Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Seven Calamine Free Years

Seven years ago Chris and I got married.

We met in college, and though we moved in together after a couple of years, at the time I was too young to want to be married to anyone. Chris finished college, I finished college, he got into graduate school, I didn't have a job and decided to go to Chicago with him. He started school, then I did. After grad school, I got a job that included a fair amount of travel. In early spring 1997, I went to New Mexico for a couple of weeks. Rather than fly home for the weekend I decided to check out Santa Fe. For once I treated myself well. I stayed at a bed and breakfast outside of town, watched it snow in the desert, visited a foundry, got a massage, hiked and ate really well. Late on Saturday afternoon I started thinking about what a perfect weekend I was having. I thought about Chris, about the fact that I would be enjoying myself even more if he was there with me. I realized that I felt this way much of the time, and decided this was a good reason to marry him.


Chris was in Chicago, I was in Santa Fe. I was going to be there for another few days, but I could not wait to tell him that I wanted to marry him. I didn't want to do it by phone, which seemed somehow awkward and impersonal. I decided to send him a postcard. It read:

"I love you and I want to be with you. Will you marry me?"


Sending the postcard on Saturday afternoon, I figured Chris would get the postcard on Tuesday or Wednesday. I imagined what it would be like when he picked me up at the airport Wednesday night. We'd hug and kiss and he'd tell me he loved me too and that he wanted to marry me. I finished the weekend in a haze, and concluded my work in Santa Fe excited to see Chris at O'Hare.

When I got off the airplane, Chris was there to greet me. We did kiss and hug, but he didn't say anything about the postcard, so I decided to wait and see what happened. We talked like two people in love who have not seen each other for more than a week. We said how happy we were that I was back, we talked about my trip, and his students and the bbq that he'd had with our neighbors. But he never said anything about my postcard. That's when it dawned on me that my whole plan had relied on a very weak link, the Chicago Post Office. I finally asked if he'd gotten my post card.

"What post card?"

So rather than fess up about my weekend epiphany or the post card or my desire to get married, I waited. The card showed up the next day. When I got home, I picked up the mail on the way in to the apartment.

"There's a postcard here for you."

He read the card I'd handed him, and then smiled up at me.

"I love you too, and of course I will marry you!"

Then we kissed and hugged like I'd imagined we would at the airport. But it was better, because there were no boarding announcements or W.E. Smith stands, just the two of us in our perfect little apartment. We didn't get married until a year and a half later, but when we did that was wonderful too. And though I sometimes get frustrated or upset with Chris or our relationship or my life, I never wonder if I did the right thing. Well, I do kind of wish I'd sent the message next day air, but other than that I know that I made a wonderful choice. Because I was right, everything is better when he is there with me.

21 comments:

  1. Happy anniversary right back atcha, Nonlinear Girl!

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  2. Nonsideburnguy8/01/2006 10:15 AM

    I'm getting all misty-eyed! What a great story...Congrats!

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  3. So sweet. Great marriages deserve much celebration. Happy anniversary!

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  4. Awwww, that is so sweet!!

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  5. *sniffle*

    That's just lovely. I am having a moment for you.

    Happy anniversary!

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  6. what a great story! i love great "how we got engaged" stories. thanks for sharing. and happy anniversary.

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  7. *wearing big, stupid grin*

    that's fabulous. just faaaabulous. what a lovely piece.

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  8. Sooooo lovely. Happy anniversary!!!! (late, but forgive me, I was sleeping yesterday and slow on blog-cruising)

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  9. Awww...very sweet. I loved that story. Happy belated anniversary to both of you!

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  10. I loved this story! My husband and I have been married almost 8 years, but we also dated for 8 years! I came to a very similar realization one day. Life is just better with him by my side.

    Great post!

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  11. I've got to chime in and say indeed what a sweet, sweet story. Happy belated annivesary to you, and congratulations to seven years of wedded bliss!

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  12. What a great story to share! Congrats. LOVED the clever title- it took me a minute but I got it!

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  13. beautiful story. I love a) that you asked him, and b) that you did it on a postcard. awesome.

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  14. Happy late Anniversary! Hope you two shared lots of smooches!

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  15. Happy anniversary! What a great story :)

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  16. I LOVE this story! So cute!
    I was totally going to do the proposing too, but Misterpie beat me to it. Good for you!

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  17. How sweet! I love that story. If it would have been Midway airport, it would have been more disappointing, but it's nice that O'hare isn't your ... spot? I dunno. Love this story.

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