(Setting: Brightly-lit coffee lounge in the Air Force Manpower Personnel Center, Randolph Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. The lounge is a large room filled with vending machines, tables/chairs, and several couches. Early October, 1979. 10:00am)
(Characters: Mark Reed, a 20-year old, green-around-the-gills, Air Force one-striper is sitting alone on one of the couches in a corner of the lounge eating a Hostess cupcake and drinking milk from a small carton. Other than Mark, the lounge is empty. Enter Dora Lanham, a beautiful 20-year old woman, currently employed as a temporary civil service employee at The Center.)
(Dora smiles at Mark as she passes by and Mark quickly flashes a smile back at the beautiful young woman. Dora purchases a bag of Fritos and a Dr. Pepper from the machines and walks toward Mark. Mark's stomach tightens).
Mark (his thoughts are heard): Oh my God, she's walking this way. What should I say?
Dora: (pointing to the seat on the couch next to Mark): Is anyone sitting here?
Mark: Uh...no, no one at all.
(A painful look comes over Mark's face as she sits down and smiles at him).
Mark (his thoughts are heard): Shit, what to say, what to say. Something clever, not too clever, you don't want her to think you're a smartass. Uh, the weather maybe. Yeah, the weather.
Dora: So, do you work here?
Mark: Yeah, I work downstairs in Micrographics, where they put Air Force documents on microfiche. How about you?
Dora: Yeah, me too. I'm a temporary, hired for the special project they're doing in Micro. We have about 2 million documents in filing cabinets we're sorting through.
Mark: Wow, sounds like a lot of work. You should be here for a long time (His thoughts: Yes, please God, let her work here for a lifetime.)
Dora: I hope so, I could use the money. I was planning on starting college here in San Antonio, but decided to work before I started school again. I just finished my Associates in Medical Transcription in San Francisco where I lived with my aunt and uncle while my dad finished his tour in Spain.
Mark (as he stuffs a cupcake in his mouth): Wow, Spain. I'd love to go there. So your dad's in the Air Force?
Dora: Yeah, he's a Master Sergeant and works over at ATC. I spent 3 years in Spain before I graduated high school and came back to the States to go to school.
Mark: Wow, far out.
(Suddenly Mark looks at his watch)
Mark: Oh man, I almost forgot, I have a dentist appointment in fifteen minutes. I gotta run.
Dora (giggling): Well, you may want to get there a little early and brush your teeth. You have chocolate cup cake all over them. (She hands him a napkin laying on the table in front of them)
Mark (extremely embarassed, as he wipes his mouth and chin with the napkin): Thanks, wouldn't want to tick off the dentist--they're officers. (Mark stands to leave and extends his hand to Dora). So...uh... my name's Mark.
Dora: (as she shakes his hand) I'm Dora
Dora: (smiling) No, Dora. D-O-R-A. (she finally withdraws her hand from his)
Mark (his thoughts are heard): God, what a beautiful smile.
Mark: Far out, what a pretty name. I've never met anyone named Dora.
Dora: Well, I guess I'm the first, huh? You better get going to the dentist Mark.
Mark: (staring intently at Dora): What? Oh yeah, I better go. Well... uh... I guess I'll see you around Micro!
Dora: Yes you will. Bye.
POSTSCRIPT SUMMARY: Mark and Dora spoke to each other often at work after this meeting. Two weeks later they met at the AFMPC Fall Outing Picnic and Mark finally worked up the nerve to ask Dora to slow dance. The song--"their song"--was "You're My Everything" by Santa Esmerelda. At the end of the dance, Mark kissed Dora while his buddies cheered on the sidelines. The date was October 26, 1979. Twelve days later, Mark proposed to Dora. They were married January 25, 1980.
Are you romantic? Sentimental? A sensitive 90's type? Here's your chance to prove it... send a FREE virtual bouquet of flowers to Mark and Dora