"It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.''
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Back when I was single—Oh so long ago now!—I remember asking my married friends to relate how they knew that their spouse was THE ONE. A person doesn’t want to make a mistake where eternity is concerned. So, I asked everyone I met how they knew—squirreling away anecdotes to have in my arsenal so I could make as much as an informed decision as possible when the need arose. My friends gave me many answers. Some had received answers from prayer. Some related that it felt, “just so much easier,” to be with that person than with anyone else they had dated. Some just “knew.”
This begs the question as to how I knew Mr. F. was THE ONE—the one I was willing to align myself with for all eternity. I am afraid that I have to answer similarly to Lizzy when she was explaining to her sister Jane about her engagement to Mr. Darcy: “It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began.” However, unlike Lizzy, I do not date it from seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley—Mr. F. having rather puny grounds and not very beautiful ones at that. I think, though, I can date it back to a certain email that I received while we were dating. On reading this email, I knew that I had found a kindred spirit. Eternity no longer seemed so forbidding as long as I had the companionship of an entertaining and humorous friend.
Background: I had known that Mr. F. had injured his shoulder somehow. He had mentioned it to me a couple of times, even relating to me how he had done it. However, I, at times, have the memory of a leaky sieve.
From: Lady Susan
11/13/2007 8:33 AM
To: Mr. F.
Subject: Talking about not remembering….
o.k. this has been bothering me for a bit now. I remember you telling me something about your shoulder (I could tell you what part of china town we were in for example), I remember that I teased you about rheumatism in your shoulder, but I don't remember what you told me. So.....what is exactly wrong with your shoulder(s)? Did three hours of whiffle ball (or whatever else you were playing) aggravate it? You know, it is much better to blame rheumatism on an old war injury or something. You need a story--some really interesting back story on what happened.
From: Mr. F.
11/13/2007 6:00 PM
To: Lady Susan
Subject: Re: talking about not remembering....
Whiffle ball?!? It was the bottom of the ninth in the World World Championships 1994. I was on deck preparing for my time at bat. The tying run was at bat and I would be the winning run. The batter swung the plastic bat with such force that even the last row of the bleacher gasped. A line drive straight up the middle of the field, allowing for a single.
My nerves were nearly uncontrollable now. The hopes, and possibly fears, of dozens of fans were riding on my skill as a player. The bat felt heavy in my hands as I stepped up to the batters box. If I could just hit a home run, I could be the hero of the season. I stared down the pitcher.
He pitched a slow arching ball that I let pass. I was on the lookout for a fastball. The next pitch was what I wanted. The air whistled through the ball. I swung with all my might. Crack. I hit with such force that the yellow plastic of the bat split, as well as the muscles in my shoulder. The ball soared over the field. The outfielders backed up quickly and soon turned to run after the ball. Their efforts were well intentioned but useless. The ball easily cleared the fence. Whistles and cheers erupted from the bleachers. We won! We won!
The exhilaration of the win was bitter sweet. My whiffle ball career was over; I could never play again.
To this day I have a hard time talking about the injury so I usually don't tell anyone. Most of the time I just tell people that I was born this way and my shoulders have always been double jointed.
*Laughing* See, even now, this email still cracks me up.
Happy Anniversary Luv! One year down, an eternity left to go.