Something Wonderfully Wrong

trudy2-1982I met this girl who loved God and Shakespeare (in that order). She was smart. Creative. And as pretty as English china. Outwardly decorous, inwardly stubborn—Jane Austen meets the Rebel Alliance. I thought I’d found heaven. I had and I hadn’t. At first we flared up like a firework stand, but then we got scared and put on our flak jackets.

We were a mismatch. She was a soft-spoken church girl who’d secretly turned away from God, then privately clawed her way back to Him; I was a former atheist with too much personality and a very public passion for God. But somehow we thought we could make it work. Same God, same Shakespeare, and yet it wasn’t enough. After two tumultuous years of dancing in flak jackets, we gave up. We’d apparently done something wrong.

Four months later I ran into her at the same coffee house we’d gone to when we first met. Absent the need to “make it work,” we were astonished at how much we enjoyed each other. We began meeting regularly just to talk (Dutch treat, of course; we were only friends, after all). Soon regularly turned into daily. Anytime anything of significance occurred (roughly every 5 minutes), my first thought was to call her.

We soon realized what our sniggering friends had known all along: we were a thing, a whatever-it-was-we-hadn’t-been-before. And both of us had abandoned our flak jackets. She looked at me one night and said in very un-church-girl language, “Oh, what the hell!” and kissed me. Not in the way you kiss a friend.

Two weeks later, at a ridiculously romantic spot along Monterrey, California’s 17 Mile Drive, I asked her to marry me and took her picture as she said yes. Romantic? Oh, yes. Except that I then opened the back of the camera (thinking it had one of those state-of-the-80s film cartridges—it didn’t) and ruined the entire roll of film. Nevertheless, the image of her saying “Yes!” is firmly mounted in the photo album of my memory.

We set a date for the ceremony and began attending prenuptial-bliss counseling. We took a test. I should have studied harder. The result? We were dangerously different (“tell us something we don’t know”) and were advised to consider spousal alternatives. We’d apparently done something wrong.

We got married anyway. There were bumps in the road, of course—hello, this is marriage. But we never put our flak jackets back on. And we never stopped being best friends. Well, OK, sometimes we did. But when we did it hurt so much we just had to go and tell our best friend about it.


At our Wedding Vows Renewal ceremony

And then there were kids. We apparently did something wrong there too. And something wonderful. Parenting is never just one or the other. It’s always both.

31 years later (today is our anniversary) she’s still beautiful. Still my best friend. Still loves God and Shakespeare. And still loves me. And the firework stand still threatens to go up in flames sometimes.

We apparently did something right.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in For Pastors and Teachers, Humor, Memoir and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

124 Responses to Something Wonderfully Wrong

  1. gtemedtk1 says:

    Happy Anniversary! I would’ve married my wife in 2 weeks after I asked her as well, but my future mother in law would’ve struck that down real fast. We have been married now for 24 years and we are still best friends too. Great tribute, I enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. askriverbed says:

    What a heartening story, Mitch! I think we can all relate to the bumps. Despite all odds, my honey and I will celebrate 20 years next September, and all the schemes to undo this bond will not stand against us 😀 Grateful to find fellow sojourners and follow your stories of faith and victory!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy anniversary! Jane Austen meets the Rebel Alliance…i’m surprised you resisted as long as you did!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ken riddles says:

    Great story – part of the key for me in your story was the line – ‘…But when we did it hurt so much we just had to go and tell our best friend about it’. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a romantic tribute. Have a Happy Anniversary week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dbkerr says:

    Reblogged this on andstilliwonder and commented:
    What a lovingly honest story. And delightfully put together


  7. Congratulations! I enjoyed your writing style. I thank God that my hubby is my best friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. bigfogblog says:

    Great post and just in time for our 19 years coming up next week. Like you, we weren’t supposed to be, yet here we are best friends as ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nancy J says:

    Oh my goodness. This brought laughter, smiles, tears, and joy. What a beautiful tribute and story. Congratulations! Happy Anniversary. Roller coasters can be fun. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. meversgerd says:

    Reblogged this on Mel Evers wonders about it all and commented:
    It is in our power to succeed or fail.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. judithreid says:

    What a wonderful story, told with great humour. Happy Anniversaryr to you …… 🙂 .

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Salutations Mitch, this was an amazing post.

    The only thing that was greater than your story was the literary tact in which you told it. This was a very relevant message to me because I just recently got married at the end of August. So much for that test eh? It’s crazy that it suggested “spousal alternatives.” You two committed to each other and that’s what separates you from the numerous other marriages that failed.

    What would your greatest piece of advice be to a young married couple?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: Mixed Blessings | Mitch Teemley

  14. Cat says:

    I love this so much. Happy anniversary. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful! I love this! Congratulations to you and your beautiful gem of a bride!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ichinsw says:

    Reblogged this on SWICH.

    Liked by 1 person

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