“I don’t like to go to showers,” I (the introvert who, though I may enjoy them, am exhausted by parties and gatherings) told this man I’d known for 64 days and seen a dozen times.
”You’ll have to go to showers when we get married,” he said, touching the end of my nose gently.
“You haven’t asked me to marry you,” I said with breath that was stuck somewhere in my lungs, refusing to come out.
”I know,” he said, then sat back.
<Insert awkward moments.>
”Will you?” he asked after what seemed like hours, weeks, eons. “Will you marry me?”
”YES!” I said on the way to throwing my arms around his neck. It was the easiest, most confident and sure yes I’d ever uttered. “I sure will marry you.”
Later that night, we moved from the mid-century modern one piece L-shaped blue nubby fabric covered sofa with a chunky blue, green, and black resin cylindrical lamp hanging from a gold chain over the teak end table built onto the sofa (Oh how I wish I still had that sofa and lamp!) to the wooden yard swing hanging in the red dirt
yard. The air was cool and quiet. So were we. Keeping the swing moving in a slow sultry back and forth, back and forth, back and forth movement fell to him because my feet wouldn’t touch the ground.
With one arm around me and one hand on the swing chain, he said, “Let’s not tell anybody about our engagement just yet,” something I readily agreed to. Was his question an April Fool’s joke? Was my answer an April Fool’s joke? We’d sleep on it and have the final answer tomorrow.
As the sun stretched open the next day, my phone rang. It was Andy asking if I still wanted to marry him, and my answer was an exact replica of the night before: “Yes, I sure will marry you!”
That proposal happened 50 years ago tonight at my parents’ house. I can’t speak for The Engineer, but I can tell you with absolutely and enthusiastic certainty that I like the answer I gave then, and I’d give it by way of exact quote again today.
(The above photo was taken 6 months later.)
To hear me telling the story in my own voice, here you go . . .