Mars & Deborah 3:
As Deborah went to the departure hall to fly out of Adelaide I knew that the next few months were going to drag on slowly and that I would miss her like crazy. I just didnt want her to go but that was the reality of the situation. When she got back...
>> Continued
 

 

 
     
 

 
 

She's From:   Taiwan
He's From:     United States

Chapter 3 - "New York" February 1999

It was a long wait, but finally I travelled to JFK airport and picked up my Love in February, 1999. This visit would be different from the short, Tropical Taiwan vacation.

  Chris and Sara having lunch with Chris's Grandpa in Connecticut
  New York was chilly, and I had no vacation time to spare, so I had to work all three weeks of her visit. But we made the best of our free time together.

One day we took a horse drawn carriage ride around Central Park. Afterward I paid a sidewalk artist to sketch her portrait. Then walking back through the city Sara got to see snow fall for the first time in her life.

On another day we went to the Museum of Natural History, and then saw the Broadway play Cats afterward.

Sometimes we snuggled at home, other times we went out. She cooked for me, rubbed my tired feet, and cleaned my house. I felt I was the luckiest man on Earth. I did not ask for any of these things.

 

 



   

 

 
       
  Just her. 

"Grandpa"

Sara only got to meet one of my family members during her New York stay. That is because I don't have much family up here. Although the Havilands are from New York (particularly Haviland Hollow which is an hour North of me on my route), there are only distant cousins now. But Grandpa (my mother's father) has a condo in Connecticut. His son, Uncle John, has a house not much further. So Sara and I visited Grandpa on a Saturday at his condo. Grandpa took us to dinner with his neighbor friend Ginny.

On a week day Sara also came into the city with me and we met Grandpa at his office at CBS and went to a nice restaurant. As we walked along the sidewalk toward the restaurant Grandpa said something that made Sara happy... But it goes back to a funny discussion Sara and I had during my trip to South Taiwan. As we were walking along the night-time streets in Taiwan, she pointed out that the man should be always walking on the outside, toward the traffic, with the woman toward the buildings. This is to protect her from the vehicles. I had never heard this tradition in my life, and I began to tease her by pointing out all the other couples who weren't obeying those rules.

But today, Grandpa - by complete coincidence - said, "Chris, you need to walk on the traffic side with Sara on the building side." Sara smiled and said, "See I told you!" Grandpa has always been well versed in formality.

On Valentine's Day we were going to meet up with Grandpa and Uncle John and his wife for dinner, but it didn't work out because Sara and I were otherwise detained on that day. ;-)

"New Relationship"

Sara and I developed a new level to our relationship during this visit. It was as if we were a traditional married couple in some ways. I went to work, she took care of the house, and we were together mostly in the evenings to talk about our days.

I was a little nervous about letting her drive my car, but she got along fine. She drove to the mall on her own, and to the market many times.

Like me in Taiwan, there were cultural things she had to learn about America. One time I noticed that two of my huge sandwich-sized English Muffin buns were gone from the new bag, and I said, "Wow honey, you ate four English Muffins already!" She said, "No just two, I made a sandwich." I said, "You mean you made two sandwiches." "No," she said, "just one sandwich."

Then it dawned on me what she did. "Honey, do you know with an English Muffin you are supposed to split it down the middle first?" "Oh, I didn't know!" she said with amazement.

I tried to picture little Sara trying to eat this enormous sandwich with two huge English Muffin buns clamping a shred of meat and lettuce and I thought it was so cute I just wanted to cover her with kisses. 

"Cast"

On almost the last day of her visit to New York, Sara had come to work with me and set off on foot to see Chinatown on her own. On the way she stepped into a pothole and hurt her foot really badly.

I took the next day off work and we went to my orthopedist. He X-Rayed and could not find a break, but she could not put weight on it without hurting, so he put her into a cast.

She had never worn a cast and was amazed at this because in Taiwan they don't use casts unless bones are broken severely. It turned out to be a bad sprain in the middle of her foot.

Anyway, my poor honey spent the last couple of days hobbling around in a heavy cast. But we spent so much time loving each other, it didn't matter. 

"Goodbye Again"

Again we had to say goodbye. It was painful. We waited at the airport for over an hour because we were early, and spentmuch of the time sitting off by ourselves, hand-in-hand, quiet, and pensive.

What do we do about this? We are a couple now! But how do we go on?

After she left, she called me from an airport in Alaska where she stopped over before flying on to Taipei. I wasn't home, so she left a message on my machine. We already missed each other a lot. Discouraged that she couldn't reach me by phone, she sent me a post card from Alaska which I got a few weeks later, just to say, "I miss you."

We picked up our relationship on Instant Messenger and began talking about our future

"Our Future"

For the first time in my life, I am sure of my romantic future.

After Sara's February 1999 visit, I wanted her as my wife. Slowly, we started discussing "what if" scenarios on the internet. What if we got married, how many children would we have? What would be their names? What kind of house would we want? Where would we want to live? Over a careful 5 month period, these fantasies evolved into a more serious discussion about getting married. I began to think of how and where to ask her to marry me. It would not happen over the internet.

Plans began to form on what to do over the next year... 

"Chris"

>> Continued in Part Four, Part Five, Part Six and Part Seven.