James and Ranae
by Ranae M. Mayer
James and I met while he was the lead singer in a band. Life was very hard for me at the time as I was going through a nasty divorce. My friend took me out for a night of drinks and dancing so that I could get my mind off of things.
When I saw James on stage, I was just floored. I thought he was so sexy and an amazing dancer. So, I kept going on and on to my friend until she finally left me sitting at the table alone. I was pouting by myself when she ran over to me and said, “you just bought him a beer, he is on his way over here!”. I just said “What??!!” and turned around and he was standing there. He made some excuse about signing up for the band’s mailing list in order to get my phone number. I gave it to him.
He called me the next day and asked me out. I had never really been on a date with someone I didn’t know all that well so I was pretty nervous. The date was a disaster. He ended up getting sick and spent much of the night in the bathroom.
James called me the next day and wanted to see me again to make up for the lousy date. I was really hesitant. My girlfriends encouraged me to go out with him again so I agreed. On our next date he took me to see a performance of a play that he had written and directed. It was a beautiful night. I was hooked.
James had already contracted with a company in Florida, we lived in Washington State, to move there for a year to work on a computer project for them. He had no plans of returning to Washington, he didn’t really know where he might end up after Florida. He was set to leave three months after I met him. Neither one of us planned on falling in love, it was the furthest thing from both of our minds. But, on the day that was supposed to be the last time I was going to see him, he told me that he loved me. Of course he already knew that I had fallen in love with h im.
We tried to let it go. We even joked about the day we were going to have to stop calling and texting each other, but it never came. I would fly to Florida every few weeks, he would fly to Washington. It was so hard to be apart. He hated Florida and my ex-husband was putting me through hell.
James finally told me he was moving back home to Washington. I couldn’t believe it. I was in complete shock. I think the night that he told me that over the phone was one of the best moments of my life. He moved back after we had been apart for ten months. He finished his contract two months early because he couldn’t stand being apart any longer.
James and I clicked at first because of our love for music and the arts, great food and fine wine, and mostly the awesome sense of humor we shared. What clinched the deal was his amazing heart, his tenderness and his courage. We fall more in love every day. He is my very best friend and an amazing, supportive and loving partner.
James and I met at a very crazy time in both of our lives. We carried on a long distance relationship for a year after we met. It was so very difficult. James finally moved back home after his work contract was fulfilled. We joked around about getting married for awhile after that. Our life together was amazing and although I would have loved to be his wife, I was so secure in our love that I began to let the idea go and just be satisfied with our relationship as life-partners.
On our second anniversary James made plans for a night out. He would not tell me where we were going only that we were going to dinner. We got dressed up and headed out. He took me into the city and we stopped and had a before-dinner drink. We left there and began walking to our dinner destination which was still a mystery to me. As we walked further I remembered thinking how badly my feet hurt in my high-heeled boots. I refused to complain, savoring our time together.
We continued walking and I realized that we were getting very close to our favorite wine shop. It was a tiny place, just a hole in the wall, really. They offered all sorts of beautiful wines from small vineyards and amazing truffle creams. I thought it was strange that we would be going there as I knew they were closed, and they didn’t even SERVE dinner. I was completely confused. It was dark out and the streets were deserted.
As we got closer I saw very dim lights coming from the wine shop. We slowed as we approached the front window and I realized that my friend’s boyfriend was standing at the shop window. I thought that was so strange and I could not understand how HE would be inside the shop. Then the door opened for us and there, in that tiny shop, were twenty of our closest friends, all sitting around tables set with white linens, beautiful candles flickering and wine glasses that sparkled. Everyone yelled out “Happy Anniversary!!”. I was completely shocked. I could not believe that he could pull all of those people together just for me!
After I hugged all of our friends and the shock subsided, they led us to our chairs. There were beautiful hand-printed menus at each place setting. The wonderful people at the wine shop brought out a glass of wine for me while they began pouring for everyone else as well. As I was taking the glass from the server, James said “Oh, what a pretty wine charm!” I glanced quickly and it and agreed. I was so taken by the moment that I didn’t really “see” the charm. So again, James said, “Isn’t that a pretty wine charm, honey??”
I took a second look and saw a beautiful diamond ring dangling from the wine charm. I was stunned. James took my glass and took the ring off of the charm. He got down on one knee. I put my hands over my mouth and started crying. He began to explain that the diamond in the ring belonged to his grandmother and that it had seen his grandparents through 50 years of marriage, including escaping Nazi, Germany. He went on to say that I had changed his life in so many ways and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together as my other half.
I stopped crying long enough to say yes and everyone yelled out, “Yay!”. We all toasted together. Everyone was so happy for us. Then one friend from each of the four tables in the room stood up and gave a story about us that they loved, a special memory. Each of them knew us as a couple during different times in our relationship, so it was wonderful to reminisce with all of them and it just solidified how much we had been through and how we were truly meant for each other.
The night was just amazing. I was on cloud nine and I was so very impressed with James’ effort and planning. He had truly put so much thought into making that an extra-special night for everyone.
James and I decided that we did not want to wait for very long to get married. We put our entire wedding together in four months and it went off without a hitch. We were married on May 3rd, 2008.
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