Meeting my wife

Valentine’s Day was this week, so I thought I’d write about meeting my wife, Brenda. Our culture loves these stories. Probably because they are like snowflakes, each story is unique and beautiful.

Summer of ’92

I was 27 and living in Lynchburg, Virginia. Meeting and dating girls had never gone well for me so I was settling into the idea of living a single life. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and throwing myself into work.

My roommate’s mother provided assistance for two elderly ladies across town. She would help them with housework. One evening my roommate told me that his mother was trying to set him up with someone. We both groaned with the thought of a ‘set up’ date. I listened to him talk and was glad it wasn’t me.

He ended up getting together with her. He said that her name was Brenda, she was pretty, but the situation was awkward.

Phone call

It was early summer. I didn’t have school and there was no band practice, so I was sitting around the apartment. Now, for those of you that don’t know, we used to have phones in our homes that had a wire. These phones didn’t tell you who was calling. And, the phone was shared by everyone in that home.

The phone rang. I answered and heard the most beautiful voice on the line. She said that her name was Brenda and she wanted to speak to my roommate. Fortunately for me, my roommate was at work.

I don’t know precisely what we talked about. What I do know is that we spoke for more than an hour. I don’t know if I agree with the idea of a soulmate, but we did seem to ‘fit’ together immediately.

Gotta go

At some point, Brenda said that she had to go. She had an event she was planning on attending. I told her that I understood, because I had a pro-life rally I was attending that night. And…that was the meeting she was going to as well!

We decided that we would meet there. She would be wearing a light blue blouse with white polka dots. I said I was a tall, skinny guy with a big Adam’s apple.

Meeting at the meeting

I pulled my Toyota pick-up into the parking lot. When I looked at the registration table and I saw a beautiful, tall brunette with curly hair. She was wearing jeans and a light blue blouse with white polka dots. Panic immediately set in. “She is way too good looking for me. I’m out of my league. This is going to go badly! I should just go home.”

Unbelievably, I parked the truck and approached Brenda. Her smile made me melt. I floated along beside her as we walked into the meeting room.

We talked all through the meeting. At one point, they called a guy up to pray and we all bowed our heads. But, instead of hearing a low voice, we heard a high pitched woman’s voice. I spontaneously burst into a chuckle. Next to me, I could hear Brenda suppressing her laughter.

It turns out the guy was deaf. He was signing a prayer and a lady was speaking the prayer on his behalf. We both felt terrible for laughing. And, we were both hoping that the local news camera hadn’t caught us laughing at a deaf guy’s prayer.

Meeting after the meeting

The meeting ended and I asked if Brenda would like to get some ice cream. It’s not a date. Just two people getting ice cream. I suggested that we could go in my truck. She agreed.

We sat in a booth, eating our ice cream and talking. A young family sat a few tables away. They had a little boy with them and he was making a mess of his ice cream cone. I remember that Brenda kept looking at him and smiling. She thought he was cute. At that moment I began to allow myself to hope that we might have a future together.

All good things…

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. We finished our ice cream and I drove us back to her car. But, I couldn’t let her go without setting up a time to see her again. A date.

She responded that it wouldn’t be right. She had gone out with my roommate and she wasn’t the kind of person who dates two people at once. Especially two roommates!!

I saw some hope. “What if I talk to my roommate and he says it’s ok?”. She was hesitant, but agreed and we said our farewells.

Staying up late

My roommate worked for a J. Crew call center. He would sometimes work a graveyard shift and I wouldn’t see him. He slept when I was awake and vice versa. But, tonight I would stay up as long as it takes.

If you want to know what comes next, you’ll have to read next week’s post.

Post #54
More about me.

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