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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— 

[Pause]

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.

engagement photo

This picture was taken last weekend by our friend Tina.

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.

seymour sleeping 2.28Which is to say: it’s naptime.thunder sleeping 2.28

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97 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congratulations! So exciting for you both! Let the party begin!

    February 28, 2014
  2. SCREAMING! RUNNING! RUNNING LAPS AROUND THE HOUSE!

    I’m so, so happy for you both…

    February 28, 2014
    • I hope I get a least a COUPLE pirouettes in there, movita. The ones that are all leapy-like.

      March 7, 2014
  3. Anna Kelly #

    Congratulations on your engagement! I’ve been lurking for a while but felt this was the right time to leave my first comment. Best of luck with all of it. Also, the next time you’re in Charlotte, NC, please email me so that we can have drinks and talk about how we are literary soulmates.

    Cheers!

    February 28, 2014
    • Oh, Anna, thanks for writing! I’m very excited about all of this. I didn’t realize being engaged was going to feel any different or be this FUN! I will definitely email you the next time I’m in Charlotte. It will probably be when I’m flying US Airways and they cancel my flight and I have to stay over in Charlotte! At least I have some silver lining to look forward to next time!

      March 7, 2014
  4. That’s the best story yet! Congratulations, you two (four with the dogs)! And thanks for quoting my favorite married couple in the world!

    February 28, 2014
  5. a #

    Congratulations! I recommend a destination wedding, unless you enjoy planning things…

    (Huh – I thought you were already married. Anyway…my husband elaborates on our meeting (my answer is “at work” because I don’t actually remember meeting him) by talking about how much I wanted him at first sight. If I wanted to elaborate, though, I would describe the elaborate machinations I had to go through to make him my officemate. 🙂 Bringing him into my clutches, so to speak.)

    February 28, 2014
    • a #

      Wow – don’t think I’ve used elaborate that many times in the last 10 years!

      February 28, 2014
      • Wow, you guys were officemates??? That’s so awesome.

        I think we’re going to get married in Charlottesville, Va. So, not a destination wedding. I am sure I will live to deeply regret this decision.

        March 7, 2014
  6. Awww…congratulations! 🙂

    February 28, 2014
  7. Gigantemassivenormous happy dance.

    February 28, 2014
    • I THINK I’VE SEEN THAT HAPPY DANCE!!

      March 7, 2014
  8. OMG CONGRATS! SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!

    February 28, 2014
    • Aw, thanks, Natalie!! We are so excited.

      March 7, 2014
  9. Stephbo #

    Congratulations!!!! I had just assumed that you were already married. I’m glad you’re making it official! We don’t have a huge elaborate tale about meeting either, but now I just might have to start giving the whole background.

    February 28, 2014
    • Yeah, since we’ve lived together for years we basically assume it’s the same feeling as being married. But to be honest, being engaged already feels different! It’s so fun.

      March 7, 2014
  10. FANTASTIC NEWS!!!! Congratulations! 😀

    February 28, 2014
  11. Anna F. #

    Congratulations! So happy for you both, and for the pooches!

    February 28, 2014
    • Thank you, Anna! It’s pretty great.

      March 7, 2014
  12. *Jumps up and down* CONGRATULATIONS! I’m so, so happy for you! And I love the way you told this story. That quote from Anne Bancroft is priceless. Congrats again — virtual hugs to you both!

    February 28, 2014
    • Hi, Willow!!! Thank you. I pretty much jumped up and down, too. In fact, I’m going to get up and jump again right now, because I still can’t get over how much fun this is.

      March 7, 2014
  13. Wonderful, wonderful, happy news!!! Best wishes!

    February 28, 2014
  14. Congratulations! So glad to see Thunder and Seymour excited about planning a wedding!

    February 28, 2014
    • Thunder and Seymour are really, um, getting involved in the wedding planning–as in, they have interrupted my attempt to make save-the-dates a million times with requests to go outside and eat icicles. *THAT* kind of involvement.

      March 7, 2014
  15. CONGRATS you two!! I think Thunder should be the ring-bearer!

    February 28, 2014
    • Um, actually? You hit the nail on the head with that one. Scott wants Thunder to wear a little pouch with the rings in it. The wedding is going to be outside in Virginia. He thinks we can put treats down for her to get her to walk up the aisle. Thoughts?

      March 7, 2014
  16. Trish #

    Congratulations!

    February 28, 2014
  17. Such an awesome story! Been following your blog for a while and this just MADE MY DAY!!! Have fun planning the wedding!

    February 28, 2014
    • Aw, thank you! I guess we’ve been planning the wedding for two weeks now, and at first it was chaotic because we want to get married so soon (July) but today I totally bonded with a caterer who loved talking about food, and then I had a great conversation with a food photographer who also does weddings, and then I went to dinner with Scott and had such a blast discussing the whole thing–and it made me really excited for the rest of the process. Nutty, but fun if I don’t take it too seriously, you know? Anyway, thanks for the note!

      March 7, 2014
  18. Congratulations, you crazy kids!

    February 28, 2014
    • Lucy, TELL me you’ve read the book Sheepish. Given your interest in wool and fibers. If you haven’t, I’ll send it to you if you send me your address!

      March 7, 2014
  19. Congratulations to you both! You clearly need more animals now 🙂

    February 28, 2014
    • Oh my God, Shelley, when we become a married couple we’ll be entitled to at least ONE MORE PUPPY, right? Say yes. Say this is how it works.

      March 7, 2014
  20. Congratulations to you both! …and they lived happily ever after 😉

    February 28, 2014
  21. Melissa Blair-Turrisi #

    Congratulations! Love the story, love the photo! May you party together for years to come.

    Melissa Blair-Turrisi | (941) 451-PETS Pawsitively Professional Pet Services, LLC Pawsitively Good for Your Pets! Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pawsitivelypro

    February 28, 2014
  22. Congratulations!!! That seems like such a guy response, to answer the question of “how did you meet” with a phrase that doesn’t even qualify as a complete sentence (it’s the same way with my boyfriend, I’m afraid) – the humorous way in which you spin the whole situation more than makes up for it, though!

    February 28, 2014
  23. Yaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!!!! SO happy for you guys! This is terrific and I hope it is the best party you ever attend. XOXO

    February 28, 2014
  24. Yay yay yay yay!!!! Congratulations to you both!!!

    February 28, 2014
  25. Congratulations! Like so many others, I had thought you were already married. You certainly seem comfortable with each other.
    About that premise … ‘Overall, the couples who told detailed stories were more likely to stay together than the ones who didn’t.’ … we don’t tell detailed stories about how we met … we met at college. And we will have been married for 52 years this June. The generalization doesn’t always work.

    February 28, 2014
  26. Congratulations! May the party be filled with a lifetime of love and joy.

    February 28, 2014
  27. Congratulations!!! So happy for you two even though we’ve only “met” on internet space. Can the world expect some funny and tasty wedding planning posts in the near future?

    February 28, 2014
  28. congratulations, very happy for you both!

    February 28, 2014
  29. Amy #

    Ok, I think I’m behind on blog reading and have to catch up on some of your other posts…but this post popped up in my facebook feed and the second I saw the title and the photo I knew what it was and had to come here and say…..CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, i’m so so so excited for you, Katherine 🙂 You guys just seem so perfect for each other and will have such a happy life together (not that you don’t already have that). Eeek, i can’t wait for wedding planning details. I hope you’ll provide those. I can only assume that Thunder and Seymour will be incorporated in some way 😉

    February 28, 2014
  30. Congratulations sweet girl!

    February 28, 2014
  31. Congratulations! Exciting times, indeed!

    You remind me of myself in some ways. When my husband asked me to marry him, he leaned in and said, “You can start planning now.” I was confused but then he popped the question. He knew I cared more about the food and drink than the actual marriage details…

    February 28, 2014
  32. Joe G. #

    Congratulations!!!! That’s awesome….here’s to your lives of Love and Happiness!

    February 28, 2014
  33. Yayyyy, congratulations!!! That is so exciting! And I’m SURE you guys will be a couple who lasts because — among other reasons — now you have a detailed story about telling a detailed story about how you met. 🙂

    (I love that Scott switched from “in grad school” to backing up all the way to “Once upon a time…”)

    Big congratulations to you both!

    February 28, 2014
  34. That’s beautiful… congratulations and keep partying!

    February 28, 2014
  35. Sandra R #

    Congratulations!! So happy for you both! He is a good sport. I am remembering the Christmas tree video. That’s when I realized he could match you zany for zany.

    February 28, 2014
  36. This is such a touching post! Congratulations to you both!!! You make an adorable couple, btw!

    February 28, 2014
  37. Mom #

    Kate, you picked a man up in a bar? Mom and Dad.
    Just kidding, folks. We’re so happy that Kate and Scott are getting married!

    February 28, 2014
  38. liisle #

    Congratulations! I’ve been lurking for a while too – got here through The Bloggess. I love your witty blog and I think you guys are an adorable couple, pre- and post-engagement. Enjoy everything and don’t forget that it’s the marriage that matters, not the wedding!

    February 28, 2014
  39. Congratulations! I’ve been lurking for a while, too – got here through The Bloggess. I love your witty blog and think you’re an adorable couple, pre- and post-engagement. Enjoy everything and remember, it’s the marriage that matters, not the wedding!

    February 28, 2014
  40. You certainly put them to sleep. Come visit us at corkscot@WordPress.com

    February 28, 2014
  41. Congratulations you two!!

    February 28, 2014
  42. jenny_o #

    Wonderful news! I have the feeling you are equally matched in the “party’s beginning” outlook 🙂

    All the best!! (And what a lovely photo)

    February 28, 2014
  43. sue ellen #

    Wonderful ♥ Wishing you both much joy and happiness ♥ 😉

    February 28, 2014
  44. Aw. Congratulations. I love hearing how people met!

    February 28, 2014
  45. Congratulations! What a charming post.

    February 28, 2014
  46. Moremadder #

    Congrats!

    February 28, 2014
  47. Debra #

    Congratulations to you both! So excited for you. Love reading your stories, it’s like hearing you talking, when we meant in the Dominican Republic last May! Happy for you!!!!!

    February 28, 2014
  48. stephanie #

    waaaiiiit!!! I thought y’all met when Scott was waiting tables at Hooters??!!!

    February 28, 2014
  49. Congratulations! I love your story, thanks for much for sharing it and your great news. That is a beautiful picture. All the best!

    February 28, 2014
  50. Oh, congratulations! I’m so happy for you both. Sitting here smiling all silly-like.

    February 28, 2014
  51. Congratulations. Such a special time in your relationship and such a romantically nostalgic proposal. Wishing you both much happiness and love. Only last weekend we were at a dinner party where we were discussing how each couple met. Twenty one years later I still manage to regale our audience with my version of our story much to my husband’s embarrassment. Even our children are amused and love to hear it (again, and again). I’m inclined to agree and think you can tell a lot about a couple in the way they retell their story.

    March 1, 2014
  52. Yayyyyy congrats!!!! (even though I kind of already thought you were married- my bad!)

    March 1, 2014
  53. Sarah #

    Well, hot damn! Party on!

    March 1, 2014
  54. Charles Vaughn #

    Yippee! Congratulations!

    March 1, 2014
  55. Congratulations!!! What a party this will be. 🙂

    March 1, 2014
  56. Congratulations!!!! i am sooooooo happy for both of you!!!! This is the beginning of the party for the rest of your lives!!!! Big Hug to you both and God Bless!!!!! Yay!!!!

    March 1, 2014
  57. Kate #

    Before our wedding, I had taken to watching a few quality wedding shows. I can’t remember which one it was, but at the end of one of them, this sweet, trashing, longisland couple (no disrepect intended, but the accent was important) gets married and some producer asks them how it feels. The bride responds, without hesitation, “US BEING MARRIED FEELS SO AWESOME.” That about sums it up. Adam and I quote that line all the time. It is a party, when you find the right one. We are so happy for you.

    March 1, 2014
  58. Sarah #

    Congrats! 🙂

    March 1, 2014
  59. Fantastic! Now we have to date no. 2 to celebrate!

    March 1, 2014
  60. Gail Hart #

    I am so excited for you both! You are so perfect together!

    March 1, 2014
  61. Congrats!!!! This is awesome news!! I can’t wait to see the dogs in dog tuxes 🙂

    March 1, 2014
  62. Congrats! And it’s a great story–definitely one to last!

    March 2, 2014
  63. Congratulations!!! What an adventure you are on….and it will only get better day by day. Take it from someone who has been married for 36 years. And we still tell stories, some that have been told over and over and over again…

    March 2, 2014
  64. Hey congratulations!

    March 3, 2014
  65. Ang #

    Congrats !! Love your story !!

    March 3, 2014
  66. so many congratulations! ALL THE CONGRATULATIONS! and thank you for knowing me so well that you notified me outside the blog versus waiting for me to find out via blog. b/c seriously, the MINUTE i turn my back on my blog reading, things like this happen. i’m SO thrilled for you guys! expect an email very soon with me repeatedly screaming “EEEEEE!” all in caps and asking you tons of questions.

    March 3, 2014
  67. Carrie #

    There’s a little party over here at this household every time there’s a new post from Eggton to read but very excited for you on the news of you and your fiance’s big party times ahead!
    Congratulations on your engagement!

    March 4, 2014
  68. Well that caught me off guard! Very happy for all four of you! Even the ones who slept through all the excitement 🙂

    March 4, 2014
  69. How exciting!!! I love Scott’s version of the How-We-Met story. Congrats!

    March 7, 2014
  70. Amy #

    Happy Engagement! This is such exciting news!!

    March 10, 2014
  71. A belated congrats. I think you will have a blast.

    March 20, 2014
  72. Congratulations!!! The Party and the Adventures are to Begin:) My husband and I dated for 5 years before we got married and in a few months time will be our 10 year Wedding Anniversary.

    March 27, 2014
  73. UM shame on me!!!!!!! I read this, and got such a kick and weepy-laugh out of it, and was so happy for you guys — and probably was promptly distracted by something shiny. I loved this post, Katherine, and it made me brave enough to share my own on my blog. That quote has stuck with me since I read it — “Whenever I hear his key in the door, I think to myself, oh goody, the party’s about to begin.” Yes, girl. Yes. So happy that you have your life-party-mate and such a shamefully belated congratulations!

    April 2, 2014
  74. Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comnment (it was super long)
    so I guess I’ll just sum it up wyat I had written and say, I’m thoroughly
    enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger buut I’m still
    new to everything. Do you have any tips forr newbie
    blog writers? I’d really appreciate it.

    August 17, 2014

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