It was Christmas 2003, and I was in Florida with Mom and Dad. My sister had flown in from New Orleans, and we were all together for our traditional holiday gathering. A typical Florida visit included getting out the 8mm movie projector and watching home movies spanning three decades, or playing a board game, or eating on the big sandwich. The previous June my family had the pleasure of meeting Abby, who immediately made a big splash, particularly with my dad, who was impressed with Abby’s knowledge of tools and craftsmanship. My mom also got a kick out of the fact that Abby ironed for her, and shared the fact that when Abby was a child, she was rewarded for every shirt she ironed with a .22 shell so she could hunt rabbits.
As my family and I talked about Abby’s visit half a year earlier, I casually asked, “How would you feel about me marrying Abby?”
The three of them sort of paused and and looked at each other and nodded, politely mumbling things like “That sounds like it could work” and “I could see that happening.”
My sister later told me that after a few minutes had passed and I was out of the room, they all traded high-fives and chanted a simultaneous “YES!” at hearing my intentions.
Abby and I were married just ten months later.