So this was us. The first year that we met. When I barely noticed he existed. We were young, naive, and clearly did not understand how attractive we could have been, had we known our angles.
My husband and I met at the University of Oklahoma, through Greek life. It was a time in our lives where we were pushing the boundaries that our families had set for us growing up as muslims. Both our families had been extremely strict growing up– no boys (for me), no girls (for him), no parties, no activities after dark– the literal meaning, as well as the euphemism.
So as I began flirting with my hemlines, he began flirting with me. It only took one semester of ending up at all the same events before we made a choice to exchange phone numbers in the Chik Fil’A of the Union food court.
Within 3 months of late night phone calls and day time strolls on campus, my then boyfriend took me to the spoon holder to play out a silly campus tradition. He bent down on one knee and offered me a promise ring. Naturally, this was insane. And I told him so. Because. Obviously.
Obviously, it wouldn’t work out because he is Pakistani, and I am Bengali. Obviously, it wouldn’t work out because his family are doctors and mine are business owners. Obviously, it wouldn’t work out because I liked boys and he liked to party. Obviously, it wouldn’t work out because he was light-skinned and tall, and I was dark-skinned and petite. Obviously, it wouldn’t work because, blah blah blah.
I still remember the moment so vividly in my mind. The 4 mosquito bites on my ankles as we walked through the grass path into the spoon holder. The sushi that turned into butterflies in my belly. The black pants he was wearing that got dirty as he was on his knee.
“…I promise to be the best boyfriend, husband, father I can be. Will you take this ring?”
Obviously, I accepted.
[The proposal to be his fiancé was much less romantically ceremonious]
Since then, we have endured many more Greek events, hemline debates, meeting the parents, recommitments to our Islamic principles, applications to graduate schools, long distance dating, wedding planning, blending Bengali, Pakistani, and American cultures and cooking, and a long distance marriage.
So the legend of the spoon remains true. We are married. We have just began our happily ever after, and it only took us nine and a half years to get here.