It was September of 1995 when Christian appeared in my life. (Actually, that’s not entirely accurate…we did meet, sort of, three years earlier.) Newly recommitted to the faith of my childhood, I joined a choir at the Newman Center. One of the first events of that semester was a liturgy for which we joined forces with the college-Mass choir, so it took a while for me to get straight which of the younger members belonged with the 9p.m. group, and which belonged with mine. Christian, it turned out, was one of the latter.
On All Saints Day he asked me out, and the rest is history. For three years, we structured our lives around school (for me), work (for him), and church choir.
On a sunny Sunday morning in August 1998, just a couple of weeks before I headed northward for my second year of grad school, Christian came by my apartment and picked me up on the way to church. I was mad at him because he’d been on edge all weekend; the only explanation I could come up with for his anxiety was that his mother was in town, but he’d never reacted this way to her presence before. It was really annoying. And it didn’t help that we were both sick.
It was a big day in the choir. One of our members was celebrating an anniversary. Christian added to his edginess by insisting on videotaping the Mass for them. But eventually everything settled down and Mass started. It was a good music day. Lots of energy in the choir. Fun music. After Communion, Father launched into an unusually long set of announcements. I was perched on the step by the piano, whispering to Christian, when I realized that my mom was sitting in the back row. “Hey,” I whispered, smacking Christian’s arm. “My mom’s back there. What’s she doing here?”
And I’ll be darned if that boy didn’t get up in front of 850 people on a Sunday morning and propose to me.
Suddenly, everything became clear. Obsession with video camera—check. Edginess all weekend—check. His mother coming to town—check. My mom appearing in the back of church—check.
To this day, complete strangers as well as people I only met since moving across town to Lourdes still come up to me and say, “I was there the day you got engaged.”
That’s my engagement story. Anybody else feel like sharing? Betty Beguiles is letting us all share today. Hop on over if you feel like wasting lots of time being gooey and romantic.