So a week after the Genius Husband, then guyIjustmetandliked, left for India, his dad showed up at my place of residence/place of worship. I was, after all, camping out on the floor of the nursery, in a church, that had once been a bar by the beach. He showed up for the evening service. I was scared out of my wits. I’m terribly aware of people watching me, and I felt certain he had come to watch me, with the slim pretext of taking some Canadian friends to check out our weekly feed all of our homeless friends that lived at the beach too. He thought I might like to meet them. (Yeah right) I made small talk, and then spent the rest of the evening hiding outside with some of the teenagers who were sweet, but too cool to go inside.
A week later as I walked out of my living room/church library I was again ambushed. Walking straight toward me was my future FIL and his second son. He says, “Carrien I thought you’d like to meet GH’s brother E.”
Then he walked away, leaving me face to face with a guy I didn’t know, who was also checking me out, but not for his own sake. So I tried to make conversation, and then I ran away again. I now know that my FIL doesn’t really trust his ability to read people, but every one trusts E. He took the report back to the rest of the family. I guess I passed.
I emailed the GH, confiding my suspicion that his family was checking up on me. His reply essentially stated that it was a distinct possibility since he had told his mother that he thought he was going to marry me, and gave her an awful photo of me, the only one he had. He had snapped it when I first woke up in the desert. I’m sitting up in my sleeping bag, blinking into the sun, sand in my hair, and altogether unwashed.
The first thing that pried its way into my dumbfounded brain was “He likes me, he really really likes me. He wants to marry me. Why the heck am I not terrified?”
Its not like I accepted the first marriage proposal that came my way, though none of the others had come with rings in hand or anything, but I had never once felt even a little bit tempted to accept. My response to his very sweet and nervous email where he said he would never be so tacky as to propose marriage over the internet, but he had to know if I was thinking similar things, or could I just please reject him now so he could move on, was to say that I was actually thinking the same things and to talk to me in a year or so when he got back. We had known each other two weeks people, this was insane for me, but I knew in spite of myself.
The second thing I thought was “Oh crap, they must think I’m a total idiot.”
That week I was ready for them; I even curled my hair. Since I knew that I had only met 2 of 8 children and one parent, I was expecting a full-scale invasion and I was going to be prepared this time.
Only no one came. In fact, none of them came again the whole time I was there. I was constantly looking over my shoulder for any sign of them, but they had disappeared.
The GH and I continued our electronic correspondence; he called me on my birthday. I still have copies of all of our cheesy, sappy, dreamy love letters from that year. The GH is embarrassed that any record exists of his engaging in such drivel. But since he says that in front of his guy friends that he likes to spar with and engage in stick fights, I choose to believe that its mostly bluster to spare his reputation.
Just before I returned to Canada, the GH begged me once again to go and meet his family, because he wasn’t going to be there to introduce me to them, and he wanted them to meet me before I left. So I went, with all of my friends for support, to his dad’s church one Sunday and met his brother, and his other brother, and his other brother, and his sister, and his other sister and his brother, and I finally met his mother. She confided that she had been dying to come and meet me herself, but was trying really hard not to be a typical Jewish mother and butt in, but would I please call her and invite myself to their house for dinner sometime so she could get to know me? And then I saw that terrible picture; she pulled it out of her wallet. I didn’t know it existed until then. So I went. And it felt like my grandmother’s house at Christmas, full of all of my cousins. I felt at home right away. My Milly and I had our first long talk and it became immediately apparent that we were cut from the same cloth she and I, and would get along just great. The FIL often jokes that his son found his mother and married her and in our case that’s a positive thing.
I went back to Canada after that. He got sick in Nepal in his 8th month of travel and finally decided to return to North America because he couldn’t get rid of the parasites, and he was a walking skeleton. He flew to Canada, he stayed with some family friends, the same I had met the first night his dad came to see me, close to where I was staying. For a month we dated, and hashed out disciplining our children and homeschooling and every other topic we imagined might have any bearing on whether or not we should marry.
The night before he was to go home we went to Kanaskis country, a beautiful outdoor area nestled at the foot of the Canadian Rockies. (He still hadn’t seen the mountains.) We took a picnic with us and sat by a fire together under the light of a very full moon dreaming about the places we’d like to live and the kind of house we’d like to live in together. Once the moon had risen over the ridge we noticed it looked exactly the same as the moon we had seen in the desert that first night we were together and he was swept away by the romance of it all and proposed on the spot. I said yes and we were both giddy with excitement. He told me later he thought he couldn’t plan a more perfect moment, so figured he’d better take the one he was given.
We stayed awake until it was time for him to leave the next morning, and then said goodbye until I returned to San Diego a month hence. I went wedding dress shopping with my mother that week, because I am a girl and get excited by the idea of dress shopping.
This however is not when I actually “decided” to marry him. I was certain it was he and no other, I was enjoying the romance of it all, and I did love him completely, but I had not yet decided to become a married woman with all that entailed. That happened the 3rd time he proposed. Stay tuned.