We were dating for a few months when he said “elephant shoe” to me at a friend’s barbecue. I was lost and had no idea what it meant. So I nervously laughed it off. One of my friends overheard our conversation, shook his head and said, “He said, ‘I love you!’ ” The whole time he was smiling and looking at me. (But he did yell at my friend for ruining the moment.)
Postscript: It lasted two years. I left him because I thought he stopped loving me. It turns out, he never did. He continued to be my Superman and rock, even after the breakup.