(engagement photos, 1977)In the Fall of 1974 I was a freshman attending college in California. (Yes, I am that old.) That semester I was enrolled in a sociology class. The second week of class our professor gave us a rather unusual assignment. We were asked to walk up to a total stranger, tell the person "I love you" and record their response. I went back to my dorm room a little frustrated. I didn't want to fulfill this assignment and embarrass myself. After talking it over with my roommate, I decided to call a stranger on the phone rather than approach them directly. That way I could still fulfill the assignment and record a response, but I wouldn't have to worry about the person recognizing me several weeks down the road. I picked up the dorm directory and started scanning down a page. I randomly chose a name and made the call. A young man answered the phone, and I asked if I could speak to "M.S." The young man said, "one minute," and went to get him. The next thing I heard was another "hello." With as much boldness as I could muster I said, "I love you!" There was silence on the other end of the line. Lots. Of. Silence. I said it again. This time with more feeling. "I love you!" More silence and then this response, "Well, what do you want me to do about it?" Because I was trying to fulfill an assignment I said, "Respond!" He then asked, "Who is this?" Embarrassed by my remarks I hung up the phone. A couple more phone calls were made before I was able to get a recordable response, and the experience was soon forgotten.
the statement "I love you!" Something clicked and I said, "I know what that was about. She probably had the same class I had..." Then I made the connection that I had never made previously between the name that I had called at the beginning of the school year and the young man who was standing before me. I realized at that time that it was "M" that I had called. "M" and his roommate didn't believe me when I told them the story, so I had to take them back to my dorm room and have my roommate verify my side of the story without her knowing why.
That's why I can say...
The first words I ever said to the man who became my husband were
"I Love You."
"I Love You."
And I still do.