Do you want to know about my first date with The Man of Science?
I remember it well, because he teases me about it constantly. It was a blind date, and we’d arranged to take our dogs for a walk in a park near my apartment. I was weirdly nervous. My hair wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do. When he knocked on the door I rushed to answer it.
“Jennifer?” He asked. He was wearing boots with no laces in them and full-length, torn wool coat covered in dog hair. He had a toque pulled over his head at a strange angle.
My first thought, “Well, this isn’t going anywhere.”
When he bugs me about that now, I try to defend myself. “You looked like acrazy person,” I tell him.
The thing was, we had a really great time. It only took us about 20 minutes to get past the awkward, small-talk portion of the date. After the walk we dropped the dogs off at our respective homes and went out for beer and french fries. On his way to pay the bill he walked past me and put his hand on my shoulder. It was nice. After that he drove me home and walked me to the door of my apartment.
“So, uh, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to be dating anyone, but you know, I really like you and I’d like to see you again, Susan.”
Luckily he corrected himself quickly.
When I went inside, my roommate Pam asked me how the date had gone.
“I think I’m going to marry this guy,” I said. She looked surprised. I felt a bit shocked myself.
“Really? Why?” she asked.
“He’s just so… reasonable.”
It sounds like an underwhelming thing to say, and I meant it to be so much more than that. I meant that he was responsible and respectful. That he was smart and interesting. That he paid attention to what I was saying when I talked and that he had his shit together. Not to mention, under the dog hair and the crooked hat, he was damn cute.
So, three years and a few months later, just this past Saturday, we went out to celebrate my birthday at Zen Kitchen. We chatted and laughed through dinner, just like we usually do. And then, with dessert, came something else.
A sapphire ring on a plate in front of me. The next five minutes are a bit of a blur. You know that laugh-cry thing? Does that happen to you? I think it’s from the same neighbourhood as hyperventilating. And for once in my life I had no handkerchief with me.
The Man of Science put the ring on my finger and asked if I’d marry him. I stopped laugh-crying long enough to say yes.
“Good,” he said, “Because we’re leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow.”
I’ve been pretty clear all along that if we were to get married I wanted to elope. The thought of planning a wedding gave me hives, and I’d seen too many friends get stressed out and watched it take some of the joy out of a day meant to be so fun and amazing. Since having a big wedding didn’t matter to me I wanted to avoid all of that stress. And the craziness of planning it all. But even an elopement takes planning, doesn’t it?
Not for me. The Man of Science planned it ALL. Keeping in mind my love of 1950’s and 60’s culture he found a chapel with a room decorated to look like an old style diner. He bought three different retro dresses for me to choose from. And shoes. And a little veil. And gloves. He booked an appointment for me to get my hair all done up like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And he rented a 1959 cherry red Cadillac convertible and drove us to the chapel in it. A very kind Elvis impersonator sang “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” while we walked down the aisle and then led us in our vows.
It was way more touching that I’d imagined. I don’t even know how to explain it except to say that big wedding or small, what is supposed to matter is the two people who are getting married. And looking at him while we said those vows was not goofy, or tacky, or funny. It was just wonderful. I’ve never felt so rightabout anything in my life.
Our friends and families were able to watch the whole thing on the internet while it was happening, which made them very happy. The congratulations came pouring in. It all made me feel so loved.
And so, I’m married. Ring on my finger and everything. We have two more days to “honeymoon” in Vegas before coming home.
I am a happy, happy girl.
Next post will be about food again, I promise.