On Saturday, August 12, 2000, now two weeks into her visit, we had a very serious conversation about our relationship. We were very much in love, and the thought of her leaving in 2 days was hard for us to imagine. We had become inseparable and had spent every waking moment of the last 2 weeks together. The last time we had talked about it, we had agreed that we would get married the following January, which was about 5 months away. We began to discuss how we would continue our relationship over the course of that 5 months. She would probably not be able to afford to fly out during that time because it was an expensive trip. She would probably also not be able to take any extended time off from work or school during that time.
It would have been very cost effective for me to fly out and visit her (now that my mom was a flight attendant), but there was a major problem with that plan also. Where would I stay? My wife lived by herself in a student apartment at the university in Munich. I knew that it would not be right for me to go there and stay with her because we were not married, and it also would not have worked for me to stay with that missionary in Munich again because he and I did not get along at all, he lived across town, etc. The way things looked, we would have to be completely separated for the next 5+ months, and both of us hated the thought of that. Even phone calls would be expensive and rare (times were different back then). We would only be able to communicate by letters and email.
Then we started saying things like, "Well, if we know for sure that we are going to get married anyway, why don't we just get married right now?" We tossed around the idea for a few hours, and then we finally just hopped in the car that night and headed for Reno, Nevada (2 hours away). We got there late in the evening and asked at gas station where to go to get married. The gas station worker told us where to go, and when we got there, they had just closed 20 minutes ago! What?! I thought it was a 24/7 thing! Apparently I had confused Reno, NV, with Las Vegas, NV. We got in the car and drove back home since we weren't married, so it would have been scandalous for us to stay the night there. Plus my parents of course had no idea that we had gone to Reno, so we had to get back home so that they would not know that anything out of the ordinary was going on.
Zsuzsa slept in the car on the way home as I drove. At one point she woke up startled at how fast I was driving on the winding freeway, but she must not have been that scared because she went right back to sleep. We got back to the house and headed to our separate bedrooms for the night.
The next morning (Sunday) I woke up, and my very first thought was, "What in the world did I just almost do last night? Am I insane?!"
To be continued...