An Incredible But True Story

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary.  I’ve known my husband for five years and 29 days. (Quick, do the math!) Yup, that’s right, we got married after knowing each other for just over four weeks. As we said to the officiant who performed our marriage ceremony in Las Vegas, “This isn’t as poorly considered as it might seem!”  Read and decide for yourself.  Or just laugh. . . .

Five years ago, I was single and looking for love on match.com.  Well, not love.  Looking for a dining companion who was not horrible, drunken, toothless, crazy or married to someone else.  I had been exchanging emails with several different gentlemen, among them this guy named John.  He claimed that he had previously contacted me (I’d been single for a while) and I never wrote back.  In January 2005, he contacted me (again?) and we arranged to call and then meet for dinner on Tuesday, January 25.

On Sunday, January 23, a major blizzard hit the east coast.  The city was paralyzed.  School was canceled Monday and then Tuesday.  John didn’t cancel and so I braved the snow to meet him. I sat in a nearly deserted bar and waited for him.  As I sipped my second glass of wine and watched the news for further snow cancellations, I thought to myself, “I feel like I am waiting to meet my husband.”  Then, I finished that second glass and thought, “That is the single dumbest thing I have ever thought while waiting for a blind date.”

When he finally arrive 45 minutes late (he did call to apologize– remember, snow EVERYWHERE), I stood up and hugged him.  Why not– I was two glasses of wine into it at that point.

We had dinner. I told him, among other things, that I was committed to becoming a parent in the short-term and if that was an issue for him, that was fine and I wouldn’t hold it against him.  I’d been on a lot of first dates and I was tired of playing the game.  I figured, why not be exactly who I was.  If anyone was scared off, no more loss to me than if they didn’t like my eye color or my height or the fact that I always ordered dessert but rarely ate bread (one blind date did comment on that.)

The wait staff was clearly tired of waiting on just us, so John walked me back to the train and said that he’s like to see me again.  I said that it would be lovely and got on the subway, thinking, “He’s never going to call.”  I looked back and he was still looking.

We went on a second date the following Saturday. As we walked past a mirror, I thought, “We look right together.”

I know, it kind of makes me want to gag a little, too.

On our third date, Sunday, we watched a movie at my house.  The next day, we went and saw “A Streetcar Named Desire” and then had dinner. We gave the waiter our drink orders and I decided to lay it all on the table.

“I have this theory.”

John nodded.

“I figure, if you can successfully have dinner with someone four times, you might as well get married because that marriage has as much of a chance as any other, you know, since 50% of all marriage end up in divorce.  People get their expectations all out of control and don’t just leap and commit and try.”

At this critical juncture, the waiter brought our drinks.  John took a sip of his martini and said, “Have we had dinner four times yet?”

“No, just three, so you’re still safe.”

But he asked me out again, and again and we pretty much spent every evening together after that.

February break was coming up and I mentioned that we should go away somewhere. Jokingly, we talked about going to Vegas and getting married. At some point, it stopped being a joke.

I remember talking with my friend Lucy, asking how she knew that she would marry her husband.  I don’t remember exactly what she told me, but I knew at that point that I didn’t want to date John.  I just wanted to be married to him and start our life together.

Wow, this is kind of sappy, huh?

John and I flew to Vegas on a Tuesday, neither of us completely convinced that we were really going to do it. I did bring a dress– a barely off-white satin, tea length, spaghetti straps, sweetheart neckline with a lace-up back.  It was the dress that I had always pictured myself being married in, ever since I was a teenager.  I had found it on the sample rack when I was shopping with a friend for her wedding dress and bought it and let it hang in my closet for years.

We got up Wednesday morning, ate breakfast, got the license at the courthouse.  Advertised on a bus stop was the Little Chapel of the West, a historical landmark.  That pleased John.  We headed off to book the chapel and buy rings. We had a cocktail.  I said, “Are you sure?  It’s okay if you don’t want to.”  John said, “Let’s do it.”

So we did.  And then we called and told our friends and my parents.  My mom claims my father went to bed for three days.  John’s sister just happened to call him the next morning and when he told her that he was in Vegas, she laughed and said, “What are you doing– getting married?”

No one expected this would work.  And it hasn’t all been ice cream and flowers, but we leapt and believed and I have the life I have today because of John and I am grateful.

Happy Anniversary.

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Comments

  • Jane  On February 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Congratulations! What a wonderful story. My husband and I will celebrate 16 years married in May, on Valentines day we celebrated 17 years together.

    We meet on Valentines, I lived 8 hours away from him, I was visiting a freind and met him along the way. We spent a couple of days together, I went home, he called, we talked for hours. I kept shaking my head, the next weekend I drove up to surprise him, and we decided to move in together. I quit my job and we moved in together on Easter Sunday.

    We have three beautiful boys, fight like mad and love like crazy. When it is right it is right. I wish you many, many, many more years of happiness.

  • laurelgrady  On February 24, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    I had never heard the whole story before…how beautiful. I think no matter how attentively you have been looking for love, it always surprises and delights you when it arrives. And having met John, I like this story even more 🙂 Happy Anniversary.

    • Kristin  On February 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm

      It’s no meeting on an alien ship after being abducted from an Elvis lookalike convention, but it’s still okay. 🙂

  • Marisa  On February 24, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    You know that I am unabashed about my luurve of love. You don’t know (or remember) that you gave me the first romance novel I ever read. We were young. It is a guilty pleasure I enjoy to this day.

    Happy anniversary. Thank you for sharing your own love story.

  • Zoe  On March 2, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I so remember the evening you told me that you guys had gotten married in Vegas….don’t tell anyone you said…we were at the Playhouse.

    I cannot believe it has already been five years….the ups and downs, but always… the love.

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