Once upon a time, I fell in love.
When I was twenty-two years old, I met a man. I was working as a bartender at a local restaurant. It was 4:35 p.m. on a Thursday (I know the time because we always turned down the lights in the bar at 4:30 p.m., and I was a little late that day). He was there for a business meeting, and he ordered a Jim Beam and Coke. I made his drink and served his colleagues -he bought the round - and we bantered back and forth in typical bartender/customer fashion. The man and I flirted a bit, and then he went to table fifteen and proceeded with his meeting. From my perch behind the bar, I watched him, hoping we would make eye contact just once more. We didn't.
I finished my shift at 6:30 p.m., and decided that it was just a silly flirtation with the nice, cute man. After all, at that time in my life, I had decided to take a break from dating.
But then. A magic fairy intervened. Serendipity, I tell you.
Later that night, I went to a local pub to have a quick beer with two of my best guy friends (one, an ex-boyfriend, but still good friend). I was just ready to head home, and a man stopped by our table. He was the same cute guy I that I had served a drink and flirted with at work. Turns out, he used to coach my two friends at softball, and had known them for a long time. I didn't look very nice after getting off my shift after a long day of bar tending. It was the middle of winter and I was wearing a huge coat and really warm sweatpants and a t-shirt. I had thought I was just going to head over for a quick after-work beer, then head home. It was pretty obvious that I wasn't on the prowl, looking for a date. Nope, not this time.
The man said, "Hey, it's you!
And I said, "Hey, it's you!
And he said, "Wanna dance?"
And I said, "Sure!"
So we danced. And we danced. And we danced some more.
And he said, "Wanna get coffee?"
And I said, "Sure!"
And so, over eggs and coffee, in a booth in a crappy diner at 2 a.m., I fell in love.
I'll never forget the first message he left on my answering machine: "Hi Craig, this is Marie. I just wanted to see if we could still get together. I'm working this morning, but my number is 555-4659."
Is that not adorable? He was obviously nervous.
I was thrilled to have heard from him so soon, so I called the number. The number had been disconnected. It turns out that the number was 555-4569. Not only had he transposed our names, but the numbers, too. We didn't reconnect that weekend, and slightly brokenhearted, I moved on.
I wrote the word "number" a lot in that last paragraph. Anyway.
It took 3 weeks for that man to come back into the bar where I worked, and at that time, I had pretty much given up. He was with my two best guy friends that I told you about, and they were playing matchmaker. The problem was, I had been on a few dates with the singer of a local band, and he happened to be there at the same time, visiting me at work. It was a bit, erhm, awkward.
It worked for the best for me, though. The man wrote down the correct phone number, and our mutual friend quietly slipped the piece of paper to me. That evening, I gently told the "band guy" that it wasn't going to work out, and I called the "other guy" the next day.
The "other guy" is your Dad.
Ten years after falling in love with the "other guy", I couldn't be happier. He's smart, athletic, strong, handsome, handy, charming, funny, a wonderful father and my best friend.
Plus, he does the laundry and cooks.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't all roses and hearts, and it's certainly not always a fairy tale. Marriage is hard work, sacrifice, and compromise. But, it's worth the hard work, the sacrifice, and the compromise.
We are happily every after.