Anna fought marrying Victor as intently as a plastic surgeon combats signs of aging. "I was a miserable person to get engaged to," she admits now. "I have to believe one of the worst. Ever. I had a million hang-ups about marriage and I loved this guy so much, but was really, really terrified of getting married and what that meant for me as a woman. At the same time, there was this driving force inside of me, this need to marry Victor. So basically, I was a nightmare."
In what Anna describes as a negotiation as intense as a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit, the couple "chose to get married, together." On a warm September afternoon, nestled on the grounds of a Tuscan monastery Anna frequented with her family as a child, Victor pulled from his pocket a green garnet ring and wordlessly slipped it on Anna's finger. She said yes—and then she burst into tears. "I didn't stop crying for a week," Anna recalls. "But somehow, we knew we were going to do this thing, and that this was just some weird reaction I was having to the reality of it all. He's an extraordinary gentleman, that Victor. We ended up stronger for it, but I like to disclose this bizarre engagement moment because I think being engaged can often be an emotionally fraught and strange time in people's lives for a lot of reasons, and that's okay."
She continues, "But our proposal was also under a fig tree at a monastery in the middle of the countryside, and that day we had ridden bikes along rolling Tuscan hills and later Victor took a nap and I watched him sleep while I washed his shirt in the monastery sink. I mean, it was one of the most beautiful days of my life, and I had never been so sure I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this person."
Photo: Warm Pears