Saturday, June 16, 2007

Marriage Meme

This one's an old meme. Jean at Catholic Fire tagged me awhile back and I started it, but it got buried in my Drafts file. So, here it is, popping up on a Saturday morning, like a good friend ready to fill in for me when I'm too tired to go to work.

1. Where/How did you meet?

In college -- i.e., in a previous life.

Don't believe in reincarnation? I do -- it's just that it happens during this life, not after. It's called redemption. In other words -- the people we met back then? Not the people we are now.

2. How long have you known each other?

27 years.

3. How long after you met did you start dating?

I knew Atticus vaguely when I was a freshman. He was an ex-Marine who scared me. My best friend said he had the handwriting of an axe murderer.

I found out later that Atticus saw me in a play that year (I played the part of an 80-year-old woman dying of cancer) and said to himself, "I'm going to marry her." I was relieved to find out that he based this on my picture in the program rather than on how I looked onstage (although, it was a truly awful picture, proving that he's always had quirky taste in women.)

A couple of years later, he was in a play, and I thought he looked dashing rather than scary. I made my move.

4. How long did you date before you were engaged?

That depends on what you mean by date and by engaged.

5. How long was your engagement?

About three weeks. I said, "Hey, my parents will be in town for my sister's wedding. Should we get married that weekend, too?" He said okay.

I'm not kidding.

6. How long have you been married?

23 years, to everyone's surprise.

7. What is your anniversary?

The feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas (though clearly we had no idea at the time.)

8. How many people came to your wedding reception?

About 15.

9. What kind of cake did you serve?

One that served 15.

10. Where was your wedding?

In the courthouse. We were married by a judge (a valid marriage in the eyes of the Church, by the way, as neither of us was Catholic nor had we been raised Catholic. The marriage became a sacramental one six years later, when I was baptized; Atticus had been baptized in the Lutheran church as an infant. We didn't have to "do anything" about our marriage when I, and later Atticus, became Catholic.)

11. What did you serve for your meal?

Everyone ordered his or her own meal at a restaurant.

12. How many people were in your bridal party?

Two -- the matron of honor and the best man.

13. Are you still friends with them all?

My sister is still my friend, thank goodness. And, yes, we still stay in touch with the best man, who was a former college professor.

I almost had my best friend, Jack, act as my "man of honor" but ended up deciding on my sister.( I was, however, the "best woman" at Jack's wedding.)

14. Did your spouse cry during the ceremony?

I don't think so.

15. Most special moment of your wedding day?

Realizing I was actually married, that I was actually Mrs. Edmisten (although, I didn't change my name for seven or eight years.)

16. Any funny moments?

No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.

17. Any big disasters?

No -- unless you count our entire way of doing things.

18. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We didn't go anywhere right away, but went to Florida about six months later.

19. How long were you gone?

Long enough to get a really bad sunburn, eat a lot of shrimp, and go to Disney World.

20. If you were to do your wedding over, what would you change?

On the one hand, everything. I've sometimes wondered what a normal wedding would have been like.

On the other hand, nothing. God took the raw material of who and what we were, and here we are today, by His grace. Can I improve upon His handiwork?

21. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

The side children always seem to show up on.

22. What size is your bed?

Big enough for both of us, a cat, and sometimes a child, though I sleep better without a small child's feet in my face.

23. Greatest strength as a couple?

That we both really love being home together, we both really love being parents, and we -- finally -- share our faith.

24. Greatest challenge as a couple?

Agreeing on the date night video.

25. Who literally pays the bills?

I sit down to do the paperwork, overflowing with gratitude that Atticus supports the mission of a stay-at-home mom.

26. What is your song?

Nat King Cole singing, The Christmas Song. Very sweet story behind it.

27. What did you dance your first dance to?

At our wedding? Or ever? If it's "ever" it's probably something that involved pogoing.

28. Describe your wedding dress:

It was a simple dress, probably not worth describing to those who enjoy such things ... I've never been good at describing much of anything about clothing. Most of the time, my eyes glaze over and I'm lost when it comes to talking fabrics, beads and accessories.

29. What kind of flowers did you have at your wedding?

At the time, I was sort of the same way about flowers that I was about dresses and fabrics.

But, if I were to marry Atticus again, I would want just a few roses, to thank St. Therese for her intercession over the years.

30. Are your wedding bands engraved?

No. They're simple, plain gold bands. I didn't want an engagement ring, either, because we didn't really do the whole engagement thing and I've never cared much about diamonds.

But, I treasure my plain, gold band. It's been through a lot with us.


Jennifer said...

This was the most interesting meme I've ever read - and the funniest. How sweet that Atticus loved you right from the start! And I don't care one single little bit about diamonds either. We skipped the diamond engagement ring as well (though I confess, I caved when he offered me a sapphire...)

Kristen Laurence said...

Excellent meme, Karen! I love #5, and I want to hear the sweet story behind your answer to #26!

Ana Braga-Henebry said...

Very similar to our wedding, 22 yrs ago--truly. Except it was Disneyland... *sigh*, I hated it. The simple bands, no diamonds, the short engagement, small cake. No dance. I too wonder what it would have felt like--to have had a regular wedding. I made a wreath for my hair with baby's breath.

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Jennifer.

Ana, I still wouldn't change the plain bands. I love my band. :-)

Kristen, the Nat King Cole story:
We hadn't been married very long. We were on an *extremely* tight budget. It was Christmas time. I had told Atticus that I thought Nat King Cole's silky voice doing The Christmas Song might possibly qualify as "perfect." He wanted to buy it for me, but the budget was so tight that even a new cassette tape (remember cassette tapes?) wasn't in the budget.

It was Christmas Eve, and I had to work. When I got home that night, I walked into a candlelit room, to the sound of my beloved Nat crooning to me about chestnuts and the season. Atticus had listened to the radio *all day* while he cooked our dinner ... waiting to hear that song and hit the "record" button on the tape player. He had captured it. And me.

Lillian said...

What a beautiful story with a happy ending! Thanks for sharing it!

betty said...

This post was entertaining to say the least! Loved it! I enjoyed learning a little history about you. I still don't know a lot about you but I truly respect how far you've come. I bet you have a most interesting conversion story. Being a cradle Catholic, I love reading conversion stories! Sooooo I'm off to read it now!

By the way, that is quite a Christmas eve story. What a sweetheart you have in Atticus! Blessings to you both!!!

Karen E. said...

Thank you, Lillian and Betty!

Alice Gunther said...

Fabulous (and extremely interesting) meme, beautiful picture!

Now I want to hear the story of your song!!!