see if she responds. After waiting about five minutes, I get an ILY2 back from her. I'm wearing her down!
Besides PC consulting, I also write reviews for the newest hardware and software that comes out. I feel that I'm quite fair and even-handed when saying what I think about the newest bric-a-brac for Windows or Macintosh machines.
I got in the mail an update of a long-standing product that it's packaging says will only run on a Windows 7 machine. Nothing earlier, so, since I have 7 computers, each with it's own OS; Win 95, Win 98, Win 98SE, Win XP, Win Vista and finally Win 8. And Mac OSX 10.8.2!
When a product comes out specific to an OS, I try it on every computer to see what happens.
Well, here goes!
Taking a break from fixing computers to ... using computers. Go figure. It's like when you decide to take a break from watching TV, and you go and work on your computer. Yeah! I decided to take a closer look at good ole Donald and Ronald, the progenitors of us all.
Let's try to find the names of their wives. Uhm – Ronald married Lucille McDonald, probably Scottish – and Donald married ... Katherine Murphy, again probably Scottish, too. Wait a minute; Katherine was married before, so her maiden name is ... damn, unknown. Worse than the last name of Smith or Johnson, but not quite as bad as polygamist families, is an 'Unknown.'
I'm going to sniff this out. I waded through multiple pages of data on Ancestry and Rootsweb and determined that Katherine was probably born ... Katherine McDonald -- she and Lucille, were sisters?
That would make Caroline and I, Double Third Cousins? I think.
I love it when a plan comes together. This was cool enough to call Caroline about.
"Hello – beautiful, how are you?"
"Roman – how could you possibly know I was in my office? Did you put one of those tracer things on me?"
"No – but that's a really good idea, maybe slip a GPS bug in your food."
"Why are you calling?"
"Do I need a reason?"
That made her giggle, "No – but I have to get back to class."
"You already have more class than anyone else I've ever met. Oh – why I called."
"Our GG grandfathers married sisters, so I believe that makes us Double Third Cousins?"
"I've never heard of that term. Let me check and I'll get back to you at our date."
"My wee lass."
"Did you say something about my ass?" She was laughing.
"Gotcha, see you later, boyo!"
"See you later, my bonnie Caroline!"
"Hello – Ton ... Roman! Anything new about our ... your girl."
"I told her I loved her!"
"Didn't you just meet her?"
"Yeah – my impulse control is shot to hell when I'm around her."
"What else have your impulses motivated you to do?"
"A gentlemen never kisses and tells, mother!"
"A gentlemen also doesn't tell a girl he loves her, less than five hours after meeting her."
"I don't know how long I'm going to be a gentleman around her. For the record – all we've done is kiss, but, what a kiss! Anyway, meet you on Friday night at 7:30 at Tremonti Ristorante on Steele's Avenue. I expect both you and Dad. It'll be my treat. Be on time – we may be engaged if you're late."
"Do you want us to be late, dear?"
"Ha-ha-ha-ha – Mom, you get me, totally! No – don't be late, call if you need to; I always have my phone with me. Dress casual. Caroline is going to knock your socks off, Mom! Love you. I know Dad is going to like her, because she reminds me of you, a wee bit."
"A wee bit – I haven't heard you use that expression since you were very, very little."
"Dear Mother, I was never very, very little."
I was back in front of my computer, looking up stuff on the Internet; by the way, that software I got to test, that 'only' will work on a Win8 machine; it also worked flawlessly on a Vista, and XP and a 98SE machine. The 98 and 95 machines didn't even recognize the software in its CD drive. Ah – the perils of Windows.
I suddenly had a revelation – I wondered if the surname Beaumont had any previous connection to the McMasters or Masters line!
OK, let's look at Rootsweb first for the names of all the other siblings of Ronald and Donald ... now, looking at spouses of these GG Grandfathers siblings took me to Ancestry, where I searched using the parameters of Beaumont and McMasters and, if necessary Beaumont and Masters.
After a solid 45 minutes of jumping from person to person and generation to generation, using GENI periodically, I determined the following ... Ronald and Donald's father had a sister named Elizabeth, whose second husband had the last name of Beaumont.
This Harold Jamison Beaumont begat Harold II; who begat, Harold III; who begat Joseph Lloyd Beaumont; who begat Richard Pendergrass Beaumont; who according to GENI - is the father of Richard Apollus Beaumont. This means that Caroline married and had a child with her own 3rd cousin. This was amazing and I'm positive Caroline was totally unaware of this.
It's quite possible that more than 80% of all marriages in history have happened between second cousins, or closer. Prior to the Civil War, cousin marriage was legal in all existing US states in the Union.
After the Civil War, however, the main purpose of marriage prohibitions was seen as less 'maintaining the social order' and 'upholding religious morality' and more as safeguarding the creation of 'fit' offspring.
In 1846, the Governor of Massachusetts appointed a commission to study 'idiots' in his state, which implicated cousin marriage as being responsible for idiocy. Within the next two decades, many reports appeared coming to similar conclusions, including for example, a report by the Kentucky Deaf and Dumb Asylum, which concluded that cousin marriage resulted in deafness, blindness, and idiocy.
Most important of all, was the report of a physician named, S.M. Bemiss for the American Medical Association, which concluded 'that multiplication of the same blood by in-and-in marrying, does incontestably lead in the aggregate to the physical and mental depravation of the offspring.'
Medical gobbledygook, if I ever heard it.
It sounds to me like they're saying that wonderful expression from 'Forrest Gump, ' 'Stupid is as stupid does.' Despite being contradicted by other studies like those of George Darwin, son of Charles Darwin, along with Alan Huth in England, and Robert Newman in New York, the report's conclusions were, unfortunately, widely accepted.
These developments quickly led to thirteen states and territories passing cousin marriage prohibitions by the 1880s.
The NCCUSL, or National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, unanimously recommended in 1970, that all existing laws should be repealed - but no state has dropped its prohibition since the mid-1920s.
Thus, is the argument against 'cousin marriage.'
I did find out some very interesting information about Cousin Marriage; Out of 51 jurisdictions; we got to include DC;
25 states allow first cousins to marry 20 states allow second cousins, and more distant, to marry while six have special circumstances under which first cousins can marry.
Good old North Carolina allows first cousin marriage, but doesn't allow double cousins to marry. Talk about some stupid contradictive laws!
I personally think, being a romantic, that anyone who wants to get married should be able to, with the obvious exceptions being a brother & sister, two guys or two girls, and also parent/biological offspring.
My phone rang, "Hello, this is Tony, the PC Guy – What can I do you for, today?"
"Hello – Tony, the PC guy, what does a girl have to do to get a date with you?"
Recognizing her voice, but not acknowledging her, I said, "She needs to have long blonde hair, size double D breasts, be at least six foot tall and have a chip in one of her front teeth."
"I'm zero for four as far as that list goes, but I know something the rest of those bimbos out there don't!" She went on to say, "I know your real standards; red hair, blue eyes, an Irish brogue and perfect proportions for her height of 5 foot 5 inches."
"You want to play – do you?" I said my lip curling in anticipation.
"Where are we going today for supper, Roman?"
"Scores Rotisserie – bonnie Caroline."
"Good! I was hoping you wouldn't use that old line, 'I haven't found the perfect place I like yet, ' which really means that you haven't found a place at all and you'd be stalling."
"What makes you think that I'd do that?"
"You wouldn't have been the first man to use that particular line on me, Roman."
"NO, but I'm the last man who'll ever need to use that particular line on you. Did Richie's Dad ever use that line on you?"
"Yes, actually, a lot when we first met and were dating ... but after we were married, he settled down and became rather ... boring. I can't believe, I just told you that!"
"Is being boring what caused your marriage to fall apart with Richie's Dad?"
"A little – it was actually a lot of things, including catching him screwing his personal secretary."
"Oww! I'm sorry – that had to have been a blow to your woman's ego. Don't worry – I'll never do that to you ... I'll always love you as much as I do right now."
"There you go again -- telling me you love me and we've only been on two official dates."
"How many dates do you want before I pop the question?"
I sensed a change in her attitude, "That all depends on the question you're asking, Roman!"
"Here it is, then?"
"Yes," I could hear trembling in her voice, "What's the question you have for me?"
"Are you sitting down for this?" I asked.
"Yes!" I heard her breathing.
"Can you get your mother to keep Richie overnight?"
"Is that the question?" she asked waiting ... and waiting.
"Part one of the question – sexual compatibility is an important but not essential part of a relationship, don't you agree?"
Her voice was quivering, "Yes – it's good to know how 'the parts fit, ' so to speak."
"Would you like to find out how well 'our parts fit?'"
"Yes, I would – and what about Part two of the question?" she asked.
"That question will be asked in the morning, all right?"
"Roman – it's been a while for me!"
"Caroline – I love you ... do you believe me?"
"Yes, Roman, I do!"
"Remember those last two words you just spoke ... and I'll pick you up at your apartment at 4 o'clock."
"Roman ... I love you, too!"
I went by a jewelry store on my way to Caroline's house. On Friday night we'll both find out exactly how much she loves me.
I rolled up to Caroline's place a little after 4pm and went to her front door and knocked. She yelled, "It's open – Come in, Roman!"
"How did you know it was me? – It could have been a serial killer!"
"A person who kills by pouring Cheerios down your throat? That's disgusting. I'd use Frankenberry myself!"
That wonderful voice and subsequent laugh came from somewhere upstairs. I started up the stairs and said, "Marco?"
I took a few more steps and said, "Marco?"
It took a little longer but there was a "Polo!"
I turned to my left and said, "Christopher?"
"Columbus," was her response. I walked into what must have been her bedroom, as she was putting on her earrings.
"What're you doing up here in my bedroom, Mister McMasters?"
"If you don't know – It HAS been a while for you, hasn't it?"
"I'll ignore that ... I could've been naked?"
"My loss – and yours too!" I said kissing her on her neck.
"Where are we going dinner tonight, Roman?"
"I told you already, Scores Rotisserie."
"I thought that popped in your head to keep from saying that you hadn't found a place, I'm sorry! I've really always wanted to go to Scores, but never did. Are you trying to make me fat by taking me to all these high calorie places?"
"Absolutely not, my dear – You seem to like being surprised, so I'm thinking outside the box, when it comes to places to eat."
"And where are we going tomorrow night, when I meet your mum and Dad?"
"That place is kind of pricy, isn't it?"
"Nothing's too good or too expensive for me and my girl. I've heard you can see the mountains from Tremonti?"
"ROMAN – you're just too much, aren't you?"
"I hope you don't say that in the morning?
That remark cost me a slap on my shoulder, but it felt like a love tap, really. I told her to bring a change of clothes, in case we end up back at my place, then I said, "After dinner, are we coming back here or going to my place?"
"A girl has to keep some secrets from her guy, doesn't she?"
We were on our way to Scores when I turned to Caroline and said, "What do you think of the name Sophia Rose?
"That's quite pretty, actually, why do you ask?"
"Well, if our first child is a girl, then... !"
"Roman McMasters! Talking about children's names on a third date! What am I going to do with you – Wait! Don't answer that!"
"OK – what names do you like for a girl? If Richie had been a girl, what name did you and ... Beaumont ... pick out?"
"Actually, we didn't find out in advance – we wanted the moment of birth to be as exciting as possible for both of us."
"Was it at least as exciting as the moment of conception?"
I was waiting for a slap to my shoulder or even my face ... but I saw her face change it's demeanor.
"What's wrong Caroline?"
"I'm ... I'm not ready to talk about it yet, Roman – all right?"
"Sure, love ... We're here. Do you need a minute to settle down before we go in?"
"Yes – Thank you!"
I offered, "Been thinking of boys names, too – How do you like the name Leviticus Jonah McMasters?"
That made her laugh – which is exactly why I said it. She couldn't stop giggling. To hear an Irish person giggle is really amazing – the lilt of the brogue comes out and it's so charming.
I reached over and gave her a short soft kiss – and said, "All better, now."
"I hope you said that to make me laugh, Roman ... I wouldn't wish that name on any young man, much less me own son. To answer your earlier question, If Richie had been a girl, her name would have been 'Norah Kaitlin Masters.'"
"That is a beautiful name – would Norah Kaitlin 'McMasters' work as well?"
"Let's go in – I'm getting hungry ... for food, too!"
"Oh! You boyo!"
"My wee lass, Caroline – I love you, you know!"
"I know – I love you, too!"
I'm wearing her down. I took her by the arm and we went into the restaurant. It's something of a family place to eat, and I said, "They serve a great chicken breast and fries combo. The fries are very nice, but their breasts are magnificent."
"Don't say it, boyo?"
Smiling to myself, I asked for a table as far from the noise as possible. Our server handed us a menu and left. I couldn't resist and kissed Caroline and said, "I'm sorry if anything I said upset you – I just seem to have lost all of my impulse control around you, my beautiful redheaded Irish babe."
"Oh! I'm an Irish babe, now, am I?"
You should have seen the look on my face as I tried not to smile at her as I said, "You've always been an Irish babe ... only now, you're My Wild Irish Babe."
Ignoring that, she said, "What's good here, Roman?"
"I understand, if you're so inclined, sex on the tables here is actually much more comfortable than in any other... !"
I felt a hard punch on the back of my head and again the wonderful Irish laugh... "Oh – you're so incorrigible, Roman McMasters. How would you know - hearsay or personal experience?"
"You're going to hit me either way I answer that."