It’s still the season for a wonderful holiday, complete with romance and delicious treats. Today’s authors share their experiences.
Emily’s Wonderful Life and Kiss
Who doesn’t love “It’s a Wonderful Life”? Okay, I grant it has some problems. For example, I don’t believe for one minute that Donna Reed’s character would have remained unmarried had George Baliey not existed. No way. I do agree that the town would have been different. The lives of people helped to buy homes there would have been different. His life, though not the life he’d wished for himself, was, indeed, wonderful, for himself and for others.
But that’s not why I like it.
I like it because we were watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” the first time the man who’s now my husband kissed me.
It took guts. The timeline was like this:
1) 1992 My friend Mary meets him while she has a semester abroad in England; he and I hear about each other from her for years.
2) October 1997 He moves to the US (west coast to my east coast), and starts to email and phone me, as friends only. We like each other a lot.
3) November 1997 We meet in person on Thanksgiving weekend at Mary’s house. Afterward he asks Mary if I “like” him.
4) Early December 1997 He sends me flowers with a note saying “I love you.” Hilariously, the florist gets my name wrong!!! Anyway, I thank him for saying so, but confess that I can’t say it back, at least not yet.
5) Christmas Day 1997 He calls me at my parents’ house in New Jersey, from his mom’s house in Devon. My mom and dad assume it’s serious, because only serious boyfriends call on Christmas Day. We open an atlas to England and find the town where he is.
6) End of December. He visits me in Massachusetts on his way back to his job in California. I waffle about whether I feel romantically toward him or not. I respect him, I enjoy his company, I think he’s super. But not sure if I feel “that way” about him.
7) December 30 1997, we watch “It’s a Wonderful Life.” He’s sitting in my one living room chair. I’m on the floor in front of him, next to his legs, using the chair as a backrest. He’s brushing my hair. Then he kisses me.
Wow. I was suddenly sure sure sure how I felt about him. Respect, friendship AND great kissing? I was on board from that moment. We married the next July, eleven years ago.
So that’s why I think so fondly of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
And if he ever had a George Bailey moment, if he got a chance to see what the world would be like had he never been born, I hope, unlike in the movie, that he’d find me married to someone else. As I hope the same would be true for him if I’d never been born. Marriage is wonderful, and I wouldn’t want either of us to miss it, if we couldn’t have each other.
[Note: Happy first kiss anniversary, Emily.]
Melanie’s Holiday Recipe
This dessert called “Cherry Delight” is only made for Thanksgiving and Christmas…(maybe New Year’s too?):
18 Graham crackers, crushed (or 1 ¼ cup Graham cracker crumbs)
1 stick butter, melted (on the recipe card, my grandma wrote “Oleo” instead of butter, which shows how old this is)
¼ cup sugar
Spread in 9X9 glass pan, well-greased
Cream: 8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese ½ cup sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla 1 egg
Spread on crust and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, let cool. Slightly spread 1 can of cherry pie filling (my grandmother calls for a brand called “Thank You,” but I’ve never been able to find it). Top with Cool Whip
Melanie Benjamin (Alice I Have Been coming January 12, 2010)