"How many times are we going to have this argument, Lilly?"
"I don't KNOW James; maybe, oh, three or four hundred thousand?"
Lilly and James, married for 13 years, squared off at each other, jaws clenched, nostrils flaring. This was a serious argument, one that dipped into dark wells of insecurity and irritation for both.
Neither one spoke, but stood glaring at each other, each daring the other one to make the first move.
James rolled his eyes. Lilly's brow furrowed so deep gophers could get lost in them. James's face turned red.
He took a deep breath, "Want some peanuts?"
Suddenly the tension evaporated and Lilly burst out laughing, her forehead smooth again and eyes crinkling with delight. "That gets me EVERY time!"
James start tittering as well. To anyone who saw them at this moment they were a happy couple, in love and sharing a private joke; not the couple that just moments earlier had been throwing daggers at each other with their eyes.
Lilly considers herself a home body, a person who'd rather stay in on weekend nights reading or watching old movies than hitting the bar scene, so when she agreed to go out with some friends in her early 20's, little did she know this night would change her life.
"I remember my girlfriend had this horrified look in her eyes when I came out saying I was ready to go. She said, 'Oh NO NO NO' and dragged me back into the bedroom to find some more suitable clothing for going out. She had me try on everything in my closet until sighing and huffing she threw some of her own clothes, much sexier than anything I'd ever own, hiking the skirt off and ripping off my pants."
Lilly, miserable, followed her friend out to the local club. Five minutes upon arrival, drink in hand, her friend disappeared into the sea of moving bodies. Lilly gave up trying to push her way and found her way to the bar where she tucked herself neatly in the corner, prepared to wait out the night until her friend was ready to go home.
She sat there, sipping her drink and watching the throng of bodies undulating underneath the pulsing lights, desperately wanting to go home and crawl back into her warm bed with the latest murder mystery she was working her way through.
"Back then I probably read 2-3 novels per week. I read all sorts of genres but my favorites are," Lilly says, and James interrupts, "Crime novels!"
The couple laughs heartily, sharing obvious insider jokes that make them what their friends call "the perfect couple."
This too makes Lilly and James giggle, as this image would be shattered if they'd witnessed the fight they'd just had.
“Lilly was so caught up in her thoughts studying this handsome man next to her that when he abruptly turned her way she was caught staring at him.”
Back at the bar, Lilly nursed another drink and then another, and suddenly realized that she either needed to go and dance, or get out of the club. Just then a young man sat down, or rather flopped onto the bar stool next to her, essentially blocking her exit path. Emboldened by her evening, her short skirt and the alcohol she was not used to, she studied the man sitting next to her. He was glancing slyly at a couple to his left, and this gave Lilly the opportunity to stare at him, finding him quite handsome. She liked how his nose had a slight jump on the tip, and his cheeks were softly peppered with faint freckles. An outdoorsy type, she thought.
Lilly was so caught up in her thoughts studying this handsome man next to her that when he abruptly turned her way she was caught staring at him. Startled out of her thoughts, she struggled for something witty to say.
Pushing the little plastic of bowl of bar nuts at him she said, without a smile, "Want some peanuts?" Immediately embarrassed, James recalls that her face turned bright red but she was earnestly pushing the little bowl of nuts towards him, so he looked at her oddly but took some peanuts.
Turning his face back towards the couple he'd been staring at, he found himself drawn to this little wallflower sitting behind him.
"She looked almost frightened when she asked me if I wanted some peanuts, but for some reason I just found that to be the most hilarious thing ever." They struck up a conversation that led to them talking all night, many dates, and a wedding a year later.
Lilly nods, "So whenever we fight, all one of us has to do is say 'Want some peanuts?' and we're instantly transported back to that awkward day in the bar, where I'd been sitting by myself and he was pining after another girl. And we remember what we love about each other from the first day we met and everything is all right after that."
Lilly and James will celebrate their Fourteenth year of marriage on February 14th.
"I know, could we be ANY more cheesy? But the date was available so we took it. Oh, and I have to tell you how James proposed. He got down on one knee and pulled out this box. At first I thought it was a joke, that he was giving me a box of macaroni and cheese."
James rolls his eyes again, "She loves that stuff. It has to be Kraft from the box. No other kind."
Lilly waves him off, "Anyway - I thought he was teasing me and at first I brushed him off. Then he told me to open the box."
He explains, "I wanted to put the ring in a peanut jar but all I had on me was a cracker jack box, and that had peanuts, so I knew she'd get the joke."
She holds up the sparkly ring on her left hand, "And here we are. Still eating peanuts!"
Thank you Lilly (& James!), for sharing your Story with us.
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© 2009 by Kristen Kuhns and Story of My Life®