The Christmas Memories, Part 5

Last year, I began a series on Christmas memories (See these if you missed them: 1, 2, 3 and 4).

This year, I take up where I left off.

Back in 1985, I was dating again (a long story) the young man I’d eventually marry. I worked at a large airline as a programmer and he worked at a large department store. We’d only been dating again (a long story) a few months, when he began to behave very erratically. Up to that point, he’d been the perfect “almost” boyfriend. I thought, “Oh great, here we go again”. After complaining one day at the office, the girls all whooped and hollered and danced around like little pagans. I was not amused. They crowed, “He’s going to ask you to marry him!!” I said, “NO WAY, He’s being a jerk”. (In retrospect, I probably used a much stronger word) This went on for about a week.

I was miserable and thinking of breaking it off. They, the cackling hoard, came up with a “Proposal Pool” and posted it outside our office in the cube farm. A quarter a square – you pick the date – winner take all. It went from the middle of November to New Year’s Eve. As I became more and more miserable, the squares filled up.

Every day, I’d drag in to mountains of questions and inspections. Did he ask? How did it happen? Was I hiding the ring in my purse? (My thoughts always ran along the lines of “Go to Hell”) The days ticked by. The more obnoxious, overly-competitive types would wheel and deal – negotiating for the later dates on the pool. November rolled off. Only December was left.

Finally, one day, exasperated by the constant haranguing by my girlie co-workers, I asked if we made it to New Year’s Eve – the end of the pool – would I get all the quarters. They signed dramatically like synchronized swimmers and rolled their eyes. “But Huuuuuuney, you’re not gonna maaaahke it to New Year’s EEEEEve!” *Sigh* As hard as I’d worked to get this job, I was thinking of quitting.

Then, one Sunday night, December 8 (to be exact), in my little apartment in East Point, the most amazing thing happened. I don’t really remember what we were doing. We were in the living room (such that it was in such a tiny place). He got down on one knee. At first I thought he was looking for something on the rug. I don’t remember exactly how he said it – but he proposed. The following Wednesday at church, he gave me my ring.

The next day there was such a racket in my section of the floor, the big managers came out of their offices to see what was going on. Sweetly, they congratulated me and told everybody else to get back to work.

My boss won the pool. No one had picked Dec. 8. The winner was the person who picked the date closest. She picked Pearl Harbor Day (today), adding the comment that “all marriages turn into wars anyway”.

The wedding planning race had begun.

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