Today is my wife JoAnne's birthday. In lieu of buying a gift or card, either of which would require money and driving, I've decided to share the story of how me met, instead. It's actually interesting here and there. Mostly there.
In august of 1995, I was on my way to one of Rhode Island's picturesque beaches. Or Horseneck. Anyway, I stopped into a Shell for gas and ice, and the chick behind the counter peeled her ear away from the phone long enough to briefly acknowledge my existence and check me out (the cashier way, not the leering way). I went about my business and achieved a righteous tan that my Sicilian ancestors would be proud of.
That night, I went to my part-time gig scoring for a softball league in Pawtucket. On my way home, I swung into a convenience store (a now-bricked-over Tedeschi's) and who do I see working the counter but the gas station chick.
Connection. Or so I thought. According to JoAnne years later, "I didn't really know anybody else."
After that night, I did go out of my way to hit that store. In return, she went out of her way to save me a bottle of my favorite Arizona Iced Tea. We flirted. Well, she actually succeeded in flirting. Mine consisted of stupid stuff like walking through the area she'd just mopped. And that was my A+ game. By the way, pretty much any girl from the North Attleboro Class of 1991 can confirm that.
One magical day, when I got fired from my gig at the 99, I decided to hit the mall to buy something with my last ten bucks. Of course...because of fate, coincidence, the grace of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever...she's there with her brother and little sister. I spontaneously grew a pair and introduced myself. Her brother, being hip to the ways of dudes, excused himself and went to Spenser's. Her sister, being eleven and hip to absolutely nothing, lingered and asked where her brother was going. JoAnne subtly replied, "He's over there. WHY DON'T YOU JOIN HIM?"
Even I could pick up on that. I summoned my inner smoothe and reached for the brass ring.
Ladies, if you ever hear a man say what I said on that day in the mall, you know you're going to get the fairy tale.
I said, "Hey, if I can manage to keep my car, you wanna go out sometime?"
As I said before: magical.
By way of epilogue, when I picked her up for our first date, I thought that maybe she had a twin sister, as well. Except this sister's hair was over a foot shorter than the girl I'd asked out. Who cuts off over a foot of hair before a first date? Who?
Almost sixteen years, and I still remember every little detail. Sixteen years, and I still wouldn't trade my lows with my wife for highs with anyone else.