Monday, February 13, 2012

Linkage (And a Short War Story)

Blog-Bud Jim's 20th anniversary is comin' up... on the 29th of this month (yes, the 29th)... and he's re-running a series of old posts describing how he met his beloved, how he proposed, the wedding, yadda, yadda.  It's all great good stuff and you would be well-served to go read.  I know that a lot o' you Gentle Readers already have Jim in your RSS feeds or other blog-reading apps but I'm also pretty sure some of you haven't been to his place.  So go.  EVERYONE loves a love story and theirs is a great one.

Apropos o' not much... part of today's post was Jim's description of his proposal, about which I said this:
Well, there was - I'm sorry to say - nothing so glorious about my proposal.

Sez you. I'm of the mind that ANY proposal, given the gravity of the situation and the life-altering outcome(s), is glorious. So there's that.

I don't remember how I proposed to The Second Mrs. Pennington. We had a three-year courtship and I think it was mutually decided sometime in our second year that yes, we would marry, but she had to finish school first. College, to be clear. She already had her junior high diploma.

That said... I DO remember giving her the engagement ring. We were spending the summer together in Plentywood, Montana (between her junior and senior year) the year before we married and I had recently inherited my grandmother's engagement ring. The lawyer handling the estate mailed the ring to me (yes, via USPS) and I had to sign for it at the post office on my way home from work one day.

I get home to our walk-up flat, climb the stairs, and toss her the package, sayin' sumthin' lame like "your ring came today." And the earth moved, and NOT in a Good Way. Long story shorter: I was sent downstairs and told to "come back and do it RIGHT." I did, she did, and we enjoyed 20 years o' wedded bliss until it all blew up.
True story.  "Doin' it right" meant me getting on bended knee and formally asking her to marry me, with a suitable presentation of the ring.  I was also required to meet with TSMP's father and ask for her hand in marriage.  That didn't go so well, but it's prolly better that we not discuss the encounter.  Suffice to say her father did consent to give her away, but only after offering to buy her a car and send her to grad school if she'd walk away... right as they were getting ready to walk down the aisle... and that's the TRUTH.


  1. My proposal to The Mrs. was at age 18. It went something like, "Well, when we get married, I'd like to already be buying a house. I'd hate for us to be to be throwing money away on rent."

    Like it was a foregone conclusion, or something...

    Boy, did I have A LOT to learn.

    Still do...

  2. I'm not too sure I could tell a courtship story.

  3. Great story, Buck. And to stress a positive angle, you got a second chance. Some guys don't get those.

    And wow, what a downer her father laid on you on that special day. Unbelievable. I can only hope he mellowed with age during the 20 years and was a little better to be around.

  4. I think my father felt the same way as TSMP's dad. Mine was just classier about it.

  5. Andy: Heh. Nothing is a foregone conclusion when it comes to wimmen. Not one single thang.

    Ivan: You prolly COULD; it might be ya don't wanna.

    I can only hope he mellowed with age during the 20 years and was a little better to be around.

    Not much for the first nine years TSMP and I were married, during which time he only said three words to me and only over the phone: "Is Paula there?" It was pretty awkward when he came to visit us in England, especially at dinner time. I'm NOT kidding... he never spoke to me.

    So... 1987 rolls around and I'd been retired from the USAF for two years and working for EDS in Dee-troit. TSMP and I were at her folks' house in Michigan's Thumb, I'm sitting in their living room reading a book and her father is reading the paper. All of a sudden he asked me what I thought about something, I don't remember what. He had to ask twice coz I KNEW he wasn't talking to me. So... from then on he wanted to be best buds; I subsequently told TSMP I liked it better when he didn't speak to me.

    Lou: See above.

  6. Any idea what provoked his sudden change of heart? Your general sunshiny demeanor, your always well stocked beer cooler, what?

  7. I think it was because I got out of the AF and began making "respectable" money, i.e., I was no longer enlisted swine (he was a Marine ossifer in another life). Or mebbe he just gave up after nine years.

  8. Buck; Yikes!

    My Spousal Unit had her Mom send down her (at that time recently departed Grand Mother's...) Ring, since we were getting married on two days notice. Her family wasn't as eager but they were real nice to me, anyway.

    I think the Ring brings luck, as it has been worn in good marriages since the early thirties.

  9. I don't remember if Pepper ever actually asked me or not. I do remember having a miserable case of the flu when the decision was made. He did ask my father (who was not thrilled, but he liked Pepper all right), and we asked Pepper's son together.. He was 5 and thrilled.

    For years after we moved to New Orleans (after 21 years of marriage), when my Daddy called and Pepper answered the phone, Daddy would always say, "Hi. It's Art. From Little Rock." That always cracked Pepper up. Daddy doesn't do that anymore because we text more than talk these days. I'm not sure why. Daddy did call a few nights ago to tell me that he'd gotten a phishing text message from Best Buy.

    I have no idea where this tangent came from.

  10. "Hi. It's Art. From Little Rock."

    Bwahahahahaha! That would have cracked me up, too, Moogie!

    I DID NOT GO IN TO THE MRS.' PARENTS REACTION when we made it "official." Papa-in-law was an Arkie, so most of his was incoherent. The Mrs.-in-law was an Okie, so she was kind, gracious, and decided to make the best of her 18 year old daughter marrying a reasonably polite young jackass from a well known local fambly.

    Papa-in-law died 8 years ago, and I think he liked me when he croaked...but NOBODY would ever be good enough for his "punkin'."

    The Mrs.-in-law is still going strong, and even though it took me decades, she's my second biggest fan.

    Man...that was a long comment.

  11. If I found myself with a daughter in some fucked-up town that close to Canada, it would please me immensely that some poor air man rescue her from the shit hole batch of farmers sons, who all wear baseball caps, have black teeth with chew, and fart in church.

    I'd even buy you a beer and talk your fucking head off.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.