On a bitterly cold day in February, I suddenly found myself with 2 tickets to see The Donnas, and no one to go with. My friend (at the time), Barb, whom I usually went to such things with was going to be out of town in Chicago for the weekend.
“Take my friend, Kory!”, she said.
“WHAT?“, I said, “That guy I met over the fence?”
Because a few months before that, after seeing a strange and wonderful mixture of a show that included “The Trachtenburg Family Singers“, a reading by Dave Eggers and a performance by They Might be Giants, she wanted to stop at Kory’s house and show him the cool signed poster she’d gotten of TMBG because she and Kory were huge fans and had actually traveled around Britain to see in concert…
And he had a bunch of friends over and we all gathered at the fence and shared pleasantries that can only happen over fences in Minneapolis at 1am. The only thing I really remember is telling my future husband that he looked a bit like the lead singer from Offspring. And I was totally right, by the way.
I sent him an email and asked if he a) remembered meeting me over the fence and b) liked The Donnas and c) would possibly, maybe like to go as friends with me to see them on February 13th.
He responded back to my email that a) he did in fact remember me and b) he did actually like The Donnas and c) was actually free that night … and then ended his email by saying that in the spirit of getting to know one another, would I be willing share a very personal thing with him?
This is the part where I have to tell him I’m divorced.
No, oh christ… he wants to know my weight… oh just shoot me now…
He wants to know if I have kids. I’m going to have to tell him that I have an 11 year old son…. oh dear….
It’s very important to me to feel like I know someone and their values and priorities, he said, … so, can you tell me…
your favorite cheese?
I think, possibly, I started falling for him right then and there.
Time passed, we drank bloody martinis and chocolate kisses… we watched pretentious indy films and he makes me chocolate mousse. I introduced him to my son. He survived. He introducedd me to his parents. I survived. THEY survived.
A year later, one cold February night, we sat outside and in the course of polishing off two entire bottles of red wine, I basically told him that I was:
A) too old for him
B) too divorced for him
C) would probably never be able to give him his own children
And that for the sake of him getting a young, unsullied, child-bearing woman and pleasing his family and living the life he was supposed to live, that I thought we should just break up and move on. I pushed him as far away as I could and then I cried and cried and barfed up red wine and cried some more. He said..
I don’t care that you are divorced, I don’t care that you have a child – I LIKE your child, I don’t care if we never have kids, I don’t care what my family does or does not think… all I want is YOU.
I pushed him out the door and lamented my martyr’s life:
She who saves young innocent men from herself…
I won’t mention, ok – I will, that the man was so flummoxed by me that he posted the whole situation on a woman’s advice bulletin board and received something like 70 responses from women all saying that I was a selfish, foolish, stupid and probably ugly bitch from hell that doesn’t deserve him… and when people make comments about how women throw one another under the bus for a man, I always think of that lovely bunch of women…. anyway…
And one day in April, after my son and I had moved into his house, I came home to this:
12 dozen long stem roses….
Twinkling Christmas lights….
My smiling beloved… and my smiling son….
Oh, and a diamond. A beautiful diamond.
And suddenly, life opened up like a flower… and promise was everywhere.
A lot. A whole lotta lot.
And then… after much preparation and freaking out and ordering things on ebay and checking off boxes and making plans, one October day in 2004 we did this:
and we left the chuch through a sea of bubbles and raindrops and laughter…
and took a limo to our reception with our entire wedding party…
Where we ate, drank, danced and celebrated.
I randomly walked around and frightened people with my cleavage.
I know, right? I’m surprised everything stayed in place, but then I was in 49 different things with snaps and zippers and buttons and squeazy things. Really, if I’d caught on fire that night, I would have been DOOMED.
We sliced some cheesecake…
And then we honeymooned…
Fast forward 2 years and we got one of these:
Fast forward 2 more… and we have another on the way…
We survived, baby.
But more than that, we flourished.
Happy 4th Anniversary, my love.
Thanks for not listening to me that night all those years ago when I said we should not be together. Thanks for listening to me every time mostly since then.
You won’t hear me admit it often, but… you know, you were right all along.
We always were meant to be.