Did I ever tell you about the time I almost eloped?
Didn’t think so.
It’s not something that comes up in everyday conversation.
But since we’re friends and all, pour yourself a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and let’s chat.
It was back in 2006. Ron and I had been engaged for almost four years.
Yes, I know, I’ve heard it all before. My own family had stopped asking if we were ever going to get married by that point.
Heck, Ron had even stopped asking. As he told me at the time, he had grown content to know we were together and that I had accepted his proposal.
He said he knew early on that I was “the one.” Or maybe “the two” as the case may be.
Just for the record, though, I quickly moved into the No. 1 position and remain there today.
It helped that we had known each other growing up. There was a history. As I’ve shared here before, I met him when he was 14 years old and he peddled to our church on his bike.
He became one of my brother’s best friends and so was often at our house hanging out. The way he likes to tell it, I’d flit into my brother’s room, share a funny story or two and then prance back out.
Although, truth be told, he probably didn’t use the word “flit.” Or “prance.”Those are more Phyllis words.
He thought I was cool, he says now. But when we reconnected all these years later, we both had children and divorces behind us.
That was a large part behind the four-year engagement. I was, frankly, in no hurry to be stuck in a bad relationship again.
Around this time, though, our kids were all almost grown. Much easier to be a couple of newlyweds if we were starting out on our own.
Then Ron’s son was preparing to graduate from an Army training school and called to invite us to the ceremony in Kentucky.
Before Ron could respond, Ryan said, “Please, Dad! No one else is going to be there for me.”
Well, since that had happened before at his other graduations, Ron said what he always has — “I can’t control what anyone else does, but I’ll be there for you.”
Just one of the reasons why I knew I’d made the right choice in this man.
We made the long drive to Kentucky, supported his son and gave him a good sendoff. Then we took our time coming back, stopping in Tennessee and then Dollywood and Gatlinburg.
Pause here, for that is where the unexpected elopement almost happened. We started seeing wedding chapels and with it came the hints.
“We could get married now,” Ron said.
A few minutes later, he’d try another approach — “We could just walk into that chapel,” he said.
Don’t think for a moment it wasn’t tempting. It would be so easy. So spontaneous. So final.
Yeah, that last one did pop into my brain.
Along with the fact that I knew my family would be disappointed as they all wanted to be there.
But truth is, one thing above all others thwarted this quickly conceived plan: Vacation Hair.
It’s a long-time curse but I have never had cooperative hair on vacations.
And no way I was going to flit into a wedding chapel, get married with this un-photogenic mane and then prance out to begin our life together.
Postscript: we wound up getting married less than six months later. In a church. With pretty decent hair. Today marks our 12th anniversary.
Every now and again I’ll reflect on this and wish we had gotten secretly married during that trip.
It wouldn’t make us any more married than we are now, but it would have been fun to celebrate twice as often.