The second time I did this I listed childhood memories, the third I focused on my high school years and this time I'm going to give you eight tidbits about my marriage. Pull up a chair.
1. Where did you meet your husband? We met during the Clarence Thomas hearings, if you remember that hallmark of American judicial embarrassment. Yes, we're probably the only couple in the world who can claim to have been brought together by Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. Biggest coincidence? Clarence Thomas was scheduled to speak at Andrew's graduation from law school though we never made it to the graduation but that's another story.
Okay I'm stretching things a bit, we did meet during the confirmation hearings but it was 1,000 miles away from Washington D.C. It was my senior year of college and I was visiting Andrew's apartment for the first time with my room mate and Andrew came running down the stairs, tying his tie to get ready for work. He turned on the t.v. and asked if anyone knew what had been happening with the hearings. Yes, one look at my handsome political science major and his effervescent Conservativism and I knew he was The One for Me.
2. What was the first thing you said to your husband? Okay maybe it wasn't quite that easy. Things didn't start off that smoothly. In fact, after he ran downstairs, turned on the t.v. and plopped himself in front of the screen to catch up on Clarence's trauma he looked up and noticed me and my room mate standing there. "You're really tall," he said. A genius that one.
Instantly I was impressed because, being six feet tall, that was the first time anyone had ever noticed that I was farther from the ground than the average woman (can you hear the sarcasm dripping?) I'd always been taught that to comment on a person's personal appearance was rude.
I'd never think of going up to someone and saying, "Wow, you're fat" or better yet, make an assumption about their hobbies based on their body type such as by saying, "You're really hefty there, you must be a sumo wrestler" or "You're pretty small and skinny, have you thought about becoming a jockey?" You wouldn't believe how many people over the years have asked if I play basketball. The comments had grown tiresome, especially since I was rather self-conscious about being so tall.
So you can bet that romance was in the air with this winning observation of his and I said very kindly, "And you're the first person to tell me that."
Hard to believe that with a beginning like that we ever got our Love Boat out of port, huh? Yes, it's just a testimony to the power of love--or of a hot tub.
3. Where was your first kiss? First date? Remember that hot tub comment? Sigh. Let's just say that we were sitting in the hot tub after hanging out all evening and he made his move. We had our first "official" date (up till then it had been a lot of informal socializing) a week later--at The Olive Garden.
We sat down at the table and the waiter handed us the menus. We opened them and after a minute or two Andrew asked me, "Uh, do you know what you're going to order?"
"Oh probably the chicken. Maybe the spaghetti, I don't know--why?"
"Well how much money have you got?"
Now thoroughly suspicious, I said, "I've got a few dollars, why?"
"Do you think you could cover the tip?"
"Uh, sure . . . "
If he'd known how many times over the next sixteen years he'd be teased about asking me to cover the tip on our first date I think he would have instead rolled up his sleeves and washed dishes. But don't worry, he's been a great investment.
4. Did you have a long or short courtship/engagement? It took us a while to get engaged. Mostly because I had told him that I'd never marry someone shorter than I was (yes, go ahead, call me shallow). He, however, took my statement as a personal challenge and from that day forward plotted how he would slowly, carefully, methodically and systematically break down my defenses until I was so madly in love that I'd give anything to get him to ask me to marry him. Oh he's good. Did I tell you he's an attorney?
5. Where did you get engaged? At LaVell Edwards stadium right there on the 50 yard line. The biggest score ever made in that stadium--though we were the only ones there at the time. Then we went out and celebrated at--you guessed it--The Olive Garden. He picked up the tab.
6. Where did you get married? In Littleton, Colorado which is a suburb of Denver. Andrew was from Colorado Springs so Denver was the best place for us. The morning of our wedding we put our things in the car and drove the hour and a half from The Springs to Littleton but it wasn't until I got dressed that I realized I'd forgot my wedding shoes, all I had was my black heels I'd worn up there. No shoes. And Andrew? He'd forgot to bring dark socks. So there we are getting our pictures taken and me with no shoes and him with white socks. We're a stylin' pair, let me tell you. Luckily my dress covered my faux pas and his tuxedo covered his--just don't look too closely at the wedding pictures. At least it was summer when we got married and not winter then I would have had problems.
7. How did the reception go? Great. I mean, we were married, we hardly noticed anything else. I think we showed up somewhere and shook a few people's hands and the details seemed extremely unimportant. Though I do remember one detail in the form of an ex-girlfriend who threw herself into Andrew's arms in the reception line to "congratulate" him. That was popular. "Back off lady, he's mine--you had your chance."
One thing though, when I get nervous I get sick to my stomach. Really sick. And being that it was my wedding day I was rather nervous--okay I was a Stumbling MASS of Anxiety and Nerves. But I was so worried about making myself sick and ruining the day that I was really concentrating on keeping my stomach in its proper place. Everything went smoothly, I didn't eat anything but I didn't get sick and was able to make it through the day with smiles and hugs. Shoeless yet happy.
No, I saved my heaving for the airplane. The next day we were up at 4 am to catch our plane to Dallas, from Dallas to Ft. Lauderdale, from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau, from Nassau to Eleuthra, from Eleuthra to Harbor Island by water taxi. I spent the ENTIRE Dallas-Ft. Lauderdale leg in the lavatory, begging for death. About the time the plane was ready to land I dragged myself down the aisle back to my seat to find Andrew talking to a little old couple in the seats behind ours. They were wrinkled and twinkly, the kind that must have been someone's favorite set of grandparents and Andrew smiled as I collapsed in the seat next to him.
"Dear, you don't look so good," the sweet little old lady said with a smile.
Andrew smiled a cheeky smile of his own and said, "She's not feeling so well. We got married yesterday."
The two of them said, "OH!" together and smiled like little school girls and did a giggle as I was wondering if there was anyone nearby who'd be willing to put me out of my misery. Nothing like having your insides ripped out unless it's having your insides ripped out and having the neighbors know it was your wedding night.
8. How was the honeymoon? Not bad, I mean you've heard our itinerary going down to the Bahamas and it was more of the same going back up to Anchorage for the second reception at my parents' home a week later. Nine planes total for the entire experience.
When we'd planned our honeymoon I'd accumulated Frequent Flyer tickets and we wanted to go as far as the miles would take us, so The Bahamas it was. We had visions of moonlit strolls on the beach, romantic rides by horseback with the surf pounding at our steeds' hooves, the scent of tropical blossoms wafting through the air.
Instead we arrived on Harbor Island (a total of three miles long and 20 feet wide) on Sunday. You recall I had been sick and had had nothing to eat for two days. I required sustenance. However, everyone on that dear, God-fearing island was in church. Every shop or stall was closed and there was nothing to eat on the entire island. Even the hotel restaurant was closed for the afternoon. We ended up walking toward town until we found a guy selling pineapple off the back of his pickup and we bought one and he chopped it up with his rusty machete for us. We ate like savages and it tasted wonderful.
The moonlit strolls never materialized. No one bothered to tell us novice travelers and city folk that when you're on an island in the middle of the ocean on a cloudy night it's dark. As is DARK. We went to the beach and couldn't see our feet and with only the sound of the waves and serial killers creeping towards us we got spooked and ran back to the bungalow and decided that was enough moonlit romance for us.
The horseback rides? Well there was a kid with two horses for rent and we mounted up with visions of galloping passion--though it was more of a heave than a mount because I'd never been on a horse before and required quite a bit of help. The nags were safe enough but no one ever mentioned how bouncy riding a horse is--someone really needs to invent a better shock-absorption system because you get your brains jarred out if you don't know what you're doing. I didn't know what I was doing. So instead of galloping flames of passion we had clopping, bouncing, brain-jarring marching guaranteed to make anyone watching double over in laughter. Oh yes, it was romantic.
So after five days we were ready to head back to civilization. We should have stayed at the Hyatt-Regency in Denver and enjoyed room service for five days.
So now that I've borne my soul about my wonderful 15 years of marriage are you ready to spill your guts? Whom shall I tag? How about . . .
An Ordinary Mom
A Happy Heart
I Love Flip Flops
If you'd care to play, the tag is yours.
Technorati tags: memes, motherhood, Alaska, marriage, The Bahamas