HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR MATE? – Marilyn Armstrong

Fandango’s Provocative Question #60

This could be a very torrid post, but as Serendipity is G-rated, I’ll tell you a story. You are free to fill in missing details using your own rich imagination. This is perhaps more than the question requires, but it’s a complicated story.

I married Jeff in August 1965. I spent the next year finishing my B.A. and having my spine remodeled, so it was a few years before I got on with life. My son was born in May 1969. We named him Owen Garry, Garry being his godfather. Fast forward through a non-acrimonious divorce. I later realized if you just give up everything and walk away, it’s easy to be amicable. It’s also something you will probably regret — eventually.

In 1978, I was off to Israel with The Kid. Not too long thereafter, I married in Israel. The less said about this mistake, the better. In 1983, a state visit from the ex and (now) current husband (they rode together), showing up right in time for war in Lebanon. It ruined our plans to visit Mt. Hermon and the Galilee but created great anecdotes.

Photo: Debbie Stone

Photo: Debbie Stone

August 1987.

I’m back from Israel. Garry and I are an instant item. Having been apart for so long brought us closer together than we’d imagined possible. The previous decade hadn’t dealt kindly with either of us and we saw one another with new eyes. I think we’d always been a little in love, but there were so many reasons why it wasn’t the right time to do something about it.  Now, shortly after my Israeli divorce from husband number 2, Garry and I got married.

Here’s how it really happened.

I’d been away for two weeks in California on business. I had come back early because I got sick, came down with the flu. Just as well, because an earthquake — the one that stopped the World Series — occurred the following day and if I’d stayed, I’d have been crushed under the collapsed highway.

Garry was glad to see me … until I coughed. Then he wasn’t so glad. If you want to know the definition of “mixed emotions,” it’s a man overwhelmed with joy to see the woman he loves — but knowing the first kiss will include influenza. The definition of true love? He kissed me anyway. And got the flu.

So after we both stopped coughing, Garry took me out to dinner. He was nervous. He was driving and we went around Leverett Circle at least half a dozen times. He kept missing the turnoff. Meanwhile, he was explaining how he’d had a conversation with his pal about real estate, and how prices were down, and how maybe we should buy something. And live together. Like maybe … forever? Was forever okay with me?

So having listened for a pretty long time, I said: “So let me see if I’ve got this right. You want to buy a house? Move-in and live together? Forever? As in married?”

“All of that,” he said and drove around the loop one more time.

“I don’t know about you,” I said, “But I definitely need a drink.”

The following morning, I asked Garry if I could tell my friends. He said, “Tell them what?”

“That we’re getting married,” I said.

“We are?”

“You said we should buy a house and live together forever.”

“Is that a proposal?”

“It is where I come from,” I assured him. Wouldn’t you think that was a proposal? I had to remind him about buying a ring, too but eventually, he got into the groove, realized all he had to do was tell me what he wanted and show up in a tux and he’d be a married guy. Piece of cake.

We got married 6 months later having known each other a mere 26 years.

I declined to have my first ex-husband be best-man at my third wedding. We did, however, have the “real” reception at his house. There was the official one at the church, but the fun event, with all the friends, music, wine, and sharing was over at the old house where I used to live with Jeff.

Life has a funny way of turning around when you least expect it.

Categories: #FPQ, Daily Prompt, Garry Armstrong, Marilyn Armstrong, Marriage, Photography, Provocative Questions, Relationships

Tags: , , , , , , ,

53 replies

  1. Sure — Sure — Sure — Kid!
    You got lucky. If Marilyn hadn’t returned from the promised land, you would still be riping and reading at the TV station. Just goofing on youz guyz — Great story Mar — I remember your wonderful wedding.
    Your wan-ta-be buddy —
    Willy O’Wood.
    TaTa Children.


  2. Yep Never give up on true love. That is as others have said a beautiful photograph of you both. I look at the glint in Garys eyes and see an an almost smile and feel a real sense of contentment and peace from two very happy peope.

    I was in my late 38 when I met my true love. My partner and I met via the internet, before dating sites and apps where you swipe. We were in an online group the sort of shared interests sort of thing and just connected. He would write me the most beautiful emails. For three months we communicated this way and then had a few phone calls. He was a lot older than me and it was a bit of a concern for him. I not so. We organised to meet for lunch at the Botanical Gardens. We basically were together from that day for 11years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My spouse got a crush on me when I was 18, and we never dated for a few decades, and then we did, and now we are married.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah I love your story. I love that photo! The looks on your faces…wonderful!

    James and I were high school good buddies (with unexpressed crushes!) But then Vietnam happened and we lost each other for 40 years. Neither of us had ever been back to a high school reunion (not a town a thinking person would voluntarily return to) but both just happened to be in the area when our 40th happened.

    Just one look ( )

    We’ve been together ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I do love that photo of you and Garry. True love works in mysterious way. My husband and I dated 3 months and then got married. Forty years last month. I’m all for snap decisions! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This wonder-full! Tale has more than just a passing similarity to ‘our’ long lasting (before and since) wedding story. Mind you, minus the TWO divorces, we only had one and it was mine…. we have also different paths of life but we did know each other ‘forever and a day’ (12, 13 years) before we tied the deed. We’re going to be married 22yrs on Spring Day 2020, so you do the math. And Hero Husband also loves to speak in riddles (which lost him his former girlfriend who said she couldn’t live with a guy who speaks so eloquently and in complicated sentences…. her tough luck then!). When he was obviously already under my charm, he said: You know, I think our furniture (we both had separate rentals) would really marry well…. (OK it sounded a lot more romantic in French but I’m too tired to think for a better translation) – and when I asked him: Is this, by any means, a secret way of asking me to marry you? He said something along the lines of: I wouldn’t want to live with you, I would insist to marry you…. (always that damn Subjunctive!). There would be way more but let’s leave it for now. In any case, you – same as we – took your time to be together, you were meant for each other, and you will stay together. Congratulations.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. That’s a lovely picture of the pair of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. At least by the time Garry proposed you knew what he was trying to say even in a roundabout manner.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thanks for sharing your story, Marilyn. It seems that you ended up exactly where you were supposed to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a great story. You know what? That was the first question in my next question blog that I wrote right after my first one but put off publishing for a month–and then forgot to do it! I love “How did you meet” stories.. Yours is a wowza and well-told.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lovely account to true love finally getting together.

    Liked by 1 person

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