Saturday, February 11, 2006

An Unromantic Story

I liked being a feral husband. I had returned to the wild and an eighth inch of dust on the furniture didn’t bother me. I loved waking up by myself with a sense of excitement and anticipation. I woke up to my day and could do anything I wanted whenever I wanted in any way I wanted. I didn’t have to discuss anything with anyone. I enjoyed travel and one spring day I planned my summer and purchased fifteen plane tickets. Life was wonderful. Sometimes a little lonely, but wonderful.

Then it happened. She came into my office one day and said “You walk every evening. Can I walk with you?” Being somewhat naïve, I said yes. Over the next few weeks I learned the truth of ‘hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.’ When her anger kicked in I had trouble keeping up. My legs ached, my lungs burned. I listened as she vented. I listened because I was too exhausted to walk at that pace and talk at the same time.

The days turned to weeks then to months then to years. As she expressed sadness at the loss of home and family I encouraged her to make one more effort not expecting her to actually do it. She phoned her ex and made an unsuccessful effort. When she told me about the phone call, I concealed my fear. Not long after that, she heard that he had remarried. I felt sorrow for her but also a sense of relief.

We continued to spend time together. We met for breakfast, had supper at one or the other’s apartment and began to watch “our shows”. I am no longer naïve. When a woman uses the phrase “our show” then it’s serious whether he knows it or not. Finally, it got to the point that each evening she would set the coffee timer for breakfast, turn off the TV, open the door and put me out.

We had discussed marriage but I always drug my feet. I liked my time alone. I enjoyed being in control of my life. Finally, I knew that I couldn’t imagine not being with her. I decided to ask, not discuss marriage but ask, her to marry. This was a big step and I wanted it to be on a memorable occasion. Sure, anyone can rent a limo, make reservations at a classy restaurant, etc, etc. I didn’t want it to be artificial but I wanted it to be special and memorable so I began watching for the right occasion.

One weekend, June I think, we went camping in Caprock Canyon on a Friday night. I took an old, large tent since we would be in an organized campground and we would be camping close to the truck. The tent needed some maintenance like sealing the seams but it rarely rains.

On Saturday morning, about 6:30, it began to rain. It wasn’t a gentle rain but a torrent. No, the tent didn’t begin leaking. It was more like a stream. As we pulled the sleeping bags away from the river running across the floor of the tent and listened to the thunder and the rain beating on the tent, I knew, I just instinctively knew, this was the memorable moment that I had been waiting for. I pulled her close – because the stream of water had changed course – gazed into her eyes and said …. Well, I guess you know what I said.

Her reaction was swift. She jumped up, began packing things in the rain. I tried to assure her that the jewelry stores weren’t open yet and that I didn’t think there was a shortage on engagement rings. By noon, under cloudy skies, we were in Lubbock, Texas and the jewelers were smiling.

As they say, the rest is history.

Julie is more than my best friend. Truly, I can’t imagine life without her. There are millions of women in the world but there’s no one else with whom I want to spend the rest of my life and there’s no one else to whom I want to say “I love you”.


Blogger Larry Clayton said...

Very refreshing post, Paul. I must say that I considered the opposite reaction of your 'friend' to the tenty downpour.

Years ago our sociology professor, talking about the subject of marriage advised us to take a prospective mate to the edge of a lake-- and push her in. I never tried it!

2/11/2006 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger ellie said...

I'd love to hear your wife's version of this story.

2/11/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gaye said...

I love the fact that she jumped up; started to pack; and ya'll made it to the jewelry store by afternoon---she's my kinda gal!!! Really sweet Paul--and yes; it was a very ROMANTIC story...

2/11/2006 07:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading this. I love the way you expressed it.

2/11/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger Dale said...

A delightful tale. I'm still smiling.

2/12/2006 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just because I'm a guy, but I don't find that unromantic at all. /AC

2/12/2006 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Life indeed is sweet, my friend, when the woman that you love also loves you.

Well told.

2/12/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I proposed to mine during a karaoke show. I wish I could have done it your way.

2/12/2006 10:49:00 AM  

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