Belle in Bloom tagged me for this one. For the record, the fact that I ever got married seems something of a miracle. I was the perennial bridesmaid—lots of truly frightening dresses but lots of good times. Both of my younger siblings were married years before I was. I was the hilarious single aunt.
When I returned to California after living in Washington, DC (and the Boston area and central PA), I moved into a group house in Berkeley. I shared the house with two other men, and our landlord and his wife lived in an upstairs apartment. In spite of a twenty-year age difference S. and Landlord were good friends, and when Landlord needed some carpentry work done on his basement workshop, he hired S. So I would see S. now and again working around the house. We chatted a little and always smiled at each other as we passed. I thought he had a sweet smile and kind eyes and so was a little disappointed when I heard Landlord saying to someone "S. and his girlfriend . . . " I had thought "Isn't he just he kind of guy you'd want to marry?"
After about a year, my roomates and I were asked to move out because Landlord's aging mother-in-law needed to move in with them, and so they needed the house back. We parted on good terms, and I was added to their ever-growing party invite list. It was nearly a year later that I received an invitation to a celebration for the mother-in-law's 93rd birthday. I had just gone through a horrible breakup with someone and wasn't at all feeling up to a party, but I really liked this woman and a tiny voice in the back of my head reminded me that S. might be there as well. And I thought if I missed seeing S. at this party, I might not see him again for several years. So I put on my big girl panties and out I went.
I was a little nervous about going alone to a party where I would only know a few people, but my instincts were right—I opened the door, and there was S., who in the middle of a conversation with another friend stood up and walked over to me. We didn't speak to anyone besides each other for the rest of the party. But we weren't in the clear yet. In the course of conversation, S. moved from topic of macrame (yes, macrame) to the fact that he considered himself kind of a "floater" professionally. In spite of these revelations, I gave him my phone number owing to S.'s persistence and patience (he called and called and called), we started dating. And I was right—he was just the sort of guy you'd want to marry.
We'll celebrate our ten-year anniversary this spring. The woman whose 93rd birthday we celebrated died the next year, so it was an important party for her too. It just goes to show, you never know when or where it will happen.
And just for the record, he has settled down to a steady career and not produced a single macrame wall hanging or potholder. He's still got the pony tail (which is getting shorter all the time), but that's ok with me.