The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Monday, August 25, 2008

How I Met and Married MHW: The Long-Awaited But Anti-Climactic Conclusion

Today is the 27th anniversary of my marriage to the most perfect woman in the world, (whose only fault is that she's a terrible speller, Hashem Yirachem).

Two years ago, to celebrate our 25th anniversary, I penned a series (with apologies to my friend Robert Avrech) of posts of how I managed, in seven weeks, to con MHW into marrying me. (To put it into context, in today's world of shidduchim, no one would have thought to set the two of us up, and, if they had, it's doubtful that MHW would have agreed).

Because I get distracted easily, I actually ended the series one post early. We are holding by the day of our engagement, April 19, 1981, the first day of Passover.

If you haven't read the previous posts, here they are:

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

And now, for the anticlimactic conclusion:

Upon unexpectedly running into MHW on Presidents Day, I decided, on the spot, that I was going to marry her. (We had gone out a couple of times two years earlier). While this was cocky beyond belief, there was not even a scintilla of doubt in my mind that MHW would, one day soon, become Mrs. MoC. The problem, of course, was how to convince MHW without scaring her off.

As you can read in the previous posts, in a very short time, I succeeded. By putting on a full-court-press of charm, wit and sensitivity, I overcame MHW's initial view that I was some kind of weird oysvorf.

OK. How to close the deal?

Remember. This was before the day of elaborate engagement planning (where everything, including the hall, the band, the color of the wedding party's dresses, etc., is settled on before the "engagement". This was before the groom would go to great lengths to plan some clever or goofy engagement surprise.

So, we found ourselves sitting on lounge chairs in my future in-laws' backyard in Far Rockaway, Ir Hakodesh, on the first day of Pesach. After talking for a while, I romantically said, "So, do you want to get engaged today?". MHW responded, "I guess so".

We were done. (That's traders' talk for "we had a deal").

The next step was to drop the news on my future in-laws.

Although we were hoping to do this in private, my in-laws' good friends were in the house (they were ALWAYS in the house) and we didn't feel like waiting all afternoon so we took my in-laws aside and spoke. We went back upstairs, broke the news and had a lichayim. As I recall, I walked back to my parents' home in Cedarhurst to give them the good news. (My mom, with whom I shared my prediction on Presidents Day that I was going to marry MHW, believed then and believes now that the sun revolves around me and so never doubted for a minute that I would).

The rest is a blur.

Twenty seven years later, I am still smiling over the con of the century.



  • At 12:38 PM, Blogger ThePeoplesChamp said…

    Mazel Tov!

  • At 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Where are the Kleenex?

  • At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    She'yizku l'yamim tovim v'aruchim

  • At 6:09 PM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said…

    "So, do you want to get engaged today?". MHW responded, "I guess so".

    I think my wife and I had the exact same discussion.

    I formally proposed to her a few months after we were married, while she was brushing her teeth. This way, whatever she said sounded like a "yes."

  • At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Anniversary! Mom... thanks for saying yes.

  • At 9:58 AM, Blogger Jewish Deaf Motorcycling Dad said…

    Wonderful! Thanks for the behind the scenes peek. Did MHW (or as a commenter, should I write "YHW"?) give you any guilt trip about the time in between? There was a 4 year gap between when my wife and I met and when I got serious. She sometimes comments to me about the lost opportunities in between. Hmmm, maybe that's something I should write up. Our anniversary is in Dec.

    Happy Anniversary!!

  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    No. MHW believes strongly in hashgacha pratis. She never looked back.

  • At 2:42 AM, Blogger Lady-Light said…

    How did you know, the very first time (or second time) that you saw her, that she was the one?
    And a hearty Mazal Tov to you! This is a wonderful story.


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