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Another answer, to another question

"What was the exact moment you knew you were in love with your husband, enough to spend the rest of your life with him?"

That is an excellent question, which I do not have a satisfactory answer to. I don't really do sudden state changes as a rule, so there wasn't any kind of blinding flash of insight. I do know that the first time he brought up the m-word, which was some time in the summer of 2000, I wound up huddled in the corner crying, because wow was I not ready for that kind of commitment.

By about Christmas 2001, long-termness had pretty much been established, and we sort of took it slowly from there.

So I can give you a period of about a year and a half, with high probability of being centered a month or two before he headed off to CMU (so, June-July 2001), because that's when we were talking about it the most.

We got officially engaged on August 9 (for me; August 8 for Andres), 2002, and eventually got around to getting legally married on August 23, 2004, followed by the wedding on September 5. (We don't have an anniversary, we have a whole holiday season!) But that was all well after it was clear that we were going to be hanging around each other for a good long time.

***Special Bonus Wedding Vows***

This is what we said at the wedding, more or less. The vows are exact (except for the part where I completely forgot what I was saying and had to go back and stick a line in the wrong spot), the introductory bits were ad-libbed a bit.

Andres: It was in the fall of 1999 that the Dean's Scholars were taking their annual field trip out to Port Aransas. Being the punctual sort, I was on the bus fairly early and secured a nice aisle seat, suitable for talking to others around me. Late in the boarding process there wandered on this girl whom I had passed a few times between classes in Welch Hall, and she asked if the seat next to me was available, which it was. (We followed this same seating pattern on our flight over here.) A while into the trip, after conversation had died down, she started whining about how much her back hurt and how only a backrub could save her from prolonged agony. Being obliging, I provided one, and we hit it off well, hanging out over the course of the weekend, making sandcastles, and staying up way too late for no good reason.

On the way back, she got off at the first stop the bus made, which I had not expected, depriving me of the chance to obtain her contact info. Fortunately, UT has an online directory, and I was able to track her down and call her; since she sounded happy, I assume I wasn't stalking her. She went off to her grandparents' for Thanksgiving, and when she returned we went on a date. As luck would have it, that morning the radiator on the van failed, leaving it incapable of driving more than a block without the temperature gauge swinging dangerously into the red zone. I was able to borrow the Blazer, which has poor traction, which became an issue due to the torrential rains that were coming down that evening, but we managed to survive without incident, enjoying both our viewing of Toy Story 2 and our cups of tasty Amy's Ice Cream.

Theresa: In the summer of 2002, I was in Massachusetts herding small children around a hilltop, and Andres was in California herding somewhat larger children around robots. Being separated by the entire length of the United States, we naturally spent a lot of time on the phone. One night, we got to talking, and as the hours slipped over from August 8th to August 9th, we once again brought up the idea of becoming engaged. "What, right now?" said Andres. "Sure," I said. And so we were engaged.

A mere 745 days later (746 for Andres), on Monday the 23rd of August, we stood before a magistrate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and were wed. Now we would like to share that moment with you.

Andres, I love you and I want you to be my husband. I will care for you when you are sick, comfort you when you are sad, and forgive you when you are stupid.

Andres: Theresa, I love you and I want you to be my wife. I will lift you up when you are down, hold you when you feel alone, and warm you when you are cold.

Theresa: I will laugh when you laugh, rejoice when you succeed, and take pride in your accomplishments. I will love you and honor you throughout our lives.

Andres: I will smile when you smile, encourage your dreams, and applaud your achievements. I will love you and honor you throughout our lives.

Theresa: Will you accept this ring as a symbol of my devotion to you?

Andres: Yes. Will you accept this ring as a symbol of my devotion to you?

Theresa: Yes.

(This of course was followed by smooching.)

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One night, we got to talking, and as the hours slipped over from August 8th to August 9th, we once again brought up the idea of becoming engaged. "What, right now?" said Andres. "Sure," I said. And so we were engaged.

Y'all are terribly terribly cute, you know.

You know, heart, while your statement of their cuteness is entirely true... we can't exactly talk.

Oooh! Story! Story!

(Sorry, I know you don't know me, but I'm 1) insomniac and therefore punchy, and 2) enjoying the cute parade so far.)

It's not really a parade if there's only one thing in it, now is it?

But yes, they are also extremely cute.

Excellent point. But my evening's flist included two separate posts to pictures of less-than-week-old kittens, so for me it *was* a parade.

I don't have time to write up anything cute, but I'll point you at an example from a few years ago:

That was enormously sweet.

I wound up huddled in the corner crying, because wow was I not ready for that kind of commitment.

That part I get completely, including the huddled and crying bits. It's taken me the better part of two years to not have that reaction immediately upon mention of that word or concept in relation to me & B, and I only just recently lifted the moratorium on using it. Until a month ago, B was prohibited from mentioning marriage to/with me entirely, on pain of me "throwing myself and at least two cats into a car and running for the hills." I had to forgive him the last time he slipped, though, as he was coming off the general anaesthetic from his oral surgery and got very emotional and chatty about it, but it's hard to drive one's nigh delirious partner home from such a thing when tears are streaming down one's face, no?

Anaesthetic does weird things to people's brains. When I had my wisdom teeth out, whatever they gave me completely zapped my short-term memory. I was standing at the counter demanding that they explain some particular bit on the list of instructions (with my mouth all full of cotton, so demanding was complicated!), but then I couldn't remember the explanation, so I asked for it four or five times before Mom dragged me off to the car.

Hee! That's exactly what happened with him, complete with him making nearly no sense with the gauze in his mouth. He actually still doesn't remember the fifteen minutes or so that we spent in the recovery room going over the instructions. He *does* remember the conversation in the car, thank heaven.

Anaesthesia seems to loosen up things for him in general though, since the first time he ever told me he loved me he was anaesthesized as well, sans the mouthful of gauze.

But I think that's why in general they want someone there with you when they go over the instructions after surgery. Chances are really good that the one operated on isn't going to remember a thing.

Nick and I just went with very traditional vows, since we did the whole religious thing. But I think I like your way better. It's neat and personal.

According to a friend of Andres' who couldn't make the wedding but read them later, they are the "Best Vows Ever!"

What I particularly like about ours is that by separating the legal and the social parts, we got to marry ourselves. Legally, you have to have some authorized member of the clergy or justice of the peace (guess which one we picked!) do it. But marriage is not something that somebody else can do to us; it's not even something that we did. It's something that we are doing, every day, and I think our vows reflect a lot of that.

What everybody else particularly likes about our vows is... well, you can probably guess the line that got the laughs. :)

I actually had one of those blinding flashes of "holy shit, I am in love with person." Which is why I tend to ask others if they did. I wasn't actually going out with Marlon at the time, but we'd known each other for two years and he had ended up passing out on my floor many a time.

It was a Friday, I remember that, and it was February 2003. I was doing something on the computer, then got up to answer a knock at the door. I opened it, and somehow seeing Marlon on the other side was different beyond reason. He just radiated this aura of specialness ... And I knew that I was in love.

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