The High(lander) Points of Courtship

I’ve already told the story of my wedding veil flambé, and our Canadian Honeymoon Chicken, so this year, I’m going to reminisce about what brought my husband and I together.

We both agree it was a miracle it ever happened.*

A miracle, fencing, and movies.

I joined the college fencing club because I’d broken up with my boyfriend of two years and wanted a) a reason to spend as much time as possible away from the dorm; b)  a way to work out some aggression; and c) a legitimate reason to carry a weapon.

My not-yet-husband was the student coach and I became captain of the women’s team—which would be more impressive if I hadn’t been the only woman on the team that first year.**  But that’s how we met and over the next few months, we became friends.

A three-day weekend was coming up, and he asked me if I was staying, and I said I was.  He asked me if I had plans, and I shrugged and said “Reading a good book.”

He said, “That’s right, you can’t drink yet.”  But he didn’t offer an alternative, and I wasn’t about to in case he was just making conversation, so we went our separate ways.

And then I thought about it . . . and called him. This was the first time I had ever called someone of the male persuasion with the intent of wrangling myself a date.  I reminded him of who I was and told him that I’d finished my book.

“Congratulations,” he said, not helping at all.***

So I gathered together my bravery and said, “So now I need something to do.  Any suggestions?”  If he said, another book, I’d give up.

There was a long pause.^  “Have you seen Highlander?


“Want to?  My folks have a VCR.”

So he picked me up at the dorm and we went to the rental place.  Highlander was out, but they did have Terminator and Living Daylights.

We stayed up all night in his parents’ living room—they were away for the weekend—watching movies and talking and then he took me back to the dorm early in the morning.  Our first kiss happened around then, though neither of us remember for sure—we were still playing it casual, I think.

Obviously, it didn’t stay that way for long.

You wouldn’t think Terminator was a good first date movie—or James Bond, either, for that matter—but it worked for us.  Really, really well.  A rom-com probably would have set up expectations we were too nervous^^ to handle.

And we eventually did see Highlander, which became our movie in that spiritual, quote it at every opportunity, name our wedding-present-cat Macleod kind of  way.   Movies are still a big part of our relationship—for last year’s anniversary, we saw Bridesmaids.  This year, we’re seeing The Avengers.  

Still avoiding the rom-coms after all these years.  Which only goes to show that it’s a good thing we found each other.

Happy Anniversary, Honey.  Want to go for twenty?


*And he’s an atheist now.  When atheists speak of miracles, they mean it.

**But I did beat an ROTC Marine my senior year—he had the reach but was too much of a gentleman to hit my more  obvious target areas, though I believe I may have cured him of that once we reached three out of five.

***Sometimes when he tells this story, he claims that he was desperately trying to think of something clever and suave to say.  Other times he says he was wondering why on earth this crazy chick had called him up to tell him about her reading speed.

^During which, again depending on his retelling, the purpose of my call dawned on him and/or he realized he didn’t have enough money to take me to the only movie theater in town and/or he didn’t want it to look too much like a date in case the purpose of my call was actually simple boredom.  Like we both say, a miracle.

^^Or clueless, depending on who’s telling the story.


18 thoughts on “The High(lander) Points of Courtship

  1. So adorable! My husband purchased me from Great Expectations, an old-school dating service before the days of or whatever. Our first date was at the Macaroni Grill (lunch), and our second was dinner at his place (the first and only time a man has ever cooked for me).

    Love on the grill, baby. I was smitten.

    Happy anniversary to both of you!


    • Thanks Averil! I think we shared a bag of microwave popcorn around midnight on our first sort-of date. But I like microwave popcorn. 🙂

  2. I’m in awe of your brave self learning archery. How perfect you met your man that way. I met mine in the library of the LA Times were we both worked as researchers. One day he used a heavy duty stapler to unjam a lektriever of old newspaper clippings and heard me mutter, “now there’s a tool using animal.”

  3. Was just ready to write to your e-mail address when your blog came up. Happy 19th. It seem like yesterday to me. Your reception was the best I’ve ever attended.We reminisced at Apple today. With the words of a Russian Orthodox blessing “May God Grant You Many Years”

    Mon and Dad, too

  4. How many hidden talents do you have??? Clarinet. Crochet. Fencing. You amaze me.
    Happy happy, sweet girl. I hope tonight is perfect for you.

    • Well, I don’t fence anymore, but it was a good time and it snagged me a pretty good guy.

      And thanks, MSB–we did have a lovely time. 🙂

  5. Happy Anniversary!!
    I know this will come as a shock to you but I LOVE Highlander! I must have seen it fifteen times.
    Isn’t it funny how you look back and think of the many ways that it could have not come to pass, that the two of you would come together anyway? Life imitating art. Well, my art, not your art, all the martial arts in your books would wear a man down.

    I remember after asking my husband out for a drink, just as friends, you know subtle being my middle name and all (ahem, shush), and I pulled up to see him sitting outside of the brewery on his cell phone. I said aloud, nope. Definitely just friends. I parked the car and walked up to hear him tell his three year old daughter that he loved her and would see her tomorrow. He then explained that since he only had her part-time, this was the first time he had anyone babysit (and it was his mom).

    There can be only one…

  6. Sorry I’m late, but a Happy Anniversary to you and yours, and a wish for many more.

    I met my husband on a blind date set up by 2 friends of mine who both used to date him. (I know, it’s a sitcom waiting to happen!) We celebrated 25 years last fall.

  7. To quote Kevin Costner, “It’s good to be married.” Congratulations to you and your husband on this milestone. It takes effort and dedication.

    • It’s not a requirement. 🙂

      But spouses are pretty handy for scratching backs and for allowing one an excuse to leave the dating scene with a sigh of great and good relief. Then again, a knitting needle and self-esteem will do the same thing. . .

  8. Oh, Sarah, Happy Anniversary! I love every story you share about your husband and you. This one is no different. You were clearly made for each other. And your choices in movies are excellent, so I can tell 20 will be no sweat for y’all. 😉

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