Love Abides

Looking back over the years, I think that my wife Julie and I were meant for each other. Yet, ironically, our relationship began with the machinations of a matchmaker. Shannon was her name. She knew me because we were classmates. She knew Julie from cheerleading. Shannon must have seen the looks Julie and I cast each other from our seats halfway across the bus on the ride down to ISU. Cleverly, once we’d arrived at our hotel, Shannon took it upon herself to visit Julie’s room and mine, one at a time, and share a secret. Shannon told me that Julie liked me, definitely. She told Julie that I liked her, definitely. She did this despite the fact that neither of us had talked to her about our feelings for one another.

      The matchmaker’s plan worked. The burden of wondering whether Julie was interested in me or not was lifted from my mind. No doubt Julie feels likewise. I could then breathe easy and know with confidence that this girl likes me, she sees something in me.
    Fast forward to our honeymoon. Due to the recommendation of our travel agent, we decided on a cruise along the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It was to be a time of boundless excitement and idyllic relaxation. It was a flop. The most glaring problem with the cruise was that it was not newlywed-friendly. The average age of the guests was at least sixty years old. The average hair color was gray. The average excitement level was low to middling. Julie and I felt as conspicuous as extra-terrestrials.

      The ship began to feel like a prison because we spent most of the time cooped up on board and only a few hours in ports of call. Julie and I adored Bar Harbor, Maine, for example, but only stayed for about six hours. If we had had our druthers, we’d have anchored the boat there for a few days and really explored the spectacular seascapes and surrounding wilderness of this beautiful region. Being tied to the ship’s schedule made for high levels of frustration and disappointment.