Chris and I have been together for 10 years this November—since we were both 16. We met while doing a play, and while I’ve chosen to pursue education as my chosen career (I teach middle school gifted and talented history and English), Chris is a working actor. His first job was at Medieval Times in Lyndhurst, NJ as a knight for 8 years (I drove him to his interview). While jousting, fighting, and jumping off horses was the norm, Chris decided to make the big step in leaving the castle to pursue other projects. He invited everyone we knew—my family (a large, loud, Italian clan of roughly 40 people) and his family (a family of performers) as well as friends from all over the country (as far away as Maine!). We had a group of 70 people here to see his last show, and basically overtook the entire Green Knight section, waving green banners and wearing green crowns. I was running around like a crazy person all day—greeting everyone and making sure everything was settled.
The show began and we ate dinner (with our hands…). We watched Chris throw spears and catch rings on his lance for the last time. I was teary the entire event, especially when Chris had his final fight with his best friend.
There is a part in the show where the champion receives a special ribbon from the princess and rides around the arena to present the ribbon to a young girl in the audience. Chris had mentioned he was going to present it to my 7-year old cousin, as he usually picks one of the smaller girls in the section.
After Chris won the last fight in the tournament, he dismounted and walked up the stairs, completely out of breath and sweating. He stopped at my seat, grabbed my hand and pulled me up, placing the ribbon over my head while the princess placed a silver tiara on my head. He said, panting, “I know this is my last night as a knight, but I want to be your knight for the rest of my life.” He pulled a box out of his glove and dropped to one knee as we both start crying. The crowd of our 70 family and friends exploded. I hear my cousin behind me screaming, “I’m going to be a flower girl!” over an over again. I nodded and squeaked out a few nonsense syllables. The princess announced us as the show continued, and Chris needed to run and remount his horse to finish his fight to defeat the villain (which he won).
On the next school day, my students were excited to find out the news. I think one of them put it perfectly—“Ms. Cara, you’re a history teacher marrying a medieval knight. Did you make that up?”