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Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I tried to post this last week, but blogger or my computer or something acted up and I lost it all after I finally typed it all in. So, here it is again, only it's the first time for you, gentle readers. I'm saving as a draft this time.

Christine has posted this meme at her blog, and I picked it up here. I, too, love being married to my husband and enjoy talking about it. Since, I have a hard time thinking of who would be interested in a meme and who might post it, I'll leave it to you to decide if you want to do it or not. Though, I think that Alina (especially since they hit it off at our wedding, and I knew they would end up married after seeing them together on our wedding night) and Rachelle might be interested in it.

Marriage Meme

1. Where/How did you meet?
Gerlinger Hall at a University of Oregon Ballroom Club dance, July 15, 1994. Rich saw me across a semi-crowded dance floor and says that he thought I was pretty, looked like I could dance and wouldn't be mean about helping him learn and that he thought I had nice legs.

He asked me to dance, and I accepted. We danced several dances together and Rich either needed air or got tired and asked me if I wanted to go outside to talk. I said no, and kept dancing. When I got tired, I went out to see if he was still there. He was and we sat outside talking for a long time. There was a cemetary across the field from the dance, and we had riotous laughter predicting whose demise was near at hand based on whether or not the street light went out when someone walked under it passing the cemetary. We laughed about all sorts of things and found that we both read the obituaries daily, so our first real conversation was about the high incidence of renal failure in Lane County. We're romantic like that.

After talking for a little while, I told him to wish me a happy birthday because my birthday was the next weekend. He did and asked me how old I was going to be, thinking I would reply 22 or 24. I said 18! He says he thought to himself that it was nice to meet me and goodbye. He was 24. Anyway, we kept seeing each other at these dances and got to be friendly.

In September, I was telling people at my campus ministry about the ballroom club and organized a group to go to the first dance of the school year. Only one fellow showed up to go, and he seemed to think it was a date. Rich saw us and picked up on my discomfort with this guy, and Rich had fun tweaking the other man by asking me to dance and putting his arm around my shoulders.

The next week, Rich wasn't there and the week after that I wasn't there. The fourth week, I almost didn't go. I had gotten my hair done, repairing some craziness I had inflicted on my hair in the year before and gone over to a friend's house from high school. We got a movie and watched it, but he was still in high school and had the SAT's the next day, so he took me home and told me that I looked great and I should go to the dance. So, I threw on a dress and did my hair and face and walked to the dance.

Rich made a beeline to me and asked why I had been gone the week before. We danced together pretty much the whole time and toward the end I invited him to a movie night our house was having. We exchanged phone numbers and I told him where I lived. Somewhere along the line, I mentioned that I didn't have someone to walk me home after the dance. He offered to give me a ride home. He was supposed to drop off a friend of his, but she figured out what was going on and got a ride with another friend. I asked Rich later on what he would have done if she still needed a ride, because I lived closer than she did, and he said that he would have dropped her off first and then taken me home.

When we got to my house, I invited him in for coffee. He doesn't drink coffee, but he didn't mention this, and just accepted. My housemates were out seeing Forest Gump (with that fellow who went to the dance with me I mentioned above) and stayed out late. Rich and I were in the living room talking until they came in at around 2:00 a.m. Even though that wasn't really a date, it's what we count as our first date. He said when he went home he slept with his shirt wrapped around his pillow because it smelled like my perfume.

The next day was a Saturday, and I went out with some girlfiends of mine, and had a really bad experience and came home feeling pretty shaken up. On Sunday afternoon, I worked at a science museum, and that was near where Rich lived, though I didn't really know it at the time. He called me at work, because that was one of the numbers I'd given him, to make sure of the time for the movie night, which was that night. I told him and then I pretty much poured out my heart to him about what had happened the night before. Normally, I would have taken the bus home, but he said he would come pick me up and take me home, since he was so close by anyway. He came at closing time and helped me close up and we went to my house.

That was pretty much the beginning of it all. We went into it saying that we didn't want it to be serious and that we weren't going to be in love. He had flight school ahead of him still and I was just starting school, but within three months we were talking about if we would get married, within six months it was about when we got married.

2. How long have you known each other?
12 years and eight months as of the Ides of March. More than a third of my life.

3. How long after you met did you start dating?
Three months, almost to the day.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?
One and a half months shy of two years.

5. How long was your engagement?
Four months. Initially, we were going to wait until he was out of flight school and I was finished with college. Since I was studying something I hated, and it was so hard on us living in different states while he was in flight school, knowing that we would get married, but that it was so far in the future, we started talking about doing it earlier the summer before we got married. We already knew we wanted to get married on New Year's Eve, so we said we'd do it that year instead of waiting nearly three and a half years. It was the best decision of our lives, and I would recommend any young couple who knew that this person was who God had for them, were willing to work together and for each other, and who were both committed to fidelity and marriage to get good pre-marital counseling and just get married. You save yourself a lot of heart ache, temptation and trouble that way.

6. How long have you been married?
10 years, two months and two weeks.

7. What is your anniversary?
December 31, 1996

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?
I don't know what our final head count was. We invited about 250 people, and I think somewhere between 175 and 200 people showed up.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?
Chocolate marble cake with raspberry filling and whipped cream frosting.

10. Where was your wedding?
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Portland, OR, reception in the parish hall.

11. What did you serve for your meal?
It was a late night wedding, and we didn't have a sit down meal, but we did have a buffet of lots and lots of Arabic food, mostly made by me. Things people could eat a bite of and then go socialize or dance and come back for more.

12. How many people were in your bridal party?
Four bridesmaids and four groomsmen.

13. Are you still friends with them all?
No. We have very loose contact two of the bridesmaids, we are friends with one (that's Alina I mentioned above), the fourth we no longer talk to or see at all. Of the groomsmen, one was Rich's brother, one was his dad, but the other two were friends we only see or talk to very occasionally.

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?
No, he choked up a little during the vows.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?
Taking communion together as a married couple for the first time. Close second was when Rich saw me in my wedding gown for the first time. We took pictures before the ceremony, but had Rich at the altar and me walking down the aisle to him so he could still have that moment of seeing me for the first time in my gown:

16. Any funny moments?
We made sure that people knew that our wedding was PG-13. It was a late night and a long ceremony, and we thought that little kids would get bored. Well, someone in the wedding party had something come up and had to bring some foster kids along. One of Rich's cousin's daughter hung out in the parish hall with the kids, to wait for the reception down there. At the point in the ceremony when the priest prays for the couple to have children, we heard this loud bong! and a child screaming. Perfect timing. Rich was shaking his head while we were kneeling there. Apparently, there was a large pipe downstairs that fed straight into the sanctuary and someone ran into it while playing downstairs.

17. Any big disasters?
Not huge, but there was flooding and an ice storm during the wedding, highways and freeways were being shut down and our string quartet never made it. We had to go to canned music, and couldn't find the piece I was to walk down the aisle to, so I walked to Pachelbel's Cannon, which I thought was too cliche. We found the music after the wedding.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Cannon Beach, OR

19. How long were you gone?
Five days.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?
I would have eaten before the wedding. I was so busy and nervous that I didn't really eat the whole day, and the night before I had a breadstick and three Hawaiian Volcanos, oh, and the fruit on the picks in the drinks.

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The side farthest from the door.

22. What size is your bed?

23. Greatest strength as a couple?
There are so many, it is hard to say. I think we make up for the deficiencies in each other. I make sure he is on time, and he makes sure I see the beauty of this world. We are a great team and a force to be reckoned with when we are working together. We are best friends and laugh at the same things.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?
We are both strong willed, stubborn people. This has made for some pretty spectacular disputes. We see this as a blessing, though, because had we married weaker people, both of us would have walked all over them and then despised them for letting us do it. Fortunately, we managed to fit in a lifetime's worth of disagreement in our first year of marriage. Things are pretty mild and easy going now, for the most part. We are a living picture of the Proverb that iron sharpens iron.

25. Who literally pays the bills?
The lovely computers at the credit union. We have almost all our bills set to automatic withdrawal. On the rare occasions we have unscheduled bills, I usually pay them.

26. What is your song?
Moondance by Van Morrison

27. What did you dance your first dance to?
Ever? Fields of Gold, by Sting, a rhumba. At our wedding? Moondance, see above, foxtrot.

28. Describe your wedding dress.
Regal. White satin, fitted bodice, long ballgown with train, the bodice was handsewn with pearls and (!!) rhinestones. I didn't think it would be me, but I tried it on and fell in love with it. It was a bridal size eight and I had to have it taken in. Now, even if I was the weight I was then, I couldn't fit in it, as my, ahem, bodice, is too large. Maybe Amira will want it.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?
Rich used to bring me stargazer lilies all the time while we were dating (he worked as a delivery man and one of his stops was a florist, and she gave him huge discounts and freebies). So, of course we had those, belladonna delphinium, freesia, white lisianthus, and other flowers I can't remember. That was for the bridal party, though, my flowers were all white, casablanca lilies, the freesia and lisianthus and I think white tulips and stars of bethlehem.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved? What do they say?
Nope. I gave Rich a pocket watch as a wedding gift, and meant to have it engraved with our anniversary and the word Yes! but never did get around to it.

If you do this meme, leave me a comment and I'll go read your answers!

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I love to hear wedding stories.
Your photos are just gorgeous.
You two look like very happy couple! Congratulations on finding the right husband and forging a sucessful marriage!
We had a friend take Hubby's picture as he saw me, but the flash went off just after his big gasp. :) I should look for the picture because it's really sweet.

I love the pictures! Beautiful stories!
Beautiful story, beautiful couple, both of you.
Love, LOVE your story, Ranee. I have been thinking about a blog for a while now and I believe that you just inspired me!
Thank you Marie! You should do it! This is my baby book for the kids, my project record, my recipe book, and my way of processing thoughts.
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