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I believe it was last October, when I rolled over in bed one morning, looked into the eyes of the woman I had been living in sin with for over three years, and said "We should get married." Man, was Annette surprised.

We had both discussed this over the last few years, and determined that my mother would freak, then either kill me, Annette, both of us, or shoot flames from her eyes while blaming my dad. Needless to say, Annette was pretty sure that the only way to avoid Mom's wrath would be to let her pass away before we even wispered the 'M' word.

When I had told my mother that I was moving in with Annette, She first wanted to know if I was marrying her. I had no intention at the time, so I said "No."

After she got over the shock, the second thing she wanted to know, was "Is she pregnant?" I then told her that Annette already had grandchildren, and like I had said a million times before, I didn't want children.

I was not marrying Annette, and I was not going to make her pregnant. You'd think that would make my mother happy. Instead, she vowed to never speak to me again. I told her in not so elegant words that silence would be golden.

After three plus years of golden silence, only broken by the infrequent "This is Ron. Is Dad home?" request and "Bob, Phone" reply, I decided that I just could not let this unwedded bliss continue.

Of course, Annette's first question was "What are you going to tell your parents?"

The thought of not saying anything at all briefly crossed my mind, followed by what my mother would do if she ever found out I got married without telling her, followed by what my mother would do if I DID tell her I was getting married.

The last thought had its merrits. She could either take it well "Look, Mom, we're not living in sin anymore! Aren't you happy?" or she could take it badly "Umm, yea, we're getting married, no she isn't pregnant, and yes, you and I can STILL not talk to each other, by the way, Is Dad home?"

I really didn't expect anything better than her taking it badly, and it appeared that was excatly how it would be. Specially after a half hour cell phone conversation sounded a lot like "Why didn't you tell me your getting married?!" replied with "I just told you, we're getting married!"

It turns out that my Dad had mixed up the date I gave him for our wedding. Instead of the weekend of April 30/May 1, he got March 30. Which meant that my mom thought she had one week to prepare for a wedding, rather than a week and a month.

By the time this was sorted out, both my Mom and I were quite frazzled and ready to go on not talking to each other. Luckilly, a Jehova's Witness showed up at my Parent's door.

Yes, I said "Luckilly, a Jehova's Witness showed up".

Normally, I see Jahovists and want to run. My mother, however, sees them as fellow travelers who just have not turned to Catholicism. Because of this, she took the time to actually listen to what this little old lady at her door had to say.

My mother is a little old lady, anybody she calls a little old lady has to be Methusela's sister.

Anyway, this little old lady told my mother that 'Sometimes, when we hold things too close to our hearts we lose perspective, and destroy these prescious things.' or something like that, which my Mother took to be a nice short allegory about how she had her preconceptions about how things were supposed to work, and how these have been ruining her relationship with me.

Let me put it into print, I had NOTHING to do with this perfect coincidence. I prefer to believe that God cut me a break that day.

After this, nothing else phased me. The speeding ticket did not ruin my day, Annette's son getting lost with the flowers just meant we had to wait a little longer It let Leohtulf actually make it to the wedding. The Bride's Maids processing out of order just meant they got to do a little jig, and the Minister saying "Who the heck is Anthony" in the middle of the ceremony was the height of humor.

Since we started planning our wedding, Frank and Victoria, Leon and Murigheal, and Clayton and Kate have all determined to get married. Strangely enough, they all chose October of this year. Neither Annette or I had any idea that getting married could cause this kind of avalanche amongst our friends.

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