Sunday, February 15, 2009

Circling in on Love

I considered sharing this story Friday, for my “Forty to Fifty” post, but my nice side won out (at least for a day). But yesterday, over at Lily’s Life, Lily asked people to share about the worst Valentine’s present they ever got, and I was tempted all over again to tell this story. Sorry, Old Dog, but you of all people know how little self-control I have.

This is actually the best present I’ve ever gotten. The circumstances were just a little…off.

When Old Dog and I started dating, he lived here in beautiful southwest Ohio, while I lived in Minnesota. In retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened to us, because being able only to talk on the phone for a year and a half actually forced us to get to know each other, but at the time it was a killer. You would have thought we were a couple of teenagers instead of two forty-somethings. Then we stumbled across this terrific deal on plane tickets. You could fly from Dayton to the Twin Cities for $100. So we bought some tickets and, every six weeks or so, we would spend a weekend, or, if we had vacation time, a week together.

Old Dog did not own a credit card at that time. Let me just say this: everyone’s ex-wife is a bitch, including my ex-husbands’. Old Dog’s ex had totally destroyed their credit, and he was still trying to recover from bankruptcy when I met him. I didn’t like the idea of his flying around the country with no credit card, so I got an extra one for him.

If you knew my history with men and money, this would send a shiver down your spine. My first two husbands didn’t work a lot. For various reasons, they had problems finding and holding jobs. For my own reasons, I had problems insisting that this was a requirement. In retrospect, it blows me away that I just blithely handed Old Dog my plastic, but I did.

Anyway, we’d been dating for about a year and Old Dog was scheduled to come to the Cities to celebrate my birthday/Valentine’s Day when I got a call one night. From my credit card company.

“We wanted to report a suspicious charge,” they told me. “Today, someone charged $1300 on your card in Dayton, Ohio.”

Instantly, I knew what had happened. Old Dog and I had been engagement ring shopping the last time I was in Dayton and he’d made it pretty clear he planned to buy me a ring as soon as his tax return came in. With the trip just a few days away, he must have decided to go ahead and buy the ring with the card, planning to pay me back when his return came in.

After I explained this to the guy at the credit card company, there was a pause.

“He bought you an engagement ring…with your credit card?”

“Um, yes, he’s going to pay me back….”

“Right. Whatever. As long as you’re not concerned.” Credit card guy couldn’t get off the phone fast enough.

Among his friends, though, Old Dog was a hero and I became their dream girl.

One who would pay for her own engagement ring.

(Note: A week later, he did pay me back. And, he still works the same place he’s worked since he was 19, where he's had perfect attendance more years than not. Which is only one reason he’s my dream guy.)


  1. Jeanne,
    That is a great story! Glad Old Dog's kept up his good reputation. I bought myself my own 40th BD present. Then DH paid me back.
    Thanks for the laughs.

  2. Trust the credit card company to try (and fail!) to take all of the romance out of the situation!
    A lovely story and proof to me that that true love exists and persists...

  3. You write : "My first two husbands didn’t work a lot. For various reasons, they had problems finding and holding jobs. For my own reasons, I had problems insisting that this was a requirement." Have we met? If not, how do you know my own personal history? Are there others of us out there? Should we form a club? Luckily my third husband, the one I chose, finally, to have children with, loves to work.

  4. That is a good story. My own husband has had a real sordid job history and that was a real problem for us for a lot of our married life. Part of the problem is the whole trucking industry and part of it was his intolerance for the whole idea of work. He thought if you were treated badly then you just quit without a new place of employment to go to. In his defense many of his employers went out of business or lost contracts with customers and they just get rid of their drivers with no thought at all. Just one more thing we have in common.

  5. Haha, what a trusting soul you were. I'm not sure I could have done the same. What am I saying...I know I wouldn't have:)

  6. A true love story- one based on trust...

  7. Awww! What a sweet story. And a happy ending, too!

    Peace - Rene

  8. That's so sweet - shame the credit card people had to phone you up to tell you about it!

  9. Phew - a happy ending!

  10. Some situations just have a different inherent order in them. I always take the leap to believe the best.

  11. Glad that ended well. Hope you loved the ring.

    The merging of money and credit is always a little scary.

  12. Sometimes you've just got to take a chance on love -- aren't you glad you did? Thanks so much for sharing such a lovely story. Good for y'all.

  13. It's nice to hear a happy ending. It sounds like it was a good choice judging from your follow up note.

  14. Thank GOD that had a happy ending. I was ready to come over and form a posse to go KICK HIS ASS.


  15. that is a great story...shows he means a lot to you! I also told mine to stop buying each other presents on the credit card, because we both see it online, so takes away the surprise, and he would buy me whatever I ask anyway...I just like my sweeties company...

    I also had two other husbands with the same history...I knew mine was mister right from the get go he owned a lot of nice things and was not in debt...

  16. I just have one question.. did he know that you'd be getting the scary "someone stole your card" call? Or was that part of the surprise? Either way this is very real-world romantic,which is the best kind. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Birth-Valentine's Day week!

  17. Maybe the credit card guy was just embarrassed he ruined the surprise?! Great story...especially since there's a happy ending.

  18. Love you for trusting him. But he's a goof ball for buying it with your card. I like goof balls.

    I did a post just for you this past weekend. Persistence pays off.

  19. Good thing that was the first thought that entered your mind on the expenditure. I wouldn't want to have been near you if it had been another thought, cause you'd have been 10 miles down the wrong road before Old Dog could coax you back onto the right track. :)


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