Sunday, October 30, 2005
Our Story, or, Why My Husband Rocks.
I decided to take the challenge and enter my submission in The 2nd Annual Infertile Bloggirl Engagement Ring Fashion Show, brought to you by Jaime.
Firstly, here's the story.
I met Sean at the age of 17 (almost 18, really). We were in the University Touring Choir together; he, newly back from the choir's tour of Italy and their Papal Invite to sing at the Vatican; me, a green freshman who was in a bit of culture shock. During rehearsals, we sat in a sort-of U-shape-the sopranos on the right, basses in the middle on the bottom rows, tenors (of which Sean is one) in the middle on the top rows, and altos on the left. Being a freshman Soprano II and sitting in the top row on the left, I had a clear view of him every Wednesday night. My friend Jen and I used to remark on how cute he was (and tall), but we both thought that he must have been a little stuck-up, because he never really talked to anyone and had overly perfect singing posture (a sure sign, we thought, of someone who thought that they were a "super-singer"). Of course, I was totally wrong-he's not at all stuck-up, but shy and quiet and low-key, someone who would never make a spectacle of himself (like me).
Sean had been a freshman the year before, but had left school at the end of the year to work and figure out what he wanted to do with his life (a nice way of saying that he dropped out because he never went to class and probably would have failed out anyway). At the time, we didn't know or care about that-every Wednesday night was spent with us stealing looks at him during the two and a half hour rehearsal (and getting yelled at by the director for not paying attention.
As time went on, and I became a Music minor, then switched to a Music Performance major in school, I was in contact with him more, since we were in Madrigals and Choir together (My university allows community, alumni, faculty and staff members to sing along with students). I got over my crush, pledged a sorority, and got involved with fraternity boys who drank too much and treated me like shit; he hooked up with an alto from the choir who looked like an oompah-loompah (and I'm not saying that to be a jealous bitch-she was hideous), and dated other girls. By my senior year, we were friends-he was my page turner at my Senior Recital, since he was the only guy I knew who actually owned his own tuxedo, we, as a part of a larger group of Madrigal friends, hung out together on our last tour of Canada in the Spring of 1995. I was dating this frat guy (we'll call him Fat Bastard, because, well, he was) who was two years younger than I for over a year by then-at that point, not happily. He was a nice guy to start out with, but his love affair with Coors Light got in the way of our relationship, if you get my meaning. That, and the verbal abuse that I dealt with. But, that's another story.....
By that fall, my relationship with Fat Bastard had deteriorated-we were fighting constantly, I wanted to go out with my friends, but couldn't because he wasn't of age yet (not that it stopped him from drinking), he was jealous, we weren't happy. A week before our two year anniversary (and two weeks before my 22nd birthday), he called me and told me that he "wanted out and wanted to enjoy his senior year" without the baggage of a girlfriend.
I was devestated. I went on a drinking binge, depression, the normal breakup trauma. Then, one morning about a month later I woke up and realized that I wasn't really that upset-in fact, I was relieved. Then, as the days went on, I decided that I needed to wade into the dating world again. I was still singing in Choir as an alumni, so I still saw Sean weekly. The idea started to float into my head-hmmm......well, we are friends, and if it doesn't work out, then it's okay, because we can still be friends. But, I kept it to myself for a bit.
At a concert two weeks later, I ran into my friend Priesty-Boy Jim (so called because he was a seminarian and is, well, a priest now), and was talking about getting excited to see my "cute boy" the next week.......and, well.........he weaseled it out of me. And ended up getting more excited than me and announced that he was going to set us up on a date.........WHOA!
Yes, I was actually set up on a date by a man who was taking a vow of chastity. And had a wonderful time. And never looked back.
Fast forward three years. Sean and I both knew we wanted to get married, but he had finally figured out that he wanted to go back to school and finish his degree in Theatre Design/Production. We both knew that it was at least another two years of school for him, but we were prepared to wait. Still, it didn't stop us from going ring shopping "just to look", and just to dream. We joked about friends who had elaborate ways that the "question" was popped, and he was adamant that he would never do something like that in public. Little did I know that he had already picked out the ring, and bought it, and was waiting for the right time.
At the time, I was playing Sarah in Guys and Dolls in a small theatre in NJ, and had to perform on my birthday. Sean wanted to take me to this really nice restaurant for my birthday, and we were going back and forth as to when we'd go. One night, he called my apartment and said "Hey, let's go next Friday night" (which was Oct. 2nd), and, since I didn't have a show, agreed.
The restaurant is located in an old Victorian, and, at the time, was known for it's food and atmosphere. It's also expensive as hell. He picked me up at my apartment promptly, looked gorgeous, and off we went. We had a nice meal, a bottle or two of wine, talked, held hands-all that romantic stuff. I kept noticing that there was this man, a few tables down, who kept staring at us-I had mentioned this to Sean, but he said that I was being weird. But, I kept thinking that maybe I had food in my teeth or something, or was being gauche in some way (it's that kind of a place).
While waiting for dessert, he told me that he had a birthday gift for me. As a tradition, we always give each other two cards for an occasion-one silly one, one romantic/serious one. He hands me one card, which is beautiful and romantic and lovely, and my gift, which was this cute Classic Pooh figurine that had a compartment on bottom (and yeah, it was empty). He then handed me the second card. I opened up the envelope, slid the card out, and looked at the front, which read "Best Wishes On Your Engagement". Still not getting the hint, I opened it, and read, in his handwriting "See Sean for details......". I looked up to see him, on one knee in the middle of the restaurant, with an open ring box in his hands. I said yes (after freaking out and him having to ask twice).
Oh, and that guy that was staring at me? He was the owner of the restaurant, who was in on the secret. He came up and congratulated us, and brought us a phone and told us to call anyone we wanted to share the news.
We were married two years and five days later, by Priesty-Boy Jim (then a newly ordained deacon and one year away from being a priest) and, despite infertility throwing a monkey-wrench in our plans, we're still going strong.
I'm a lucky, lucky girl.