My husband and I had been seeing each other seriously for six years when he proposed to me. One year of that we weren’t in either person’s sight at all. During the first nine months on the first go ’round, during a particularly happy time I asked him if he ever thought about us getting married. “I think about it all the time,” he replied into my eyes and into my heart. My emotions were so high it felt as if my heart had just done a round trip of the continental divide at fifteen thousand feet above sea level.
Patience rides shotgun with me. I learned patience at a sewing machine, terrified the mechanically driven needle was heading straight for my left index and middle fingers. Going slow, gently feeding the fabric under the pressure foot, reminding myself over and over again haste makes waste, restrained my wanting ever so much to just rip the friggin’ project out from under the needle and foot, screaming bloody hell as I ran through the house with my hair on fire. Perhaps I acquired patience through restraint.
Most women would have lost patience with him long before I did.
During our seventh year we went for our usual hike through Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Early into the walk we passed a single man with seven dogs. My companion saw him approaching us, stated he had spoken with them. After he passed my partner leaned into my ear, ” Cheaper than a wife,” he quoted, laughing.
He knew I was upset enough to pop my cork and that I was doing everything in my power to stay composed. The heat had to go somewhere. My hair sizzled. Steam released itself out my ears and nose. The aura surrounding me turned red. Other walkers cut a wide path around me.
At the top of the trail I announced it was time. “Time for what?” he asked. “Time for you to shit or get off of the pot,” I announced. “Either you ask me to marry you now or we are done.” We walked on for a few minutes in silence, my resolve strong, adrenaline spiked. At a fork in the trail I turned to him. “It’s now or never, pal. Ask me now or it’s over.”
“I’m going to ask you, ” he replied adamantly.
“Then do it,” I demanded loudly.
“Yes! Now!” I shouted.
“Will you marry me? ” he yelled loud enough birds blasted out of the tree above us. Other hikers passed by, looking at the ground instead of at our commotion, attempting invisibility.
“Yes, damn it. I will marry you. How hard was that?”.
Here we are, nine years later married for the long haul and doing pretty good. Our life together to this day includes long walks in the woods, the foothills, on mountains. Most of the time we walk at that same place, Red Rock Canyon Open Space.
My birthday came and went on a foggy, cool February day this year. We went on our walk among the terra cotta flatirons jutting out of the ground, finding our way to the back of the park. Pausing along the way, my husband gently pulled me to him, kissing me ever so sweetly. I looked up at his face and watched his lips ask, “Will you marry me?” the way I had always hoped he would, in the same place I goaded it out of him the first time. I kissed him, touched his face and said, “I’ll have an answer for you in 6 years, three hundred and sixty-four days. I do hope you can be patient.”.