Writer’s Workshop: Seven Eight, Seventy-Eight

The picture I liked the best. Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I met Mary at school in October 1976 after seeing her in a training class at Marshall Field’s a couple of weeks earlier. We started seeing a lot of each other at school, and occasionally outside of school, and it was around Christmastime that I was really starting to feel like she might be the one.

I wasn’t sure of how much I was going to see of her over Christmas break, but I wasn’t ready to ask her to marry me. That didn’t happen until a point during the break, when John C., who had been friends with me since grammar school and who also knew Mary, was out at my house with his parents, who were old friends of my mother. He came up with this brilliant plan to take Mary (and not me) on a ski trip. That was the point that I realized that if I didn’t ask her, I was going to lose her. So I told him, "John, we’re engaged."

I thought he was going to faint. After he got over the shock, he couldn’t have been happier for me. After he and his folks left, I thought, well, I guess I had better ask her now.

Shortly after we got back to school, Mary and I were snuggled together in a lounge area at school. I said, "Seven eight, seventy eight. How does that sound?"

"For what?"

"For us getting married. July 8, 1978. How does that sound?"

She sat up. "Wait, you’re asking me to marry you?"

"Yeah. If you want to. Do you?"

I don’t think there was anyone on earth happier than I was when she said "yes." After deciding to push the date up to January (about which Mom was not real happy), we were married January 28, 1978, after a huge snowstorm (which is why Mom didn’t want us getting married in January). And we’ve been together ever since.

17 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Seven Eight, Seventy-Eight

  1. I remember that snowstorm well, we got hit with a massive storm here in New York that year. I was pregnant with our son but didn’t know it yet and in the middle of organizing a huge event at our parish school, a “Fifties” dance. Reports of a storm came and went but the event went on as skies darkened and the snow started falling, for hours. The host DJ made the 6 hour trip from Jersey, anxious to make his $150.00 fee, put on a great show, and left. Still can’t remember if we ever heard from him again. All in all, I recall that we were hit with about 26″ of the white stuff and life came to a standstill for a bit.

    I like your memory so much better! A belated and very Happy Anniversary to Mary and you!


    1. Thank you! We didn’t get quite as much snow, as I remember: the worst blizzard we had in Chicago was 23 inches in 1967 (it started the day after my father died), where the 1978 storm was “only” 12 inches. A year later, we had 21 inches. People wonder why I moved south…


  2. I was exactly one month and two days old when you got married. You could have raised me!! This made me laugh that you made your move before your buddy could intercept her. I bet she’s pretty happy about that too!


    1. I’m pretty sure he was joking, and even if he wasn’t, Mary thought he was kind of goofy (which is actually his most-endearing quality). By that time I think we both knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of time.


    1. There wasn’t much of a chance she’d have gone with him. She doesn’t ski and thought he was kind of a goof (which he is, of course, that’s why we were friends).

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    1. Hearing what he was planning got my off my rear end, yes. I don’t think Mary would have gone: she doesn’t ski and she thought he was kind of a jerk (which he was, but a lovable one).


  3. What a very nice love story and I always like hearing how people met and got together. My hubby is a brilliant artist and we met because of his artistry. I went to our satellite office for work and when I walked in there, hanging on the wall was one of his art pieces. I was dumbfounded because he works on wood, straight grained mahogany and burns the wood but with brilliant swirls, some deep and others not. How he creates his work just amazes me. When I saw his Hummingbird art piece I almost cried from the beauty of it. The lady working there, Dawn, asked if I was married. I didn’t want to get involved with anyone. But I answered correctly and said no. After I saw clients I was going to go out to my bank and Dawn said she called him and he as coming. I sighed and went out and when I came back, there he was in ripped shorts and a faded t-shirt. We started talking about art and he walked me to his car. I called a few days later telling him about a place to show his art and he called me back and we 5alked for 3 hours! That was it. In 2 weeks we knew we wanted to be with each other and by March, he moved in. This was 13.5 years ago and, despite the ups and downs, we can’t think of being apart.


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