OUR FIRST MEETING
it is more funny where we met than the details of how. We did not meet
online, nor by a mutual friend, nor through a broader circle of friends,
colleagues, nor on a single’s nature hike. Rather I had the great fortune
of meeting my “heaven sent angel” at the TGI Friday’s in Pleasanton,
just finished a particularly long day at work, and was really on the fence
about revisiting my old habit of a quick stop for a Grand Marnier drenched
“Platinum” Margarita and a Burger. The other choice under consideration
was a more recently established habit of enjoying my own home-cooked rib-eye
with a vegetable and a glass of red wine at my residence.
stepping in on this particular evening I was very pleased to see two lovely
ladies sitting at the TGIF’s bar. And the seat next to them at the corner
was apparently available. Needless to say, it did not take near as much time
to figure out where to sit as it had to determine whether TGIF’s would
prevail over the home-pan-fried rib-eye. And so I took my seat.
Immediately to my right was the young lady whom I would estimate to about
5’even. The main attraction I would later verify to be a full 10” taller
had fair skin and radiant glow. Although I was somehow aware that I had
just spotted the future mother of my children, I really had no idea yet how
to I might go about introductions.
moment, I concentrated on something of even more immediate concern--the
oversized goblet with salted rim. Apart from a few glances, there was no
break in their conversation which might allow for whatever I might think to
later, after having overcome some of my initial shyness (with the help of
that same concoction), I found my entrance. That tall and especially lovely
lady had just emptied her Cosmo, and had ordered another. “Wait a minute!
Put that on my tab… and make it a Grey
Goose Cosmo!” proved the right introduction.
graciously accepted and, as I had hoped, I had been welcomed into
conversation with who would just now be introduced to me as Anne and her
good friend Tara.
would learn much later, Anne had been on a business trip from her home in
West Covina and had connected with Tara about a chance to meet for dinner at
either Cattleman’s or TGIF’s. The proof of higher power came with the
selection on the latter. Also since Anne was used to traveling on her own,
she had grown accustomed to taking dinner at the bar rather than at a table.
excused herself to the powder room. Tara remained seated and I took the
opportunity to declare who had my most devout attention. “You’re really
cute! But I’m in love with
her!” I declared while by gesture indicating the emptied chair to her right.
Anne returned, I noticed that she was a bit greater in stature than I had
first realized. “How tall are you? You must be about five foot ten!” Anne
answered with a nod. My second margarita was now assuming more of a role in
guiding my remaining actions. “Stand up!” I playfully demanded as I
approached the stool where she had just taken seat.
stood I honed in as if to confirm her unusual vertical advantage. And once
in range, “let me give you a kiss!” I playfully proposed. Moving straight
ahead as if to target her lips, a quick turn of her head resulted in a
gentle kiss on her left cheek!
meeting ultimately concluded a bit later with a quick walk with her to her
car. And there was to be no more kissing—at least not on this late June
MAKING A CONNECTION
Anne’s shared email address was a safe enough exit, and based on her first
impression would not have dreamt of offering an actual phone number (I would
later learn) this was all I needed.
later, we began our first instances of phone communication. I had learned
that my Anne was examining my background via visits to the personal page I
had shared with her. I was also informed that she and Tara would sometimes
visit the pages while on the phone together and compare notes.
continued to keep in touch via e-mail and occasional phone calls and later
met for a series of lunch dates, and one dinner at my favorite Japanese
FROM HOUSEMATES TO A “COUPLE”
two months later, Anne's employer offered her a new permanent position at
their Livermore office, which also called for an end to her air commute, and
to find her own place near to her new assignment.
I had a
room available for rent at my new home, and, since Anne was soon to be
moving into the neighborhood, I thought she should eventually see my place.
proposed that she spend a night to ensure that one of two available rooms in
my home would prove comfortable. She moved the usual Monday morning
arrival to a flight that would have her land at Oakland on a Sunday
afternoon. And this would be our first night under the same roof.
firmer in my resolve that Anne and I should be housemates, and so I offered
dollar terms which were both beyond any reasonable objection and about a
week later we became housemates.
the winter we comforted one another through some of the mild peril
associated with our own respective not-quite-as “mean to be” relationships.
springtime Anne was being offered a new job opportunity that would have her
moving to Arizona. At first I was responding with mild encouragement
towards acceptance, with the idea that we might still visit one another and,
although on a slower course, find our way to what had been seeming an
increased possibility of a future together.
very eve that Anne was preparing to accept her new assignment, I came
sufficiently to my senses to make a clear statement of my hope that she
would stay. And this same coming to senses developed a strong
understanding of what Anne meant to me and through the process we became
officially a “couple”.
five months later we were near to departing for our first trip together.
And I would soon be meeting a lot more of Anne’s family. I recognized it
would be appropriate to make more of an official expression of my love and
dedication to Anne. Her mother's side family reunion on a cruise from
Florida to Mexico would prove to be the right time.
first day on the ship, they had a special on a couple’s massage, and this
made us too late for the first dinner seating with the rest of the very
large group of Anne’s extended family. So the first night’s dinner we were
on our own.
left the table to finalize an order at the Duty Free, and that’s when I
placed a ring on atop the cantaloupe ball garnishing a wedge of chocolate
returned, but did not take a seat as she had needed to grab the
sign-and-sail card to finalize the order. She appeared to be looking right
at the space on the table where her dessert had been unusually decorated.
Somehow, she did not yet notice, and went back to finish that important Duty
she was still away, a staff member brought a specially prepared plate with
fruit and on which was written in icing, “Will you Marry Me?” which I placed
on a chair out of sight.
time when Anne returned, she took her seat, and a sip of her coffee. Then
it became clear that she had noticed that something had been added to her
dessert and she sat for a moment quietly looking down at her plate. Then I
said, “let me do this right”. And I grabbed the other plate and got on one
night was formal night and we had the chance to reenact the entire proposal,
this time with a microphone and an audience of about 1000 dining
passengers. “You mean everything to me, and I was wondering if you might
not mind introducing me as your fiancé to your
delivered the same answer from the night before, “I love you.” The master of
ceremony pressed for clarification, “Does that mean you will marry him?”
Anne took the
again and answered “yes!” with a nod.
time we tentatively set March of 2008 as the date! But our mutual
enthusiasm eventually shortened the schedule – and September 14 became the
official day. And since Anne’s birthday is on the 14th of
October that’ll give me a great chance to keep birthday and anniversary well
Anne and I already knew we were profoundly “meant to be”. And I still
routinely remind her with the words she has already heard from me so many
times --“I am very glad I picked you out at the TGI Fridays!”