Cape Elizabeth, Maine
“Will you marry me?”
The light reflecting off the white-washed stone tower behind us was pink.
Despite the stiff breeze riding the waves up and over the rocks beneath us, I wasn’t cold. I was too happy to be cold.
At that moment, in the very spot I had stood the year before, I was certain (as I had been then) that this was what I wanted, what I had been waiting for.
“Yes.” I smiled up at him. “Yes!
And then he didn’t speak to me for a week.
I remember that morning so clearly. I was getting dressed for church, tying my shoes. I even remember what I was wearing, down to the last detail. Just as I use words to illustrate and illuminate the landscape of my mind and heart, I also have a memory for clothes that is virtually photographic. (So I’m shallow.)
I was very Monica Geller that day. And it was while tying my very hip lace-up granny booties (that I was wearing with black tights and a skort – so 1990’s chic) that I thought to myself: Maybe it’s time to start dating again.
Yes, I think I’m ready now.
It had been nearly a year since I broke it off with my on-and-off boyfriend of three years during college. It was a nasty split – I still carried a lot of guilt and anger over all that. I hadn’t wanted to look at, talk to, or even consider going out with anyone ever since.
But that day, somehow, I woke up feeling different. Ready to get back out there. Ready to flirt. Have some fun.
Because there were just SO MANY GUYS banging down my door (not).
There really weren’t any. They all kept cropping up with wedding rings these days.
Regardless, I put my game face on (literally and figuratively) and headed off to church – the last place I expected to see any action, but hey, you never know.
To my surprise, seated next to my good friends Mike and Pam, (a married couple there courtesy of the US Navy), was A New Guy. They had mentioned to me recently that they had a friend they wanted to introduce me to, maybe this was he.
I tried to surreptitiously check him out over my shoulder.
Or maybe not. I caught a glimpse of a ring (I thought) and shrugged it off. Whatever.
But when I trotted off to the Singles Class (such a hideous name, that), there he was. No ring, after all. Up close and personal. And guns like you would not believe. I honestly wouldn’t have been able to tell you what he looked like that first day, but I would have been able to describe his biceps perfectly. They were huge. The sleeve on his polo shirt was all bunched up above them.
It was very distracting during the praying part.
And then he started talking. I remember trying to place the accent – like nothing I had ever heard. Where on earth was this guy from? Surely he’s American…but what the heck is a “cah?”
Too shy to do much more than eavesdrop on what he was saying to everyone else (on business for 3 months, semiconductors, from Maine), I scampered away after class, mentally orchestrating our next meeting.
I had lunch at Renae’s that day. She was making dal, I think. She was married, had a home of her own, and I spent a lot of time there back then. I was living with my parents, and the situation at the time was not so good. I loved them dearly, but mom was going downhill fast. There was a lot of chaos.
Renae was such a haven for me.
As she made lunch, we discussed the party they were hosting that night. It was a going-away-welcome-home-everyone-between-18-and-35-would-be-there kind of thing.
I casually mentioned that there was a new guy in town. He didn’t know anyone. I informed her that it was their Christian duty to invite him to their party so he would feel welcome. Help him get to know everyone. It was the least they could do.
(I said I was shy. I never said anything about not being manipulative.)
So, Sandeep, Renae’s husband, being the kind soul that he is, made the call.
The offer was extended. And accepted.
And the story has begun.
Do you want to hear the rest? Leave me a comment! If you don’t, I won’t bother…it’s a long story and I have lots of other blah-blah to write about! xoxo