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Tuesday, January 30, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Erik Lacitis

Lovely Place -- This Happy Couple Really Enjoys Visiting Tukwila

Debby woke up to find this note from her husband. It said, ``Good morning my sweet love!! I will be thinking about you all day!! I love you!!!!!!! All my love, Rex.''

Maybe not great literary stuff. Still, I'd guess many of you wives and girlfriends out there wouldn't mind such a note with your coffee.

So today's column is really about romance, and keeping the flame alive, although for weeks I had qualms about writing it.

That's because . . . well, let's begin at the beginning. In all my years of writing a column, I had never received such a phone call.

Debby Allen, 29, a technician at Seattle Center, phoned in December about another column I wrote, which quoted a national marketing expert as saying that the average American woman gained six pounds last year. In these less casual, more stressful times, food was substituting for sex.

A week later Debby, a newlywed of nearly a year, called. ``I'd like to disagree with that. I haven't gained any weight,'' she said. ``But then I'm getting plenty of sex with my husband. We started keeping track in the middle of April. On New Year's Eve we're hoping to go for 500 times.''

I'll save you the time. I've got a calculator right here. It averages out to 1.83 times a day. Debby said that in practice, they - if you don't mind, from now on we'll use the term ``visiting Tukwila'' - the couple sometimes visited Tukwila six times in one day.

Neither Debby nor Rex, 37, a city engineering inspector, minded having their name in the paper. As Debby said, ``There are worse things we could do.''

The weeks went by. On a regular basis, Debby cheerfully called with updates. I know that visiting Tukwila can be talked about in offensive terms.

That wasn't the case with Debby and Rex. They simply were innocently happy about all these visits to Tukwila. On New Year's Eve, the couple reached their 500 goal. This year, their goal is 750.

I asked to meet them. I just wanted to see what they looked like. Debby and Rex are your everyday, average couple in appearance.

They brought along a calendar. On each day, they had notched how many times they had visited Tukwila along with codes they said they'd rather keep private. On only a couple days were there no notches.

It wasn't visiting Tukwila that we spent much time talking about, however. I also asked them to give tips to all you couples with lackluster night lives.

You know what I'm talking about, Mr. and Ms. Frenzied Professional.

Work, work, work. Come home. Order takeout. Watch TV. Lot of fun, uh? You'd be ecstatic if you visited Tukwila one-tenth as much as Debby and Rex.

Here is what the couple told me about their Tukwila secrets, which even by newlywed standards are astounding. However corny it might sound, they show each other they still care.

They left with me a bundle of daily notes they leave each other:

``I love everything about you. I love your eyes. I love the way you listen to me. I love it when you pretend not to notice when I do something dumb.''

Or: ``I'm glad you're home, my gorgeous husband.'' ``Welcome - come in - take your clothes off and warm up on me. . . . Thank you for dinner. Thank you for marrying me. Thank you for loving me.''

They show their care in other ways, too. When Rex has worked late, Debby has brought down a homemade dinner and flowers for him. When Debby has been having a tough day at work, Rex has shown up with Belgian waffles to cheer her up.

They set each Thursday night aside to go out to dinner or someplace special. They hardly watch TV, preferring instead to be with each other.

I'll bet you didn't think a column about doing it 500 times would mention sex so little.

But since you wondered: When they visit Tukwila six times - usually on weekends - how do they feel the next morning?

``You're tired,'' Debby said, ``but not like after a long day at work. It's a pleasant tired. The whole world has a soft, fuzzy focus. Know what I'm talking about?''

Visiting Tukwila six times? I think lots of us wish we knew what you're talking about, Debby.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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