Dear Michael

Dear Michael,

We met on a train about four years ago? Do you remember?

I had to sit next to you, as it was a very cramped train to London. We laughed about how busy it was. You had a very loud laugh.

I was en route to visit my then-girlfriend RJ who was living in some out-of-the-way place as she had a habit of doing back then. You were on your way back to Jamaica, after visiting some friends oop north.

I don’t know how we got chatting, I think it was when you said “Excuse me, do you mind if I talk to you about Jesus?” Before then I always thought that people didn’t say this, and it was just nasty atheists mocking religious people. But you just came right out and said it. You looked a bit manic, so of course I said yes!

I’ve forgotten the details of how and where you were born again, I’m afraid. I do remember the bit where you started crying and I had to give you a tissue though. You seemed grateful and apologised, saying that Jesus’s grace was too much sometimes. I completely agreed and begged you not to give it a second thought, which I hope you haven’t.

The conversion, sorry conversation (that was accidental, but far too good to delete) turned to me of course, as we knew it must, and we spoke of RJ and her life in France. (Yes, France, that is where she was – I was on my way to St Pancras.) That was when you said something rather odd. Or should I say even more odd, ahaha. I’m sorry.

“Your girlfriend, ah, I’m sorry, Chris, may I call her your fiancée? Only it would be more proper and I know you will do the right thing.”

I pointed out that it would be factually inaccurate as we were not engaged to be married, but you seemed very upset by this. In fact you wanted me to promise you that I would marry RJ. You also wanted me to hold your hand while promising, which I considered to be very odd.

You probably remember that I didn’t promise, and you looked so put out that I was concerned I had spoiled our blossoming friendship. But thankfully, we found another topic of conversation, and you spent the remaining hour trying to convert me to Christianity. I had a book open in front of me, but don’t worry, I didn’t want to read it.

Anyway, I won’t waste your time in more idle reminiscing, going over old ground like how you didn’t know where you were going when you got to London, and how I had to speak to your friend on the phone and tell you where to go and what ticket to buy. Or how you didn’t have enough money so I had to “lend” you the fare.

No I’m not writing to do any of that, but to let you know the good news!

Yes, I made an honest woman out of RJ nearly one year ago. You just needed to be more patient!

Now onto the important bit: what shall I get her for our wedding anniversary? The theme is paper.

Yours sincerely,



12 thoughts on “Dear Michael

  1. See? Us Christians just know stuff…
    I’m afraid I’m going to scupper you a bit by saying that for our first anniversary I got Leigh paper tickets to Paris for a week.

  2. Actually, tickets for something are a good idea. Apparently, having experiences (and especially shared experiences) are a far surer route to happiness than owning things.

    Another option, for the cynical romantic who also doesn’t want to spend any money, is to take a piece of paper and an actual pen, and write her a letter reflecting on all the many ways she has enriched your life in this, your first year of marriage. I have been told that women are contractually obligated to love such thing, and therefore overlook the absence of chocolates, flowers, or other such staples.

  3. Ah but Stephen, we are already forced to endure many shared experiences. I couldn’t possibly inflict any more on her with a clear conscience.

    Fortunately, I am not short of ideas for innovative gifts and can think of many exciting ways to work paper into a romantic treat.*

    I will have to ask you to stop suggesting however, as RJ does occasionally read things here and I wouldn’t want to spoil her surprise!

    PS Cap’n… a WEEK in Paris, you flash git. More my style to go for a single one-way ticket and a copy of “how to get by in Europe for $10 a day” I think.

    * A post-it note with the number of my divorce lawyer, anyone?

  4. Hmmm, interesting. So far for our anniversary I believe I am treating YOU (the I was capitalised for emphasis too but how was anyone supposed to know???) to a romantic weekend in Leamington Spa. But to be fair the bank is paying…

  5. Hey Chris

    I knew you would do the right thing, young man.

    How about getting her a nice bible.


  6. RJ, yes well I like to step outside of the normal male-provider, female-accepter model.

    Michael and Chris, thanks for your suggestions but I refer you to the above comment!

    Also it is probably slightly confusing to refer to yourself as Chris, but I think we have probably covered this ground before!

  7. It’s a joke, Welsh.

    In slightly poor taste, yes, but that is my “theme”.

    That is probably why no-one has bothered to comment on it.

    Why, are you in the market for one?!

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