2.25.2008

ben and betty

photo of mum's parents, right before their wedding 54 years ago. (as of friday).

Today is Grandma's birthday. I thought I'd post the story of their engagement in honor of her. Because it's not mushy. Unfortunately, I never wrote it down when she told it. She always laughed at the end over Great-Aunt Shirley's face when she showed that ring. {and shook her head over how competitive they were.} But this is how I remember. It's close to how Grandpa told it when Ericka and I showed him 'the ring' we found in Grandma's jewelry box.

In the 1940-50's there were two best friends named Elizabeth (Betty) and Shirley. They roamed rural upstate New York with their friends, brothers named Richard and Ben. The girls were very competitive between themselves. When Betty was in 10th grade, she and Ben began "going steady." {Richard & Shirley were also dating} Then Ben went into the Air Force. He was stationed in Denver, Co. but stayed in touch with Betty by letters.
One morning, Shirley came by Betty's house. "Richard and I are going up to Wellsville this morning--to look at wedding rings! We're getting married!" Betty was thrilled for Shirley. But all the same, she moped around the house until the mail came...
A few weeks prior, Ben had been off duty, wandering around Denver. Wishing Betty was with him, he saw a small jewelry store displaying sale signs. He stepped in. An inexpensive ring with a small, square diamond setting caught his eye...
Weeks later, Betty was thinking about Shirley and Richard's engagement when she opened her letter from Ben. As she did so, something small slipped out of the envelope. "Dear Betty, You already know how I feel about you. If you're willing to marry me, you can wear this ring. If you don't want to marry me, sell it or something. Love, Ben." Of course, Betty put the ring on immediately. She was ecstatic.
Later that afternoon Shirley came by. "I guess I'm engaged first" she said, proudly displaying her hand.
"Oh, it's lovely...what time did you get it?"
"Hhmm...I think it was around 1 o'clock when Richard and I finally chose it. Why?"
"Well then. I got engaged first because this came at 10 am this morning." Betty triumphantly held out her hand to Shirley. There was much exclaiming, laughter, and all else that goes with two girls rejoicing with one another.
.:the end.:

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's really nice of you Damaris. I am Praying for you guys and my whole family are praying for you. Keep that in mind, okay Damaris? Anyhow, I will tell you who this is. your everyday tired Ben "Anonymous" Swanson.

Anonymous said...

And as Grandma Judy would say, if you know her, "It brings tears to my eyes." It really does. When you think about the life they spent. Not to sound weird...but...it...for some reason... sounds... almost...like...a...Fairytale....

Lazure said...

Aww. This is a sweet post, Damaris! We always can count on you to do such a wonderful job on something like this. Speaking of birthdays, as of this comment, your little sis is now 13 as well-- please tell her Happy Birthday for me, ok? :) This will be one of her first birthdays in a looooong time that I won't be around to celebrate for.

As well, I finally posted over on my blog today, also! Additionally, I edited the template to accommodate new graphics that I have designed today in Photoshop. Hope ya like it!

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SHE'S THIRTEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!sorry. I knew she'd be thirteen before me, now i'm gonna be murdered!

dams said...

hey ben. i guessed it was you.
aren't you 13 soon yourself? and don't worry, my sister would NEVER beat up anybody. unless they made a deragatory comment about a cat she liked...then i can't be sure...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm kinda CrAzY. Char is gonna make her do it so I will die from teasing. {Of course I have been her friend longer than char has, but sense Grace started bri started avoiding me.} I have kinda posted on earlier posts, like from last year. I was wonderin when you'd post...

Anonymous said...

I also posted on your post on gc prayer group. If you wanna check it out, go right ahead..

little brother said...

Thanks dams. That was really nice.
But your grammar and sentance structure was absolutely deplorable. Sorry. But the content is very very sweet and excellent. Made me cry.

karawarnock; said...

oh so cute.
i love hearing stories of my family back in the day, and who i never got to meet.

Andrew said...

That's a great story!

-Phyllis+ said...

awwww! Thats so sweet! I love it! ya know I don't think I ever heard how GP preposed to Grammy, I'll have to ask him.