This month's writing invitational is about heartbreak and its best treatment: food. Lisa started us off last week with a story about Break-Up Cake, and this week reader Julie Munroe shares her story. Munroe is a children's minister and singer/songwriter in Dallas who blogs at The Potluck Diaries.
Since it's been a short week for those of us who had Martin Luther King, Jr. Day off, we've extended the deadline for submitting stories. Please send yours in by Wednesday, January 26, and we'll consider running it in Food & Think. Just a reminder that the story should be a true personal narrative about food (not necessarily cake) and doomed relationships. Please e-mail your submission to FoodandThink@gmail.com.
The Wedding Cake that Wasn't
By Julie Munroe
I think I am getting married. I haven't heard from the groom in a while. Years, actually. The last time we talked, though, that was the plan. Confused? I was too, for a little while. Let me tell you the long story of how I became estranged from my Mr. Right.
Scene 1 Year: 1995
I met him during my sophomore year in college. I was 18. He was handsome. He had big muscles. At 18, you kind of always go after handsome with big muscles. He played basketball. I was a cheerleader. He grew up in Germany with missionary parents. I took German in high school while living in New Zealand with my missionary parents. We were meant to be. After one date he decided that he didn't want to go out with me. We hung out one afternoon and he kissed me... yes, on the first date. Don't judge. So, I was momentarily broken-hearted until I found out that he had other girls he was hanging out with (and kissing) all at the same time. In fact, I forged a friendship with a couple of the girls he had kissed, and we bonded over our mutual misfortune of having fallen for him. I also became good friends with his sister, and we spent plenty of time together so that I didn't really even miss him. I moved on.
Scene 2 Year: 2000
I was teaching at a private school in Nashville, living my life, when my brother told me that this blast from my past was going to be at a conference for missions at his church. My Mr. Germany was coming to town. I had mixed emotions, but I made plans to attend the meeting where he would be speaking. I went. He preached. He was still handsome, still muscular, and still single. The following three weeks were kind of a blur. He stayed in town for a week or so, and he made his intentions clear. After the first few days of flirting, he starting talking about serious things. Marriage. Missions work. I was skeptical. He had broken my heart, however slightly, five years before. I wasn't sure if he could be trusted. He told me that he had some speaking engagements in Florida and would be gone for two weeks, but he was going to use Nashville as a temporary home base and would be back. He went. I waited. I didn't hear from him much while he was gone, but after two weeks he flew back and I happily picked him up at the airport. Then he started talking details. He was in the States for only a few more months, and he had churches all over the U.S. to visit. The plan was, though, that he would be back to Tennessee in November (this was September), and he wanted me to fly back with him afterward to his home in Texas and meet his people. Then at Christmas, I would go to Germany with him to see if I liked it. We would go from there. He left me with the appropriate sentiment of two people in a serious relationship. Hugs and goodbyes were exchanged, and he drove away to California to return a car he had borrowed for his furlough.
I never heard from him again. I called his cell phone, and he never answered. I left voicemail and got no response. I emailed but got nothing. They always say that no news is good news. Probably not when you are planning to marry someone.
Thankfully, I had been a little guarded. I was surprised but not devastated. I didn't waste any time looking at bridal magazines and picking out honeymoon locations.
He is now my Facebook friend. He didn't have the decency to officially dump me, but he did accept my virtual friend request. If he were an active Facebooker, I would harass him endlessly about our upcoming nuptials. After all, if an engagement plan is never called off, isn't it still an engagement plan? I would pick out flower arrangements and post them on his wall for his approval. I would ask if he wants to wear a black suit or a tuxedo. I would send him invitation samples and ask how to spell his parents' names, just to make sure I get it right on the final printing. We would definitely have German chocolate cake as the groom's cake.