Sarasota in November is like....heaven. The sun is still bright, but the heat leaves town. Cooler breezes make the palm trees sway. Days off from work are spent driving around with the windows rolled down, or with sliding glass doors left wide open. That was the setting for the big talk about the "M" word. When women mentioned the "M" word..men would sweat and fall to pieces! All over the globe, the "M" word had made guys stammer and come down with a bad case of the flop sweats. The "M" word question was about to show up on a beautiful Sarasota Sunday in October 1989.
Denise and I were sitting on the floor reading. She looked up from her magazine and asked,"Do you think we'll ever get married?". This question came out of left field. She broke the silence with that life-changing question. "Sure", I replied, patting myself on the back for coming up with a positive response on such short notice. What do you think was Denise's follow up question? After I gave her the "thumbs up" answer she asked, "When?". I rolled my eyes back and forth and declared, "I dunno know". (Roll flashback video)
I was involved with a gorgeous brunette named Sandy before I met Denise. We were really serious for about 9 months. Sandy lived like she was waiting for Robin Leach to interview her for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". She drove a Jaguar and lived in a high rise condo in Philly. Sandy loved fancy restaurants and society parties. One Sunday morning she asked me if we were ever getting married? Seriously. I tipped down my newspaper and said," Nope". That was the first thing that came to my mind. I didn't want to get married to her...or any other woman. Well, no sooner than I answered with a negative response, Sandy came flying at me with her hands in the attack position. She grabbed the front of my shirt and starting screaming. "Why are we dating if we aren't getting married?", she yelled. And I mean YELLED. She was crying, punching, screaming, kicking, etc. "WOW", I thought to myself. "This is not the way to convince somebody to marry you". I grabbed my stuff and ran out the door, and never looked back. BTW, Sandy ending up calling me in '98. She was divorced, had a couple of drinks and wondered how I was doing.
After the "Sandy" flashback played in my head, I told Denise I wanted to marry her...but I didn't know when. "How about next year?", she asked. "How about in 5 years?", I countered. "How about next year", she asked again. So basically, no matter what future date I could throw out, Denise wanted to get married the following year. OK.....done deal. We agreed to get married the following November in 1990. I leaned over to kiss her, and then we both resumed reading. That was fairly pain free.
The agreement that I just entered into didn't really hit me until we made it official, and went.....RING SHOPPING!