In the summer of 1985, I was newly engaged to Peter, whom I’d only met in April. It felt right; we loved each other and we kept discovering ways in which we complemented and completed one another.
We were both elated with our newfound happiness, although my elation also incorporated a large element of surprise and disbelief. We told our friends and family members, one after another. Each telling made it more real, to me at least.
I was telling the story to people at work, and saying I didn’t know how we would possibly plan a wedding for the fall with everything else we had to do. A colleague mentioned that he and his wife had been married privately, and they simply threw a big party a month later for friends and relatives. A light went on.
Now we had a date, and lots to do: shop for a ring, find someone to officiate, look at reception sites, start a guest list, plan for my move into the townhouse. Someone had told us that the true test for any couple is whether you can survive wallpapering. We decided to wallpaper both bathrooms. We had fun making the choices and we were both meticulous in our work. Once we figured out how to work together instead of each taking charge, things went fine. Another excellent sign!
I’ve never told him this, but for a number of years I’d been hearing a voice in my head. When I would look into the mirror in the morning, fixing my hair or makeup, the voice would say, Do you love me? It had probably started some time after my mother died in 1980. I tried answering yes, as in yes, I love my self, but the voice continued to ask…until the summer of ’85, when I noticed one day that it wasn’t asking any more.