My father proposed to my mother on a windy Sunday afternoon during a picnic out of town. The wind must have been a cool breeze. He didn’t go down on one knee, he remained as he was, sitted with his feet folded under him. There were no engagement rings, just a chap bottle of wine, bottled promises and dreams. Other than my mother, there was no one nearby to hear the proposal, just her and probably God.
She said yes, he quit smoking.
A week later, on Saturday, they said their vows behind a church in the presence of four friends. There was a real wedding going on in the church. She did not wear a flowing gown with a long train. She wore a purple dress and a wide brimmed hat. Still the pastor must have noticed her tears as the ring slipped into her finger. It looked like a copper ring, but it was golden, it cost my old man a fortune. It looked like a simple, quiet wedding but it was all they wanted.
Later that evening, they had an over priced dinner at a hotel they had walked past many times before without looking into. Not that they had so much to spend, but it felt right. They were walking into the unknown.
They chose a ‘quiet’ and unplanned wedding because to them it didn’t matter what anybody else thought of their union. Not even their families.
My mother married my father not so much because of who he was then, but because of who he was becoming. Because of who they would both become together. She understood his dreams and ambitions. She saw an infectious optimism, calm spirit and so much soul.
My father must have seen her more than just a girl with a smile whose white was unrivalled. He must have seen her as his best friend.
When you get married ‘quietly’ like my father did, you learn to become your own man. You learn to handle stuff on your own, with your wife. You learn not to involve friends and family in your relationship. You learn the difference between what people say marriage is and what it actually is.
You learn to consult your wife while making business decisions. You learn that it is okay for you to prepare breakfast when you get up earlier. You learn that women can be more than what your drinking buddies say they are.
When you get married like my old man did, your wife is your best friend and vice versa. You know that, rose flowers will still melt her heart and bring a tear or two to her eyes. You know that chocolate is still good for her as it was years ago. You remember to reserve a table for dinner once in a while to remember the over-priced dinner moons ago.
when you are that kind of a man, and she has a good head on her shoulders, she will never let debts sink you. She will pay bills without you asking. She will hold your hand when profits are low and you will be sure tommorow will be a better day.
When you get married like they did, you will make mistakes but you will be quick to forgive yourselves and learn from from them. When you get married like they did, you will return to the ‘overpriced’ restaurant and laugh at how naïve you both were on that Saturday evening years ago when you had nothing but each other, dreams, ambitions and promises.