Once Upon A Time
“Whenever I hear his key in the door, I think to myself, oh goody, the party’s about to begin.”
-Anne Bancroft, on her marriage to Mel Brooks
A couple years ago, NPR ran a story about couples who last and couples who don’t. One of the things they talked about was a study where researchers asked couples how they met. Some couples answered, simply, “at a party” or “through friends.” Others launched into long stories about exactly where they were when they first spotted each other. Overall, the couples who told detailed stories were more likely to stay together than the ones who didn’t.
Of course, as soon as I heard this I went home and tried it on Scott.
His answer–and I can easily quote it here because IT IS NOT A COMPLETE SENTENCE–was:
“IN GRAD SCHOOL.”
I watched, expecting him to elaborate, as he rooted around the refrigerator. I waited as he unwrapped a block of cheddar and cut off a chunk.
“That’s it?” I prodded. “That’s all you say when someone asks you?”
He swallowed a piece of cheese and nodded. “Pretty much!” he said. And then he turned to the dog and asked if it wanted to go for a walk.
Over the years, I’ve given him a lot of crap about this–so much crap that now when someone asks how we met, Scott’s eyes light up with mischief and he says:
WELL THAT’S A GREAT STORY, ACTUALLY.
[Clearing his throat]
ONCE UPON A TIME—
IN A LAND FAR, FAR AWAY–
[Speaking louder now]
ON A DARK AND STORMY NI–
And I’m like, “JESUS CHRIST, WE MET IN GRAD SCHOOL,” rolling my eyes for the benefit of whoever’s asking, as if Scott has some kind of mental defect they should be aware of.
Truth be told, we agree on this:
One night in February of 2007, I walked into a brewery in Charlottesville, Virginia wearing the kind of ill-fitting leather jacket that belongs on an unfashionable European man. I leaned in to order a beer at the same time Scott did, and we caught eyes down the length of the bar. I recognized him from college–we had overlapped at school ten years earlier, but we had never spoken. I walked over to him and sat down. We talked for half an hour, and then–with the subtlety of an elephant seal during mating season–I wrote my full name, phone number, email, instant messenger address and possibly my social security number on a bar napkin and I slid it over.
You guys, we went back to Alabama last weekend.
And in the back yard of the house where we used to live, Scott asked me to marry him.
I said, “Of course!”
And then we cried and laughed and shook all over. And I thought to myself–like I do everyday– Oh goody. The party’s about to begin.
Isn’t it exciting??! I can’t get over it.
We are amped up and raring to get married (even though we’ve been living together for a couple years!) but to Thunder and Seymour, it’s business as usual around here.