Monday, May 9, 2011
At our last dinner party, the questioned was posed, "WHEN did you know you were ready to get married?" I revealed a secret which I had kept from my husband for forty years! One time, shortly after he and I began dating in 1968, Gerald handed his wallet to me to take money out to pay for an item. I noticed that there was a half of a dollar bill in one of the picture holders. I asked him what it was for and he said that someone else had the other half. Intuitively, I knew not to pursue the subject, but I also knew that it had to have been from his former fiancee. Each time his wallet was open that I could see, I always peeked to see if that half dollar bill was still there.
After we had dated for a short while, Gerald asked me to marry him. I wanted to get married but I would not consider it as long as that damned half dollar bill was in his wallet. Instead of being honest, I told him that he didn't make enough money to get married. He broke up with me and I used every feminine (and probably unfeminine) wile to win him back because I knew that I loved him. Another time he broached the subject of marriage and I used the excuse that I had too many responibilities to expect him to assume.
On June 6, 1971, it was Gerald's birthday, and I had fixed his favorite meal: lasagna, garlic bread, salad, mushrooms and German's Chocolate cake. After dinner I presented him with his presents which included a new wallet because his wallet smelled so bad. Sitting on the couch, he said, "I might as well just change everything over now." He found several items in the wallet which were duplicates or out-of-date and he had a little pile of stuff to throw away. He started to take the pictures out to transfer to the new wallet and he tossed the half dollar bill into the throwaway pile. I said, matter-of-factly, "I'll throw this stuff in the trash for you."
The next evening, June 7, 1971, we were sitting on the couch and I turned to him and said, "I think we should get married." He was shocked, but asked, "When?" I answered, "June 19." He asked, "Next year?" I said, "No, this year." The look that crossed his face was a mixture of fear and bewilderment. He asked, "Why so quick?" I answered, "Because I want to get married on Betty and Kenny's anniversary because they make me know that life-long love is possible." He asked, "That's the ONLY reason?" I then realized WHY he was concerned by my wanting to be married so quickly after turning it down numerous times. I said, "Yes, that's the ONLY reason." A look of great relief--and happiness--crossed his face.
The next day, I went to Lazarus and bought my wedding gown and the following day we went to buy Gerald's outfit. We went to Indiana for the blood tests the week before the wedding and made arrangements with a Justice Of The Peace to perform the ceremony on June 19. I called my brother and asked him and his wife to go with us for the wedding.
After our guests had left, Gerald asked, "WHY didn't you just tell me that it bothered you and I would have removed it?" I answered, "Insecurity--fear--pride--any number of reasons that seem so silly NOW!"
Another secret: I'm older than Gerald and at the time of our wedding, I was terribly embarrassed by that fact; I wanted to be married AFTER his birthday but BEFORE mine on July 19 so that when the license was published in the newspaper it would look like there was one year LESS in our age difference.
Gerald always enjoys telling people that I proposed to him! NOW he knows WHY!
I swear this is FULL DISCLOSURE!