Monday, November 19, 2012

35 Years and (Grace) Holding

She said tell Timmy 'hello'. His old girl-friend, my college years friend, reacquainted on facebook.

What do you want me to tell her back? I asked my husband, half-asleep, his head on the pillow.

Grunt. Lights out.

When you've been married this long,  you learn not to take grunts personally. Nor does the grunt mean an answer isn't arriving in the morning.

What a great epicurean experience we had that evening! From Szechuan calamari appetizers to decadent ice cream sandwich squares, rolled in nuts and chocolate chips,  dipped in vanilla sauce, celebrating our 35th anniversary. This kind of 'heavy partying' after a long day at church was about all we could take before rolling over to sleep. 

The next day in the car the answer came.

 I don't know why these beautiful conversations take place in the uninspiring setting of an auto. I drive a plain minivan, for Pete's sake.

It would have been so much more romantic said the balmy night before, by the patio fire pit, under the sparkling Florida stars, at Fort Lauderdale's ultra-trendy restaurant: YOLO. That's the name, You Only Live Once.

Now that I think about it, my husband proposed to me in a station wagon!

Why he hadn't done it at the regally charming Queen Mary ship we had just eaten dinner at, I'll never know. But he asked for my hand as he dropped me off at home. On top of it all, I said yes!

And here we were again,
                                                    sitting in the car before work,
                                                                                           and he is waxing poetic about why he married me

And I am crying.

So what if his timing is off a bit!

"I'm not sure what to say back to the old girlfriend, (3000 miles away)", he said. It's a little awkward.

She was drop-dead beautiful with a tender heart. Smart and warm.

I was looking for a loyal woman, he continued,  and wasn't sure about her. Her mom had one of those open marriage arrangments. But her dad was the faithful husband to the end, kind of like Hosea in the Old Testament.

Tim said he was fearful she would favor her mom's ways...He never kissed her for that reason, never advanced the relationship, so they remained friends only.

"But you", my sweet husband said to me, "when I met you I could tell you were the loyal type. Just by the way you carried yourself; standing out among the flighty, party girls.

 I kissed you on our first date,  right away to stake my claim.
 You were marriage material."

Another smooch in the parking lot sent me on my way,  soggy-eyed and so loved
on this our anniversary.

I can't remember what he told me to reply to the girlfriend. And it doesn't matter anymore.

35 years later and (grace) still holding.

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