How It All Started
He couldn’t wait to go, and I couldn’t wait for him to leave.
A disagreement, a misunderstanding, and we had found ourselves in the middle of a “discussion.” The timing couldn’t have been worse. Michael had to leave on a five-day business trip before we could resolve things, and wouldn’t be back until early New Year’s Eve.
For just about all the years that Michael and I had been married, we spent virtually every New Year’s Eve privately and quietly at home together, staying awake just long enough to toast each other at midnight. However, it looked as though this year might have a bumpy start.
What we needed, when he returned home, was a way for us to refocus on what we like and love about each other and put the “discussion” behind us.
While he was away, I hit on an idea that would accomplish just that. I designed a game. Little did I know that would also change our lives.
Over the next few days, I wrote out game cards with questions that would invite us to talk about what attracts us to each other, and suggestions that would encourage us to playfully (and sometimes intimately) touch. Then I made a small game board that would literally bring us closer together.
Setting the Mood
On the afternoon Michael was due back, I went out for groceries, and along with food for a special dinner, came back with an armload of chrysanthemums, a bottle of champagne, candles, fresh strawberries (an out-of-season extravagance that seemed perfect for the occasion) and a large bag of M&M’s, his favorite candy.
I put wood and kindling in the fireplace, carefully arranged the flowers, placed candles around the room, and chilled the champagne. I had transformed the room.
I taped a note on the front door suggesting that he freshen up from his trip and meet me in the living room.
Meanwhile, I changed into something silky that makes me feel especially attractive. Then I lit the kindling and the candles, dimmed the lights, and put on soft jazz. When I was done, the setting seemed magical to me… I hoped that he would see it the same way.
On the one hand I was looking forward to coming home from the trip. On the other hand, I was also dreading it.
I didn’t want to face the unresolved tension if it were still there. I was worried that our usually intimate New Year’s celebration would be spoiled, until I read the note on the door (…meet me in the living room). Intrigued, I followed her instructions.
Barbara looked absolutely stunning sitting in the living room bathed in the glow of soft, flickering candlelight. The air was filled with the sweet aroma of flowers and the sound of my favorite saxophone music. Food and champagne were attractively arranged. It was clear that Barbara had gone to considerable effort to make this happen, and I thought how wonderful it is to be loved and appreciated this much. She did this all for me – for us!
And Barbara’s game…
She invited me to sit down on the rug with her in front of the fireplace. Her directions were simple – we each were to take a Wish Card (actually an index card) and write down a secret wish. “Something that can be fulfilled before the night is out,” she suggested. “I’ll do the same, and the winner will be granted his or her wish.”
We took turns drawing the game cards she’s prepared.
We played, laughed, talked, and touched. The “discussion” evaporated. And the experience we shared – intimate, intense, and moving – brought us closer together than ever before.
How that evening led to the popular romance game, An Enchanting Evening®.
When some friends asked about our New Year’s Eve, we told them about the game. They were intrigued and asked to borrow it.
The next day, at 7 in the morning, they phoned and went on and on about what a wonderful time they’d had playing the game.
And so we loaned out the homemade game to more friends and family – everyone who played, loved it! That’s when we began to see that we were on to something.
This became An Enchanting Evening®; and then led to our creating a collection of Romantic Entertainments and writing The Book of Love, Laughter and Romance.