Tag: marriage

47 Years Ago Today

Me, 10 days before meeting The Engineer

47 years ago today, The Engineer asked me to spend the rest of my life with  him. I’d been invited to a wedding shower and was voicing my reluctant enthusiasm about the prospect of attending. He tapped my nose with one finger and said, “You know, when we get married, you’ll have to go to wedding showers.”

“But you haven’t asked me,” I managed to blurt despite the somersaults of my heart.

Silence, 2, 3, 4 . . . then  “Well, will you?”

”Will I what?” I said, turning to look him squarely face-to-face. “If you want me to marry you, you’ll have to be clear in your proposal. I request and require clarity so there’s no misunderstanding.”

He slid off the sofa, took to one knee, held my hands while looking me straight in the irises and asked, ”Will you marry me?”

”I sure will!” I said on my way to planting a big fat kiss on his mouth.

Before he left that night, we sat outside in the swing, quietly reflecting on what happened earlier. “Let’s not tell anybody just yet,” he suggested – an idea with which I fully agreed. We both wanted to sleep on it, it turns out, to be quite sure in the light of day, and besides, it was April Fool’s Day, after all.

We met on Saturday, January 27, 1973
became engaged on April 1, 1973
said “You bet I will” (a.k.a. got married_ on July 31, 1973 – six months after we met.

It all happened quite fast, our togetherness, and I haven’t regretted my decision once (although if I knew then what I know today on Day 21 of The Great Sheltering-in-Place Adventure, I’d’ve asked him to study hairdressing on the side).

46 Years and Counting!

man carries woman in wedding dress out of church

Selfies
GPS
Personal computers
Mobile phones
Credit cards
Drive-thru pharmacies
Online shopping
Social media
Blogs
Internet
Digital books
Teslas
Insulin pumps
Microwaves
Water dispensers in refrigerators
High speed copy machines
Electric scissors
Serger sewing machiens
Netflix
Uber and Lyft
“Smart” home gizmos
Air
Dirt
Bricks

So many things are now part of our everyday lives that didn’t exist 46 years ago when The Engineer (a.k.a. Andy) and I met at the altar and said “Oh hell yes, we will!” So much  has changed. Shoot, even our love has changed since that Tuesday night, 31 July 1973. But there’s one thing that hasn’t changed a bit in 46 years: my gratitude to the Sweet Spirit of Surprise for introducing me to Andy; to my Bones for having the good sense to know a good man from the get-go and being fearless in marrying him 6 months after we met; and to Andy because after this long, with so much water still flowing under the bridge, gratitude and love are quite interwoven and often indistinguishable.

We’re off for a play day now. Thanks for sharing the decades of (mostly) joy with us.

woman and man standing on beach at sunset

(Parts of) our love story in previous anniversary posts:
Love with 42 Years on the Odometer

The “Re” Nobody Tells You About

40 Years Through the OUR Glass

39 Years of Togetherness

Marking Time

36 Years and Counting

woman in red and man in blue stand before a black quilt with marks stitched in off white thread

The “Re” Nobody Tells You About

Out1

I married a man
who developed a strong, solid good
reputation in his career field
for being a man
of integrity,
a man who keeps his word,
a man who is patient
a man who understands that
everybody at the table needs to make money.

I married a man
who, despite building an impressive career,
never missed a soccer game
or a stage performance
or a parents’ night.

I married a man
who enjoys cooking
(and not just on the grill)
and grocery shopping
(except during The Season)
and tending a garden
(when the crows leave him enough to tend).

I married a man
who literally swept me into his arms
and carried me out of the church
because the car that hit me six weeks before
broke my knee.
A man continues to
sweep me off my feet
in ways large
and small.

In in the past 41 years,
I’ve married this man many times over,
only once
when we stood in front of a group of people,
repeating the words of a preacher I never particularly liked.
Every other time
the vows have been quiet, private vows
of laughter
of hand-holding
of listening
of sharing a look
of sharing the look
of being quiet
of staying.
Because in 41 years of togetherness,
you learn that
marriage is a series of re-marriages.

JeanneAndyPreWeddingResized

Sands Through the OURglass

Out1

Forty years ago, I publicly promised to spend the rest of my life with this one man named Andy – a man I’d known a scant six months at the time. I’m still married to him though we don’t look the same and neither does our marriage . . .

Then we vowed to stay with each other in sickness and in health with only some romanticized notion of what that meant based on movies we’d seen and books we’d read. Now after his stent a few years ago and my recent bout with staph infection, we have a clearer idea of what that means, the patience it requires, the commitment is demands.

Then we spent a lot of energy finding ways to be together. Now that we’re together 24/7, we find ways to build some space in our togetherness – even if it’s only agreeing to work on our separate projects for three hours then meet in the kitchen at noon for lunch.

Then we looked forward to the weekends for the romps and recess they offered. Now that the structure provided by careers and children is gone, we create our own weekends by doing something outside the normal routine, even if it’s simply dropping the dog off at the spa then taking ourselves on a walk through the local village green to look at the new art sculptures on display or taking a leisurely trip to the local museum.

Then we were high on the thrill of discovering everything we could about each other. Now we deliberately find ways to lay out the welcome mat for surprise in general, even if it’s something as simple attending an art lecture on the Spiritual Language of Paintings and practicing our new vocabulary and pondering our new perspectives over pizza afterwards.

Then we held hands everywhere we went.
We still do.

Then we laughed as often as possible.
We still do.

Then we made it a point to argue and disagree in ways that don’t require follow-up apologies.
We still do.

Then we knew we’d spend the rest of our life together.
We still do, though we now know that forever isn’t infinite, and that makes all the difference in the world.

JeanneAndy07319173framed

a wish, a big, fat, juicy wish

Treetreasure2

once upon a decade
i wanted him to leap onto his white steed
grab his longest sharpest sword
and gallop off
to lop off the
ugly heads of the man who raped me
and the man who abused me.

in another decade,
i wanted him to say something
anything,
though it had to be anger.
he had to show me
with his words and his tone
and his venom
that he understood
as best he could,
that he hurt for me,
with me.

and now
after 40 years of togetherness
i am content
to have him quietly by my side
saying “you better get started”
to every idea that comes through
my bones.
to have him gently kiss me every night
EVERY night, i tell you.
to have him say the words “i love you”
in more ways than i can count.

it’s not our anniversary.
i usually only write about him on the day we met
or the day we married.
then again
maybe it is an anniversary of sorts.
an anniversary of recognizing
of setting aside
without ever forgetting, mind you.
of publicly declaring
that this man called andy
is number one
and takes up more space in my life than the other despicable men
will claim ever again.

[ ::: ]

i can’t wish it all away for jane doe
it happened
period.
i can’t wish her to set it aside,
this will be with her every hour of every day
of her life.
the best i can do is wish her a husband who may
never be able to talk with her about it
because he can’t fathom how men could
commit these vile acts;
a husband who may squirm when she writes or talks about this,
something she simply must do every now ‘n then;
a husband who might cringe when she yells at the tv
because he can’t go to the store
and buy something to fix,
to repair
what happened to her.

i can
and do
however
wish for her a husband
who,
even after 40 years of togetherness,
takes the dog for a walk and
returns bearing
a lacy leaf
or a heart-shaped rock
or a piece of wood
he thought she would like.

What 39 Years of Togetherness Looks Like

Out1

Our togetherness is the same.
Our togetherness is different.

We’ve done things that were unbelievably fun. We’ve done things that were unbelievably sad . . . and we’ve held hands through it all.

We’ve done things together, we’ve done things solo, and we make it a point to never run off and outgrown one another.

See how he swooped me off my feet and carried me out of the church? That’s because I’d been hit by a car while crossing the street about six weeks before the wedding. The cast came off less than a week before we said “I will. I surely will,” and I was still on crutches. I didn’t know he was going to do that, but I’m sure glad he did cause if he hadn’t, we’d still be making our way out.

He still crunches ice (something that drives me up the wall), but I just put a finger in the ear closest to him and wonder to myself how one little ole bitty piece of ice can possibly pack that much crunch time. And what do I do that drives him crazy? Not a damn thing. I can’t believe you asked.

I help him clean up when he drops or spills something (even though I sometimes roll my eyes on the inside). He cheers when I get another diploma (even though he thinks the money could’ve been better invested) cause we have this unspoken agreement that each one of us is about as perfect as we can stand and not a drop more, so we cut each other some slack and call it endearing quirkiness.

I ride with him to Lowe’s, he drives me to the fabric store just so we can be together.

Now that I’m seriously writing my book and he’s home 24/7, he’s taken over most of the cooking and grocery shopping, something I’ve always despised doing and he has never really minded.

We recently bought a boat that takes us around the lake twice in less than half the time we used to spend making one lap around in the pontoon boat. We wanted sport and speed this time because we’re much younger now.

I may be a bit more vocal and he may take a few more meds, but we still laugh and hug and hold hands and kiss. We still ask each other questions and listen to the answers. We tell each other what intrigues us, what tickles us, what puzzles us. We overlook the bad and point out the good. We ask each other for help, though sometimes we don’t wait for the asking to step in and assist.

Mostly, though, we laugh. We laugh a lot. We laugh at each other (eventually), and we laugh at ourselves. We laugh when things take a funny bounce, we laugh when things are easy peasy. Life is funny, and we feast on that.

By now, we’ve known each other 39 years instead of the scant 62 days we knew each other before we became engaged, and the feelings that first connected us remain intact – wizened and weathered, perhaps, but enduring despite it all.

He continues to say that I was the best he could do with the car he was driving at the time. And I still say he was the best I could do with the boobs I had at the time.

to be continued . . .