Famous Saliva& Mashed Potato’s
David owned an extensive collection of CD’s and enjoyed many different genres. His favorite band was U2 and he was ecstatic when they announced a concert date in Koeln, a bigger city about an hour and a half from Pruem. David purchased tickets and for the following month I heard nothing but talk about the upcoming event.
“I can’t wait to see them live again. They’re awesome and put on an incredible show.”David was like a kid in a candy store.
“I’ve never been to a concert,” I admitted to David’s great surprise.
“Just the thought of all those people pushing and crowding me, makes me feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. I’m terribly claustrophobic and know that there are way too many people for me. So I just listen to their recordings.”
“Wow!!! That’s too bad. I love life concerts. The atmosphere and music are so different and you get truly immersed, especially at a U2 concert. There’s nothing like it.”
“Well you go, have fun and then tell me all about it.”
On the ‘big day’ it was like Christmas had arrived early for David and he called me from the car on his way to the concert.
“I’m almost there. I’ll let you know how it was. Love you babe.”
I smiled, feeling his excitement and bottled up energy and could picture him, bouncing in his seat, impatient to get there
“Have fun and behave. I love you too. Bye honey.”
The following day, as I was mashing potatoes in my small kitchen, the door to the apartment flew open. David rushed in, and from the giant grin on his face I concluded that he was still on cloud nine. He swept me in his arms and twirled me around until I cried for mercy.
“The concert was beyond awesome. I was in the mush-pit and managed to get all the way to the front. The show was freaking amazing.”
David barely drew a breath before proudly announcing: “Bono spat on me!”
“Eew, disgusting, why did he spit on you?”
“I got so close to the front that when Bono bent down we were literally face to face. When he sang he spat on me,” David explained.
This could only mean one thing, David’s personal hygiene would be lacking for a while, in order to preserve the famous saliva. I secretly shivered in disgust.
Well better him then me, I thought and turned back to my domestic tasks.
David hugged me from behind and gently took the spoon from my hand.
“Ella, please sit down for a moment.”He guided me to the nearest chair and got on his right knee.
Wondering if there were more stories about disgusting body fluids I looked cautiously at my unpredictable boyfriend. David took hold of my hands and looked deep into my eyes.
What is he up too now?
I was expecting another one of his comical, dramatic performances. Looking at him with growing suspicion I waited for the punch line to the newest joke.
“Ella, I love you more then you will ever know. My life has changed so much since you became a part of it.”
David cleared his throat, and then continued. “I‘ve thought about this long and hard and I can’t imagine a life without you. You mean everything to me and it would make me the luckiest guy on earth if you would become my wife. Ella, will you marry me?”
There it was!!!
Not believing what had just come out of his mouth I stared at him, totally dumbfounded. I was so shocked I actually stuttered when my words came back to me: “This isn’t funny at all. If this is another one of your jokes it’s by far the worst I’ve ever heard.” I started to choke up and took a deep breath before being able to speak again.
“I understand you had a great time at the concert yesterday and you’re on some outlandish high, but this is just simply cruel.” With tears in my eyes I looked at the still kneeling David in front of me.
He had hoped for a joyous ‘yes’ and feared a possible ‘no’, but this reaction truly seemed to baffle him. Apparently he had cried wolf one too many times and somehow deserved this.
I got up from the chair, pushed him out of my way and grabbed the potato masher. In my fury I shook it at David’s face, white goop flying everywhere.
“What the hell is wrong with you?”
David stood up, pried the utensil out my fingers and then hugged me tight to his chest. He started to wonder if the absence of a ring when he proposed was another reason for my disbelief and confusion. He realized being a spur of the moment guy didn’t always work out in his favor, especially where I was concerned.
“Ella, listen to me please. I’ve thought about marrying you for a while now.
I feel we’re at a place where we need to move forward with our relationship.
My feelings for you are true and I would never make a joke out of this.”
David realized me struggling in his arms to get away was not a good start. He spoke patiently and quietly to soothe and secured a promise of no further physical attacks before releasing me.
I sat back down and promised to hear him out. David honestly and sincerely explained what was in his heart.
“Ella my feelings for you have grown deeper and every day without you seems like a day lost to me. I want to share my life with you, and don’t want to wake up or go to bed alone any more. I need you; I love you with all I have and all I am. Will you please answer me now?”
David looked at me imploringly with those amazing blue eyes and I was lost. Overcome with emotions and tears in my eyes I replied.
“Yes, David yes, I’d be honored to be your wife. “You owe me a ring though,” I teased him as I lovingly drew him in my arms.
David smirked:”Woman if this is a taste of how hard you’re going to make me beg for things, I’ve got my work cut out for me.”
I just smiled knowingly. Little did he know.
In the following weeks we stayed busy applying for all the documents necessary for the civil wedding. In Germany couples were required to get married by a legal representative of the state before the church wedding. To appease both of our families we chose the 14th of August for the civil wedding and planned to have the church wedding the following spring in the US.
Coordinating flowers, choosing the right invitations and attire and finding a restaurant for the celebration after the service kept me insanely busy.
And as if this wasn’t enough stress already, we also needed to look for a new home. My apartment was too small for David to move in permanently and we decided to look for a place closer to the military base. The Air force helped with the search by providing available home listings in the area.
After checking out some places, which didn’t suit us or ended up being in the wrong location, we fell in love with a spacious apartment in a little farm village about ten miles outside the base.
“I really like this place.” David was excited after the walkthrough and searched my face for agreement.
“The rooms are big enough and the view from the balcony is gorgeous.”
The apartment was on the second floor of a white stucco house on top of a hill overlooking the tiny village below, which could be missed in the blink of an eye.
“I really like how spacious it is and that it has two bedrooms,” I replied.
“We can have people over without tripping over one another.”
The apartment consisted of two bedrooms, one bathroom, a large eat-in kitchen, living room, and a great foyer with marble floors and huge antique wooden wardrobe. The best feature of the place though was the small balcony off the kitchen. It had picturesque views of the rolling hills, cow pastures, forests and the landlord’s garden. Nestled down below in the valley were the houses and barns of the village.
“Can you imagine the sunsets from up here? We can barbeque out there or just sit and enjoy a nice glass of wine.” I said, truly excited.
“I’m just glad there is no church with annoying bells in the front yard waking my ass up anymore.” David remarked.
The Schumann’s, the owners of the home were both retired and occupied the main level of the house. The basement was build out into a third apartment, in which their daughter and her family currently resided. The main entrance to the house opened to a shared foyer and marble staircases up and down leading to private entrances.
“Your washer and dryer hookups are in the basement,” Mr. Schumann told them. “I’m happy to show you.”
I looked at David with raised eyebrows, not quite sure how to feel about that situation. Following the old man reluctantly I was wondering about my cherished privacy.
Mr. Schumann herded us down the stairs and I felt a bit uncomfortable to walk through the young family’s main hallway to get to the basement room, which held the washer and dryer.
“How do your daughter and her husband feel about us traipsing through their living space every time we need to do a load of laundry?” I wanted to know.
“Its fine, they don’t care. It’s always been that way.”
David shrugged, nudged me and gave me the look to drop it and move on.
We returned back upstairs and decided that the apartment suited us well. When we signed the lease we were full of hope and excitement over our first big decision together as an engaged couple.
On the way out Mr. Schumann showed us around the property. Next to the main house was a huge wooden barn, home to a colorful assortment of rabbits and a pony named Max, who was currently grazing in the meadow behind the barn. Chickens and a big rooster were roaming free in a sizeable enclosure near the barn and Mr. Schumann proudly pointed to his wife’s big vegetable garden.
“She grows enough to feed five families, so feel free to help yourself,” he announced much to both of ours delight.
The tour continued through Mr. Schumann’s fruit tree orchard with apple, pear, cherry and plum trees. We walked past large beautiful rhododendron bushes in full bloom, down to a small pond with coy and water lilies. The surroundings were well landscaped and near the edge of the pond stood a little wooden garden house. It had checkered curtains in the windows and flower boxes below the sills with an assortment of the prettiest plants.
“I like to spend my free time down here. When I need to get away from my Frau, this is a great spot to hide,” Mr. Schumann gave David a meaningful wink.
“It’s absolutely beautiful. You’ve done a really nice job with your landscaping.” I injected myself in the conversation. “This must be a lot of work to keep it all up.”
“Nonsense, it’s not that bad. I manage,” he dismissed me with a wave of his hand and turned back to David. “Did you see the large fish in there? I had them for years.”
“How do they survive the winters?” I was intrigued.
“They’re tough they just swim deeper. You should come down here once you’re moved in and we’ll have a couple of beers.”
I imagined that this generous invitation was for David only.
What a weird old coot.
On the way back, through the gardens to our car, I saw the little balcony from below and pictured myself and David having coffee up there overlooking the landscape below.
Mr. Schumann shook David’s hand firmly somewhat ignoring me.
“You can start moving your stuff in any time you want. Here are the keys to your new place.”
“Thank you so much, that’ll be a big help to us and it was really nice to meet you,” David replied.
We had a good feeling about the place and were excited to start our married life in this beautiful, new home. It was another big step in our future, combining belongings, creating a place together and hopefully making some new friends.
I leaned back in my seat content and happy and had no idea that all was not as it appeared.