As I recall it, we had been dating for a while and on this particular evening we were seated in his kitchen, going over my bills for the past year. He was going to help me with my income tax - so far, so good.
It gets a bit fuzzy after that, but I seem to remember that the look on his face, as we got deeper into my current debt issues, was reminiscent of the look I had just seen on a face in an old movie. The face belonged to the captain of the Titanic, and he had just come to the realization of what he had hit, and what it meant.
Then my “thrifty” and over 40, knight in shining armor, was telling me, “We have to stop this spiraling debt!” I pressed the point a bit for clarification and, sure enough, he was actually asking me to marry him. Proposal takes on a whole new meaning when it’s stated so glibly.
I quite possibly have selective amnesia on this point but I seem to remember saying, “yes”, and that settled it. We were engaged. (Well, so much for acting like a lady and waiting for the truly romantic gesture).
It is now twenty years later and we still haven’t settled that first order of business. Not the 1987 income tax return, but the spiraling debt. Unfortunately, I seem to have taught him some of my bad financial habits, and what I have learned from him is “justification of expense”. (Aren’t men wonderfully adept at using nomenclature that absolves them from guilt? Phrases like “tax deductible”, or “cost effective” also come to mind.)
Beyond the early years of dating, falling in love and then making it final, together we have traveled a road that has, relationally, had it’s highs and lows.
When we married we were both old enough to know our own minds and occasionally we still use them. We have found that it clears the sinuses and also helps keep the spark of love alive. Humor is our weapon of choice to restore our equilibrium.
What does all this have to do with Valentines Day? Absolutely nothing, except that I feel blessed that we still have each other to pick on and 20 years after the fact I continue to get a kick out of telling others about his “proposal”.
"Happy Valentines Day, honey!"