Thursday, December 20, 2007


Guess what! My hubby did not kiss me for the first time (well, I mean a real kiss) until the night he asked me to marry him--32 years ago! I was 27, had my own apartment, and he'd just been discharged from the air force after having served 4 years during the Viet Nam era. We had been the best of friends for YEARS because my oldest brother married his oldest sister when I was 13 and he was, ur, um, 9, so while we grew up best friends, there was always that age difference that kept us from even thinking about a romantic involvement. In fact, yuck! Poke me in the nose with a stick if either one of us even thought of such a thing! In those days we were much more like brother and sister.

Well, growing up I went through one boyfriend after another, and he had his share of girlfriends, but it seemed like we were always checking up on each other -- "Who're you dating now? Is he good enough for you? Is he treating you right?" he'd ask. "Call me if you ever need me to straighten his nose, babe." (He always called me babe--even then.) I'd ask him the details of his most recent love interest, and he'd say, "She's a partier--fun, but not my type." Or, "She's okay, but her mom is too possessive!" I'd say, "Call me if you want me to give her a piece of my mind." You get the picture. We were JUST FRIENDS, but don't nobody ever hurt the other one.

Well, it was September 1975. I was 27 and currently without a man. (Poor me.) He was 23 and fresh out of love with a girl who, well, frankly, wasn't ME, I find out later. He'd even bought her a honkin' big diamond, thinking he could get me out of his mind if he'd just marry someone else. Didn't work.

The Air Force was done with him, so he was flying back to Michigan to see his family and...get this, see if he could muster any sparks between us. (He now felt old enough for me!) He asked me (just me) to pick him up at the airport, and I thought, that's cool. I get to pick up my best friend at the airport. Well, when he got off that plane and I laid eyes on his tanned, muscled, grown-up frame in that white "leisure suit"--yep, you heard right--leisure suit--I KNEW he was old enough. He walked up to me and planted a nice one square on my lips, but it was short, not the YUMMY one I was telling you about earlier, the "real" kind. This was the "teaser" kind, the kind that makes you walk around in a daze and ask yourself things like, "Have I ever really been kissed by another man, I mean REALLY kissed? If I haven't, then what am I missing?" It was a dumbfounding feeling!

A full week passed and no more kisses. What? What is he doing to me? We played, shopped, hung out at my apartment, ate together, went places, shared down-and-dirty, gut-level discussions, discovered we had a lot in common, laughed - and laughed some more, and all the while I'm thinking, "This is my best friend!"


EXACTLY a week after picking him up at the airport, we were coming home from visiting his sister and brother-in-law who lived several miles away. We chatted in the car all the way home. Suddenly, he put his hand on my knee. Huh? What's he doing, and why does it feel so right? OH, LORD, HELP ME!

Back at my apartment, we sat down to watch some TV. My stomach was aflutter and my heart had stepped up its pace. Something felt different.


His arm came up around my shoulder and tugged me closer. My heart literally stopped beating for at least three entire beats I think, and let me tell you, when that happens you get dizzy and lightheaded! His lips skimmed my ear, and before I could even think about what was happening, I turned my face and, well, his was right there, one inch from mine. He gave me that 'I'm-going-to-kiss-you' look, and I gave him that, 'We-better-not-waste-another-minute' one.

Talk about DIVINE. I thought I had died and gone to Heaven. It was true. I really hadn't been kissed before - I mean truly kissed - until that very moment. All those other times were just pretend things. Oh, I thought they were real, but they were shallow, meaningless, depthless things in comparison to this. This one was tender, giving, promising, soft, passionate. Whew, baby!

On the spot, he told me he loved me, always had, always would -- and would I please, please marry him?

It took me awhile to wade through the mire and mush my head had become, but when I finally agreed, he said, "We don't have to wait long, do we? We already know everything there is to know about each other."

And here's the big thing. We already knew and loved our IN-LAWS! Right there's reason enough!

Well, two and half months later we were married, and you never saw two more giddy, huggy, kissie people in your life. We must have driven our friends and family crazy with our smoochiness.

That was THIRTY-TWO years ago today. Yep, today's my 32nd anniversary. We aren't as giddy as we used to be, and our love has "settled down", i.e. it's grown, developed, matured, weathered a few storms, produced two lovely daughters, given us a grandchild, taught us patience, grown us spiritually, made us laugh till our sides hurt, and even caused a tear or two to fall.

Love is not always easy, but it's not hard, either, especially when you put Christ into the equation. We decided early on that our marriage needed to be Christ-focused/not US-focused. We dedicated our lives and our marriage to the Lord, and He has blessed us immeasurably. We don't have a ton of wealth or earthly possessions, but we share an undying love for each other that no one can take away.

And tell me--what in life could be more important than that?


Rich & Darcie said...

Thanks for sharing your love story! How sweet...I didn't know that you guys were only engaged for just over two months.

Your marriage shines brightly with your love for each other and Christ.

Here's to many more happy years!

GratefulBambina said...

Sharlene, this has made me *WEEP* with joyful emotion! this is TRULY the quintessential Love Story, with a capital L !!!! Here's to 32x32 more years of absolute bliss, passion and love!!! I love you both!!!!


Tim and Wendy said...

Funny, but I've always just seen you as Uncle Cecil and Aunt Shar. As a kid, I'm sure I assumed that you had always been together.
As a child you don't think about your parents "love story." (In fact, you don't want to think about it!) But your anniversary blog entry reminds me that EVERYONE has a story to tell. Thanks for sharing and happy anniversary!

Dorothy said...

Okay...that was really wonderful. Like a story you need to write! Do you share a anniversary with Deeanne? She just recently posted her 25th Anniversary on her blog. Happy Anniversary to you and your handsome hubby!

Sharlene MacLaren said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for wading through my anniversary blog. Dorothy, I'm not sure of Dee's exact anniversary date, but I know it's close. I need to go check out her blog. It's been awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.

Guess what! It's the day after, and my tree comes down TODAY! I can't wait to get that pine tree out of my house and vacuum my living room. haha!

Love to all and Happy New Year! May God bless yu with the best year of your lives!