The 35-Year Engagement

The 35-Year Engagement

A real-life Hollywood love story.

It's said that love is patient. And, boy, does one North Carolina couple know that.

If you've already read their story in the NYTimes "Vows" section last Sunday, then you likely understand why it's worth mentioning even days later.

Michelle Mead, 57, and John Armor, 65, lived more than three decades on opposite sides of the world, married then divorced others, and undoubtedly grew grayer since they first were engaged in 1973 and finally tied the knot earlier this month. And to think some of us get testy after three days with no word from a guy.

Their tale begins with a twist guaranteed to make rom-com-haters eyes' roll and hopeless romantics swoon. The couple met while Armor was cross-examining the young maiden Mead as the defense attorney for her husband in an assault and battery case she had brought against him and ultimately lost—thanks to Armor.

His penance was to help the then-21-year-old spitfire move belongings from her former marital abode into her college dorm, after her husband, Armor's client, split town. Love bloomed and the two were engaged within a year. Resistance from Armor's family about Mead becoming the mother of his young children and Mead's itching to be anything but in the role of a housewife led to the couple's demise.

Three decades later, after reading Susan Shapiro's Five Men Who Broke My Heart, a memoir about revisiting past loves, Mead decided to get in touch. Sparse communication led to friendship and, eventually—after Armor's third marriage dissolved--love. Again.

Armor told the Times: "it’s ironic, the older you get and the less time you have, the more patience you have." He can say that again!