Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A green cardigan

In celebration of my 15th wedding anniversary, two stories:

Our first date

My roommates were planning a trip to a Salt Lake haunted house. I never hung out with my roommates and never went to haunted houses. But I saw this as an opportunity to hook up with this guy Mark who was roommates with my best friend’s boyfriend and who appeared interested in me (and apparently I was interested in him).

So I phoned him up and asked if he wanted to go to an “open house” with me. He didn’t understand what kind of open house we were going to, but said sure. And thus began our courtship based on misunderstandings and false cues.

When we arrived at the haunted house, I remembered why I don’t like them. We started dutifully walking through fog-filled corridors while underpaid creepos in mummy costumes leered at us. I held onto Mark’s upper arm as we navigated the dark corners. He perceived this as a major come-on. It wasn’t. He slid my hand down his arm and into his hand. I perceived this as a distinct come-on. He claims it wasn’t.

But this, I think we both will agree, was definitely a come-on: I found myself being led by the hand down a dark, deserted corridor. Mark said, “What’s your last name?”

“Ashurst,” I said. “Why?”

“No reason.” Pause. “What’s your middle name?”

“Michelle. Why?”

“No reason.”

Mark then planted on me a very tender and soft kiss. He claims this was not his usual first-date M.O. And thus began our courtship full of many, many, many such kisses.

Our second date

Mark and his roommate who was dating my best friend planned a birthday outing for me. They picked me up from my house, drove me to Saver’s (an Orem thrift store), and presented me with an assortment of “F.D. bucks.” Funny money emblazoned with kooky Mormon symbols.

“What’s F.D.?” I asked. False Doctrine. Why? No one, including Mark, knows. But thus began our relationship marked by ongoing intrusions from Mark’s strange musings on Mormon history and doctrine.

We strolled through Saver’s as I made my purchases with my F.D. bucks. One of those purchases was this puke green wool cardigan.

Cable stitched. At least 30 years old. Originally a crewneck that was converted by hand by a previous owner. I have worn this sweater for the last 15 years. Who doesn’t need a cable stitched cardigan? Well, some people don’t, but I do. I’ve worn it with those huge flowery pants I used to make, with those patchwork bellbottoms I bought at a Grateful Dead concert, with maternity jeans, and with cargo pants with binkies in the pockets.

Some time ago I decided that since the sweater is now thinning and full of holes, I’d ceremonially get rid of it on this day. But now I find I can’t. I think it’ll go in my keepsake chest (which, incidentally, also contains those Deadhead bellbottoms).

Maybe this sweater is a symbol of my relationship with Mark: A bit quirky. Not something you can buy off the shelf. Customized by hand. But a classic. Long lasting. Suitable for all seasons and styles.

Oh, I do love that man. Here’s to the next fifteen years.


  1. Here's to the next fifteen million years.

  2. You guys are so cute I wanna puke. But I am thoroughly shocked that Mark kissed you on your first date! And I love that cardigan. I agree that everyone needs one! A "sweater" that is “A bit quirky. Not something you can buy off the shelf. Customized by hand. But a classic. Long lasting. Suitable for all seasons and styles.” This sounds much like my Mark! I love you guys!

  3. Awwwwwww! I'm tearing up! I don't think I've heard either of those stories before -and I love them. I, too, am shocked that Mark kissed you on the first date. But I'm sure it was just that he knew he had found the right gal!
    Funny thing, I once went on a first date with a guy to a haunted house, which I had misunderstood when he invited me. I thought we were going to HIS house. So I was kinda dressed up thinking that I didn't know if I liked this guy yet, but if I was meeting parents I'd better be prepared.

  4. FIFTEEN YEARS!?! You've been married like my whole life!!!!

  5. Thank you for sharing this! Great!