We met in 1974 in the city of Nikšic in Yugoslavia - what is now Montenegro. I was still working in Classics, sent undercover by the APA to look into what the Soviets have uncovered about ancient Scythia. We couldn't let the Soviets have sole access to that knowledge. It would be worse than that time that German guy found the Ark of the Covenant. Anyway, we met in a Karaoke bar in the Estonian part of town. She was singing 99 Luftbaloons in broken Serbian. I was drinking Cherry "Cola." They don't serve Pepsi, not even Coke, just some god awful knock-off they call Cockta. She was wearing parachute pants printed with houseflies. I told her I liked them. She bought me another Cockta. And a donut. They have donuts in Yugoslavia. Very tasty. I like donuts. We talked for a while, and played knifey-spoony. It's an Austrian game. She won all five rounds. I told her I used to play for the Knicks. She had no idea what that was, but pretended to be impressed. We hit it off right away, mostly because of those charming housefly pants and her ability to speak coherent English. I guess I must have impressed her somehow, because she decided to warn me. The Trio of Archeologists I was working with to uncover the ancient Scythian hollow bone tube technology were actually agents of the Yugoslav Philological Secret Police. If I were to be aprehended with those bones, well, knock-off cola would be the least of my worries when I was dragged off to the Great Pit of Carcoon, or the nearest Eastern European equivalent. Needless to say, Kira concealed me from that cadre of Communist classicists. She then smuggled us to Belfast in a shipment of rubber ducks, calling on her connections in the Oriental Trading Company. We've been together ever since. This past January, I thought it might be time to make things more official with a serious exchange of looks, so one night at dinner, I gave her a ring. She asked, "What's this?" "It's a ring," I told her, "the kind that's pregnant with meaning and portentous of marriage." She said, "Oh," and put it on. I took that to mean "Yes," but I can't really be sure. I guess we'll see if she shows up. Either that or we met in college. I get so confused.
Kira wins at Knifey-Spoony
Gratuitous Picture of Fingolfin