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Monday, September 16, 2013

A Good Day to Reminisce

It was a cold January night in 1994, when a group of my co-workers from the college where I worked invited me to a basketball game. Now I'm not one much for basketball, but since my divorce, I had made a vow to never decline a social invitation, so I went.  After the game, two of us, Kelly and I, decided to stop off for a drink at a nearby bar.

It was freezing out and the bar was packed, but we managed to find a couple stools toward the end of the room. It was there, after we ordered our drinks, that I recognized a woman who I had once counseled at the women's shelter. I went over to talk to her, while Kelly struck up a conversation with someone else.  Then someone tapped me on the shoulder. I turned and it was Kelly, who said, "Don't look now, but there's a gorgeous guy in a tuxedo right behind you."

I did what any red-blooded single/divorced woman does, I spun around and looked. And indeed, there was a gorgeous, tall, blonde guy in a tuxedo, leaning against the wall behind us. I recognized him immediately. I said, "Oh, I know him," and turned back to the bar.

Kelly said, "You do not."

"Sure, he was student."

She said, "No way. Believe me, I would've noticed a guy like that."

"That guy was in Commercial Art. Just graduated last semester. Can't believe you never noticed him."

"You're lying."

"He worked on the school newspaper. The office right next to mine. He used to come to my desk to pick up the office key if it was locked."

She said, "Prove it!" Because she really didn't believe me. Kelly worked in the General Education Department and I worked in Admissions/Counseling. So pretty much every student would have been in our offices at least once. But I did remember this guy, because he was so good looking, and I remember asking the editor of the school paper about him and was told that he was married, so I immediately lost interest. But for the life of me, that night, I could not remember his name.

Anyway, in order to "prove it" to Kelly, I went over to the gorgeous guy leaning against the wall, wearing a tuxedo, and struck up conversation while Kelly watched skeptically from the distance.

Bob's ad in the personal column. 1994
and yes, I saved it, all these years...
I asked him what he had been doing since graduation and he told me that he hadn't found a full-time job but was doing some freelancing. I asked him what was up with the fancy get-up and he told me that he had been an usher at a wedding earlier that day, but got bored at the reception because every one was coupled up, married or with a date, and he was single so he left.  And I thought single, hmmm.... and he told me about a "blind date" he had the night before and how everything had gone terribly wrong. And I said, "Blind date? Don't tell me, you answered one of those personal ads?" and he said, no, in fact it was he that had run a personal ad in the newspaper. And I gave him a hard time about that, because, truthfully, why would a guy so good looking have to advertise for a date? And he told me he was tired of meeting women in bars and wanted a real relationship. And I asked him what his personal ad said and he wouldn't tell me.

Then he handed me his business card and told me to look in tomorrow's newspaper and when I figured out which ad was his ad, give him a call. Then he left. And I stood there, kind of dazed, holding his business card and Kelly came over to me and asked what he had said, and I told her, and she said, well, you gonna call him? And I said, I didn't know because the whole thing was sort of weird and he probably wasn't even interested in me, and she said, don't be silly, he wouldn't have given you his card if he wasn't interested.

So the next day, I got the newspaper and went through all the personals and I found two ads that fit his description, you know, height, blonde hair/blue eyes, but one of those advertised himself as a "professional Catholic" and I'm wasn't even sure what a "professional Catholic" was but I certainly didn't want to date one.  And I almost didn't call him.

Then Kelly called me and asked, "Did you call him?" and when I told her I was too scared, she told me not to be stupid.

So finally, I got the nerve up and dialed the phone. And I had no clue what to say. And I was nervous as all get-out. He answered the phone and I said, "Hello! I'd like to speak to the Handsome DM, 34, 6'3" blonde?"

He didn't say a word. And I thought, jeepers, I have the wrong ad! but I continued reading the ad out loud because, truth be told, I didn't know what else to do. And I got all the way to the "intelligent conversation" when he said, "Is this Julie?"

And I nearly hung up the phone. Because I'm not "Julie" and how many women did he hand his card out to last night???

But I didn't hang up the phone and he laughed when I told him that my name was Diane, because he too had forgotten my name and was too embarrassed to tell me that last night and we talked for over two hours straight and made a date for the following week and the rest, as they say, is history.

Anyway, that was how Bob and I "met" and today is our 19th wedding anniversary and we are not celebrating because Bob is still recovering from surgery. But I am in a reflective mood and it's nice to reminisce....


Barb Polan said...

Yes, Diane, it's nice - and sometimes heartbreaking - to reminisce. Then a bunch of morons who think they've got the world figured out tell you not to "live in the past."

It's a lovely story about the two of you getting together. Please hang onto it. Sometimes memories like that are what I need to just get through the next hour or so.

What a wonderful story-teller you are.

Theresa Loder said...

Hi Diane
Love your Anniversary story...just beautiful...
Thinking of you both
Take care

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversary to you and Bob. Thank you so much for sharing, I'm telling you while reading I was there on that bar seeing you and Bob, I haven't meet you but they way you write make feel like I was part of it. I guess I have a big imagination.
Hope Bob feels better and so many better years to come for both of you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary, Bob and Diane. We are so impressed with your blogs, Diane. You are truly one great writer. We only pray for the best for you two. Aunt Rose and Uncle Arnie.

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary to you both. Be sure to thank Kelly for that extra push she gave you to first talk with him at the bar, and then another push to phone him after finding the ad. You and Bob are a wonderful love story and it still shows.

Both of you are in my prayers.

Hugs, Dan

Elizabeth, John and Jack said...

Happy anniversary!!! I love ur live story and the way you tell it. Waiting for the happy ending that the very best love stories must have!! I can hardly wait for that part to be written. Hoping the next year brings more recovery for Bob and less struggles for both of you.

Jenn said...

I like that story every time I hear/read it. A very Happy Anniversary to you both. Celebrate however it comes to you. God bless <3

DebbieL said...

Happy anniversary to you and Bob! I love your story! Thank you so much for sharing it! Much love to you!

J.L. Murphey said...

True college sweethearts. Lovely story.

an SLP said...

What a wonderful 'how we met' story. Happy Anniversary!

I am a frequent lurker at your blog, btw. I teach speech-language pathology students (and have a parent who had a stroke at a relatively young age), so I especially appreciate learning about your experience as a caregiver. You are one tough woman.

Grace Carpenter said...

Happy Anniversary, Bob and Diane. What a great story.

Rebecca Dutton said...

What an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Susan said...

Happy Anniversary to You and Bob.

You are an amazing gifted writer.

Dahn and I will be celebrating our anniversary tommorrow. Dahn doesn't remember it's our anniversary....but that's ok because we still have each other.

Sending love.