White Lace and Promises, Part 3

You’ve now read about her two bad marriages; the second by far much more disastrous than the first. It’s no wonder that the last thing she wanted after that ordeal was another man anywhere near her, let alone a boyfriend or a husband!

Marriage, she’d decided, wasn’t all it was made out to be. At least in her case. Although she still thought about having a family, it sure seemed like that was something that just wasn’t in her future. And right then she was ok with it.

She had a job she really liked, her family was supportive of her, and actually relieved she’d gotten away from the second man she’d married without serious injuries. Or worse.

And yes, most of her childhood friends were still married and had several kids, but right now she wasn’t spending her time envying what they had and what she didn’t.

And she felt free. Her priorities had changed, and she was ready to concentrate on making herself happy BY HERSELF for a change. It was time to pursue new interests; new hobbies,

She’d always been interested in photography, so she bought herself a new camera and decided to learn to take better pictures. One day she was walking around the mall where she worked and one of the store managers asked her where she was going. She told him the zoo, and he said if she’d wait another hour he’d go with her. 

Absolutely not! “I’m going now and going by myself. This is my day off!” Before her second divorce, if she’d been single, she’d have jumped at the offer. How far she’d come! She didn’t need, or want, a man in her life right now! And she was learning to have a great time by herself!

That next week, though, she noticed the same guy seemed to be popping up around her. Having lunch near her table in the food court. Standing outside the store when she’d walk by delivering memos to some of the businesses. Good grief, was he stalking her?! That’s all she needed.

A few more weeks went by. One day she saw him talking to her boss and they acted like they were having a really important conversation. She didn’t know what to think, especially when her boss said something about what a nice guy he was, and he really wanted to talk to her about some advertising ideas for the mall. Well, that sounded harmless. She was always ready to talk about new ideas,

Then one day he walked into the office, a smile on his face as usual, and asked her if she’d had lunch yet, and if not, how’d she like to go with him and talk about some ideas he had. 

What could it hurt? Business was business.  So she agreed. 

But lunch was anything but what she expected. They spent the majority of their time talking, but not about marketing the mall. He told her about his background, how he arrived in that city from across the country, and asked her all kinds of questions about herself. And she didn’t feel pressured, controlled, or being interrogated like her ex-husband made her feel.

They had a great time, and then he took her for ice cream before heading back to work. They still hadn’t discussed any marketing ideas. 

Later she realized he was marketing himself to her! Which actually worked! But it was way too soon for her to get involved with anyone after her last disaster of a marriage.

Right? 

But still, he kept pursuing her. Yes, they eventually did talk marketing ideas, and he was a big help in planning some of the mall events, and even videotaping a lot of them for her. 

Eventually things progressed from him being just another marketing consultant to, well the two of them becoming a couple. And they moved in together. He’d been married once before, and we know what she’d experienced. Naturally they were both a bit hesitant to contemplate anything else. They talked about it once in a while but neither was ready to seriously discuss it. They were happy the way things were.

Until one morning when there was an unexpected staff meeting at her office. She didn’t think much about it, though, until she walked in the room and was asked to sit in the middle of the room while everyone else was seated around the conference table. That couldn’t be good….  

Her boss stood up and said, “Now that we’re all here, we have something special taking place this morning.” And he looked right at her.

As the conference room door opened, music began to play, and a man in a white tux, white top hat, and a white cane came dancing into the room, right over to her, and kneeled in front of her. She was…

Nervous. Embarrassed. And totally thinking everyone had lost their mind. What was going on?

He introduced himself and said his name was Mr. Wonderful, her boyfriend had sent him, and then he started singing. A marriage proposal. He ended it by grabbing her hand, and telling her her boyfriend was waiting for a phone call with her answer. And then he danced out.

The room burst into applause. She sat there speechless until her boss said, “What are you waiting for?! Go call the man!”

She walked out of the room in a daze; her head was spinning. She thought she was imagining things and then realized she wasn’t.

And of course she called him and told him yes!

This time, though, she was going to do things differently. After two formal weddings that had had disastrous endings, this one was going to be different. 

Small. Simple. She was more concerned about the marriage itself and what it meant, rather than another wedding.

No white lace this time. An off-white suit for her. Instead of a large white bouquet, a few red roses. Instead of a church with organ music, they were married in her mother’s home in front of the fireplace, with her cousin playing the piano. Just family and a few close friends.

This time, there were no “what if’s”, no cold feet or nervousness. Just promises that would be kept. In sickness and in health. Forever. She knew it wouldn’t always be easy, but it was going to be worth it

And 37 years later, they’re still married and still in love.

If you haven’t had the chance, be sure to read the first two installments of White Lace and Promises, published on January 31 and February 7.

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