“Catie, Will You Go Out With Me?”

Originally posted on May 28th, 2010

What the–?

This what I read on a rock today.  It wasn’t just any rock either.  The graffiti was sprawled in huge black spray-painted letters across a gorgeous craggy stone that sits right on the edge of the sea in an idyllic state park near my house.

It bummed me out to read this.  Not like the oil spill bums me out of course, but still… the letters are so gargantuan, you can practically read the date request from space.  Who knows?  Maybe Catie is in outer space, but that is no excuse.  This “ask” is painted in a completely beautiful setting and vandalism–even romantic vandalism–really upsets the apple cart of natural majesty there.

Sure, there are much worse things that could have been written, so maybe I should consider it lucky that it’s at least family-friendly graffiti.  Now I’m wondering if park services will remove it or if we’re going to be reading this query until the sun and sea wear it off, which could take decades.

I’m sure whomever decided to  make this gesture felt that it was gallant yet artistic– like John Cusak holding up the boom box while Peter Gabriel sang “In Your Eyes” to Ione Skye in the great Say Anything.  It had to have been an impetuous youth who was sick and tired of texting and Facebook and passing Catie anonymously in the hallway at school.  This person must be desperately in love with Catie and they wanted her to know it.  It’s actually pretty  ballsy, since they probably didn’t know how Catie would respond.  If only it weren’t permanent for every passerby to read while they’re trying to drink in the awesome sun, sea, and waves.  Couldn’t “Catie, will you go out with me?” have been written on a old fashioned Post-It note, instead of an ancient slab of granite?

Looking at the bright side, maybe this rock writing sparked the beginning of an epic Earthshaking romance between Catie and the spray-painting granite ocean-view-defacer… like Brangelina or Bennifer or Antony and Cleopatra (Cleotony?).  Speaking of long romances, my husband and I met 20 years ago this weekend.  It was nothing like Catie and her admirer.  We used the phone.  As for the anniversary, I don’t think we are really doing anything to commemorate it though I would like to. However, I have a feeling it’s going to fall through the cracks of Memorial Day cookouts and summer kickoff moments (SPF 70 anyone?).

[Just to be clear, I’m not dropping him a hint here, as he rarely, if ever, gets around to reading this blog, despite his best intentions]

We met I was 21 and he was 25.  Now I’m 41 and he’s 45.  Holy time-lapse Batman!!  I am proud that we have hit such a significant marker in our relationship.  What is really amazing is that in our circle of friends here in coastal Rhode Island (who are approximately the same ages as we are), twenty years together isn’t that  exotic.  I can think of five other couples who are either about to mark their twentieth year together or  who have recently exceeded it.

What can account for such longevity (besides hard work, commitment, fun and love)?  Maybe it’s something in the water?  That would be the salt water of course, because Lord knows you can’t drink the water out of the tap here.  Perhaps the salt water and sea air swept Catie off her flip-flopped feet and into the arms of her spray painting admirer?

Tell us Catie.  Did you go out with them?  I hope so! Please say the rock didn’t give its beautiful rough face up in vain.  Twenty years from now, we still don’t want to be wondering how you answered this question, but unless the park rents a power washer, we very well may be.

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