Some people may like the idea of a quick courtship and an even quicker wedding. Not me. I’m old-fashioned. I knew I loved Dilly from the moment of our first kiss. I wanted to propose right then and there, but I knew she probably would have thought I was crazy. Honestly, though, I would have missed out on so much if we hadn’t taken our time getting to know each other.
We saw movies together. I took her out to the Bistro a few times. I found out that her favorite food is a PB&J sandwich. She’d eaten so much take out as a child that what she liked was a simple, home-made sandwich. I found these details about her to be fascinating.
Dilly came over to the house often. She started to understand or at least appreciate my simple life unhampered by technology. We played chess, danced on the porch, or just sat together in comfortable silence reading books. Dilly told me that she thought she might want to write children’s books. I liked the idea. In my head I knew that if she was an author, she would be able to work from home and help me take care of the kids.
Yes, I knew that was an out-dated idea. I didn’t care. Television is still something Dilly and I have agreed to disagree about. I know it is selfish of me, but I don’t want her to work after we get married. And I did plan on marrying her.
After several months of dating, I invited Dilly out to the Bistro. I know she prefers eating a home-cooked meal, but I wanted this one to be successful and I’m only a so-so cook.
I’ll admit it. I put the ring in her dessert. It’s one of the oldest proposal clichés, but I just couldn’t stop myself. I knew that Dilly would like it.
After Dilly found the ring, I got down on one knee and asked her to be my wife. The rest of the proposal and her acceptance is sort of a blur. I don’t exactly remember everything she said or did. I was so nervous! What I remember is the sound of my heart beating and the overwhelming fear that she’d say no. It wasn’t until she was in my arms and hugging and kissing me that it registered that she had said yes.
We didn’t get married right away. Dilly wanted a big wedding. I wanted her to have what she wanted, but I didn’t have a lot of money. So we planned the wedding carefully and waited until we had the money to pay for it.
The problem was that our physical relationship was heating up. For example, Dilly was over one Sunday and we were playing out in the sprinkler (I know it’s a child’s activity, but it’s also a lot of fun…try it.) Dilly in a bathing suit is hard to ignore. Pretty soon our playing in the sprinkler turned into making out in the sprinkler…and then things got serious.
“Let’s go upstairs, Les,” Dilly whispered. We were both breathing hard and despite the temperature of the water, it was obvious that I wanted more than kisses from her. But as I said, I’m an old-fashioned guy. I pulled away from Dilly’s warm embrace.
“We can’t, Dill. We agreed to wait until the wedding night.”
Yeah, we’d talked about it. I am not ashamed to admit that I had never been with a woman before. I believed in waiting until marriage. Dilly was raised differently than I was. I knew she had been with other people. This bothered me a little, but in the back of my mind I was glad that at least one of us knew how things worked. But anyway, that’s beside the point. Dilly had agreed to wait. She agreed that waiting until we were married would make our first time more special.
But waiting is hard. “Les,” Dilly said, “we’re engaged. The wedding is only a few weeks away…what’s a few weeks?” She stroked my cheek and whispered in my ear. We kissed again and she started walking me back into the house.
“Come on,” she led me to the stairs.
We ended up in my parents’ room. Since we were wearing very little clothing, things progressed rapidly, but before everything got out of hand I managed to force myself to stop.
“No, Dilly. We have to stop. I love you. I want to do this…I really want to do this…but I want to be your husband when it happens.”
Dilly pulled away slightly and looked both disappointed and relieved at the same time. She knew I was right. It was the hardest thing we both had to do, but I managed to get out of bed, open the door and head down the hall to my smaller room.
It was the hardest damned thing I’ve ever done. And I didn’t get much sleep, either. I dreamed of Dilly all night. I only hoped that she was having an equally rough time. Our wedding couldn’t come soon enough for either of us.
The big day finally came. I got up like usual and did my chores. I had never wanted to finish harvesting so fast in my life! Then I went up and showered and put on my suit. Dilly was across town getting ready with her mom’s help. Milly had recently married Chet Racket (the loser who was half her age).
Setting up for the wedding and reception was up to me. We had saved enough money to have a small wedding outside on my porch. I rented some tables from the Parks and Rec. departments…they weren’t the best, but they were the cheapest. I had also spent some money on catering a buffet. It had both meat and vegetarian options. I was most proud of the lovely cake, though. I knew Dilly would love it.
Finally the guests arrived followed by Dilly and her mom. Since our wedding was sort of semi-formal, Dilly didn’t mind that I saw her before exchanging our vows. Milly was looking as zany as ever. She’d gotten a new hair-do at the salon and an outlandish new dress.
“Who wants to wear one of those awful MoB dresses,” she informed me in her almost inappropriate manner. Chet had declined to come to the wedding. I asked how things were with him and Milly sort of brushed me off. I guessed that things weren’t great. Chet probably found out about her lack of any real funds.
“Be good to my daughter,” Milly made me promise before the actual ceremony started. I, of course, swore that I’d make her the happiest woman alive. “You’re a good man, Les Fields,” Milly said and patted me on the cheek.
I made sure that I was calm during our wedding so that I could remember every moment. I remembered the guests and how they all cheered and wished us well. I remember sliding the ring on Dilly’s finger as a symbol of our union. And I really remembered the kiss she gave me to seal our promise of love and fidelity to each other.
The only thing that marred our wedding was the lack of my parents standing with the guests wishing us a long life and happiness. But Milly was there. She hugged us both and gave us the well-wishes that I would have gotten from my own mother. Milly might be slightly touched in the head, but she was no doubt a sweet and lovely person.
Of course we had to stay at the reception and dance and eat until all of the guests left, but what Dilly and I really wanted to do was go upstairs to our bedroom. It was all I could do not to just leave everyone out there while we made our escape, but I knew that if we had waited this long, we could wait a little more.
I just never expected that once we got up there, I’d become shy. I had never done this. What if I messed up?
Dilly took the lead, thankfully. I remember every detail of this night as well, but that’s private. I’ll just say that I didn’t do it wrong.
In fact, it was right enough to do it again.