|at a contra dance |
Questions from Ann on Marriage...
1. How did you meet your husband/wife?
I longed for a mate, and dated a long time, was engaged twice and had 5 men ask to marry me over the years, but turned them all away... I prayed for a mate and the message I got was "July"
Meanwhile I followed my heart in activities, did a lot of volunteer work, did theater, learned to paint, joined a cajun dance group... where one of the men asked me to go to a contra dance. That was new to me... I'd done ballet, tap, ballroom, and zydeco but contra? He was cute so I dressed up in a swirly skirt and belt of metallic hanging planets and drove to the local contra dance.
During the first dance, I noticed someone moving toward me down the line, the room blurred and he was in focus.
It was July 25th.
Contra dance is lovely... live music with a caller who sets out the moves for that dance that you and your partner do with each new couple along the line. Poor my current partner because I only had eyes for the guy in focus as he approached.
He came up to do the set moves and said quietly, "dance with me next dance?"
I answered of course... we married a year later.
2. How did you know he/she was “the one”?
I didn't pull away from him, or throw up roadblocks... I trusted him. I quickly decided that life would be better with him than without him, in fact we both quickly decided that.
He was working with NOAH flying in hurricanes with the Hurricane hunters so I got to see him every month or so when he came down from school. He flew me up to visit him. We talked each night, he sent lysianthus flowers to my door, and sent letter after letter. My dog loved him and the first time they met, she flipped over on her back for a tummy rub, something she seldom did.
3. How did he propose?
During one of those visits we were dressed for a Halloween event I was volunteering at, and were standing at the back door letting my dog go out once more before we drove to the event. He casually turned to me, in a very few words (he's an engineer and is paid by the word) asked if I would marry him.
"will you marry me?"
no build up, no fireworks, while the dog peed.
I smiled, then laughed a bit nervously and we went to the party. The next day he mentioned that I had not answered him... and I stopped laughing and said I assumed he was kidding. He said, "nope" Then I asked what he thought marriage was exactly.
A few weeks earlier he had asked what I wanted in a mate. I outlined many things... kindness, intelligence, reliability, a desire to do better, someone to read in bed with at night, someone I could tell anything to, someone I could trust to have my back as I had his... someone I had fun with.
Calmly he thoughtfully responded," I can do all that except have fun" seriously. I laughed," Well, I'll bring the fun, you bring the stability"
Of course there was more in our discussion to it, but that's the gist. I never answered, still thinking it over although I knew by then, he was the one for me.
The following day he asked again, and said, "well? shall we" and I said simply, jumping off the cliff of life into his arms, " yes"
He was in a doctoral program and decided he wanted work experience, so he graduated with his master's degree in May, moved down south to me, and we had a simple ceremony and reception in July, one day short of one year from meeting.
We went to the contra dance that evening, after the reception.
4. Do you have any favorite stories from your marriage or about your husband/wife?
we didn't have pet names except TS which could stand for too sweet or too silly or too something.
"okay, let's hit the road TS"
We developed a couple's secret language over the years, private jokes, regular arguments we could label as fight # 6. I learned not to ask an engineer does this make my butt look big, because he is factual. He learned I will tell him what I want, not to imagine he knows. I learned he needs a list for everything including gifts. He learned to find a good book to read when I was cranky. We both have a respect for the gifts the other brings to the table, and we both make each other laugh.
He is still a man of a few words, but a man of action. He takes care of me when I need it.
We laugh at dating shows where the couples say pretty words but have no idea of the real work of being married, or the real benefits. There is a lot of day to day decision making. A lot of ignoring of certain habits and of acknowledging of kind things being done. It's not always easy but mostly it is.
One of the most important things in a union is shared values, not shared hobbies. An agreement of what's important. We both strongly believe in the rights of living things including the environment, we both believe in checking out facts, in not wasting, in comfort and safety and beauty. We believe travel is refreshing, learning something daily is good, food should be wholesome fuel to run your body on as well as taste good. Old cars are okay as long as they run, dogs are our children,
that people should be allowed to express themselves but not at the expense of others.
That every right comes with a responsibility.
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