A few days ago, the person I love more than anything or anyone else in the world asked me to marry him. And I said ‘of course.’ This is our story.
A few years ago, I took a Shakespeare class. It’s required for English majors at Augusta State University. A guy sat a row over and a few seats back from me. Even in the winter months, he wore the same pair of green khaki shorts, Corona flip flops, and his fraternity jersey. It turns out this guy would be my husband, but I didn’t know that then. In fact, I thought he was just another obnoxious frat boy. He thought I had awesome hair, but I never caught him checking me out (maybe I would have liked him better if I had).
A few semesters later, I went into Best Buy to get a Thelonious Monk CD. There, in media, was that same goofy looking frat boy. He took a while to say anything to me, and when he did, he just asked me if I was finding everything all right. How dare he not remember me! How dare he not talk to me! Until he did remember me, and he did talk to me. For several, several hours. As I walked out of Best Buy, he called after me “I’ll be here tomorrow!” How cute.
We met each other at several jazz concerts sponsored by our university, and I quickly encouraged him to ask for my number. Our first date was at a bar, and I knew Dustin and I would be good friends when he ordered my two favorite beers, in order, without talking to me first about beer. We talked and talked for several more hours, and our second date (and first kiss) was the next day at his house, watching movies with some of his friends.
We dated more, hung out even more, ran up our cell phone minutes, used a lot of gas, and left a lot of “happy-end-of-date-tips” for grateful waiters.
We continued to date for about a year before I moved to Oxford, MS for graduate school. (Dustin stayed in Augusta to finish his degree.) I came home for Thanksgiving break, having already talked with Dustin about getting engaged sometime later in the year (I was sure it would be a Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve event). We drove around Augusta a bit, looking at some of our haunts. He took me to Augusta State again, where we met and to the amphitheater on campus, where we had a great picnic date. He got down on one knee, and I joined him sitting on mine. He pulled out the Norton Complete Shakespeare (the same book he used for our Shakespeare class), and said that ever since I was a little girl, I’ve looked for happiness in books. He opened the volume to reveal he’d totally desecrated the book by hollowing out a space just big enough for a ring box. I started crying.
He asked, I said yes.