Conversation with My Wife (40)
Waking up in bed with my bride-to-be, she’s staring at me with this huge grin on her face, and I do NOT freak out
We got engaged in my parents’ backyard, with my parents, sister Julie, brother-in-law Michael, and then two-month-old niece in attendance. The next morning I woke up and Deb was lying there, propped up on one arm, just looking at me. Not creepy at all.* So seventeen (closer to eighteen, now!) years later I ask my wonderful (albeit occasionally peculiar) wife:
ME: So what were you thinking when you were watching me like a crazed stalker?
DEB: I was thinking how happy I was. And how nice it was to be engaged again, when I never thought I would be. Well, I did know I would be, after the rehearsal,** but still I didn’t know exactly when and it was nice. I was just happy, lying there and looking at you while you slept. Although remember what Michael told me later?
DEB: He said I should have streeeeetched out a little bit (stretches her arms) and then “accidentally” popped you in the head. “OH! I’m sorry! Did I awaken you?… Hi! I’m engaged!” (grins manically)
*Okay, teensy bit creepy, looking back.
**Deb’s youngest niece and nephew got to know me not long after I started dating their aunt, and they approved of me. They were 9 and 5 at the time. Joelle, the oldest, decided (since these old people were taking forever to get things done) that I needed encouragement. So a couple weeks before Deb & I were going to Illinois to meet my parents (and pick up my grandmother’s engagement ring, unbeknownst to Deb, so that I could propose) Joelle cornered me and got in my face.
“Are you going to ask Aunt Debbie to marry you?”
“Well, honey, we have things to talk about, and I want her to meet my parents first, but—”
“Ask her now!”
“Joelle, first I wa—”
“Ask her now!”
“No, see, hon—”
“Ask her now!”
Nine-year-olds are stubborn, because they know they’ll outlive you. Fine.
“Okay, we can have a rehearsal.”
“JARID! GET OVER HERE! WE’RE HAVING A REHEARSAL!”
Jarid had no idea what a rehearsal was, but he loved his sister dearly so he came over and plopped himself next to her. Deb came over to see what was happening, and I explained we were having a rehearsal, purely for the benefit of her niece and nephew.
I did the knee thing in dramatic fashion, took Deb’s hand, and said [yes, I’d been practicing already]: “Will you be my friend, my companion, my partner, my lover, my future, my wife; for as long as you want me, for as long as you need me, for as long as we both shall live?”
I got a smile and a nod and maybe some glistening eyes from Deb.
I got silence from the peanut gallery. Huh? No applause? I look over and Joelle is puzzled. “Sooo…,” she says, “are you asking her to marry you?”
Well, duh, I… wait… crap… no, I never actually asked that, did I? Alright! Rehearsals, good for something after all!
That got corrected in the actual proposal, by the way.
***See, some things I’m supposed to remember because they were Very Important, and other things not so much. I couldn’t remember which this was.