Contest RecapMidlife Collage sponsors a weekly contest of midlife short stories. U.S. citizens and legal residents age 40 and older may enter. The Editor selects five stories for publication on our website each week. Readers leave comments and Facebook thumbs-up likes urging the panel of Judges to choose a contest winner. Readers also send the Judges their opinions of the best story on our Closing Arguments page. The contest period is Monday through Sunday noon PT. The first-place story enters the Winner’s Circle and receives a cash prize of $50. Winners of a $50 cash prize are eliglble for a $100 contest, which we run quarterly. See the Submissions Page for the Contest Rules for details. ANYONE, worldwide, age 18 or older can comment on the stories in a contest.
The U.S. consul politely asked me an awkward question. “So at your age, why are you leaving your family, friends and country to marry someone who is practically a stranger?”
I was determined to get the consul to stamp a visa on my passport. Back in the U.S., my fiancé had begun working on our wedding plans.
Glenn and I met through an online matching service. I liked the idea of meeting someone and building a friendship online. It was an improved version of having pen pals via snail mail. But never in my wildest dreams did I expect to find a husband by simply filling out a questionnaire and ticking off my preferences for a possible mate.
When the consul posed his question, I was quick to answer. I mentioned that I was the oldest among the group of fiancées applying for U.S. visas that day. Then I said, “At my age, marrying my fiancé is no longer about falling in love. It is about growing in love.”
After hearing my answer, the consul gave me a fiancée visa and I boarded an airplane with a one-way ticket to the United States at age forty-eight.
My home with Glenn is a cozy log house near the Cibola National Forest in Mountainair, New Mexico. I will always remember the time he took me for a walk one clear starry night. All was still except an occasional coyote yipping in the distance. Glenn motioned me to stand beside him and listen intently. Then he cupped his hands to his mouth and loudly called out “Ri—ley” several times.
A couple of minutes later, I heard thudding sounds in the distance. The thuds increased in tempo; they were horses’ hooves pounding hard on the parched ground as the equines outraced each other towards us. Soon four gentle creatures surrounded us, heaving as they stood waiting for their master to acknowledge them. This was an awesome first of many new experiences American life had in store for me.
I transformed from corporate executive to domesticated homemaker, from city girl to country lass. And each day I spend with my husband is a privilege to grow in love.
Editor’s Note: SlimSam has another winning vignette “Outranking Barbie” from the April 16, 2012 contest.