New Series! How I Dated My Husband
Was it a "love at first sight" thing? No. After my first marriage imploded, I decided that was a load of crap. But there were some cute things I noticed.
For example, I can't remember if I blogged about this but I have a bizarre phobia. Heights? Don't care. Snakes, rats, spiders? Don't want to be covered with them a la Fear Factor, but no big thing. Teacher Lady now shares the completely humiliating secret with you and you alone, Internetweb friends: Birds scare the shit out of me. I am really afraid of birds. I hate them with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns.
Steve and his wife loved birds. In fact, they had just rescued some African-gray thing that was very rare and just "the most loving bird ever." Just typing that made bile rise up in my throat. Won't be able to type about birds much longer . . .
Anyway, I shame-facedly told Steve about my little, uh, problem long before I went to his house. He was very kind and understanding (having a daughter not too much younger than me, he was probably well-acquainted with all kinds of crazy). They kept the birds in an upstairs bedroom, they would make sure they were all caged when I came over and wouldn't expect me to look at them. (The birds, not Steve and Suzanne).
Since Mr. J. was a good friend of Suzanne's and understood how much she loved her birds, one of the first things he said was, "May I see the birds?" and Suzanne said sure, she'd love nothing more!! Mr. J. looked at me and Steve came to the rescue. "Ah, Teacher Lady can't look at birds. (Gotta love Steve's way with words, right? Like I was Lot's wife and I'd turn into a pillar of salt if I looked at birds) She's afraid of them." I think I love that man more in this moment than I ever have. Because he didn't blink, or make a face, or roll his eyes or shake his head in some, "Women! Aren't they nuts?" kind of way. He just said, "Oh, okay. See you in a minute, then."
After some drinks and small talk, we headed for the restaurant - a cute little Chinese place I had never visited. We all chatted together. Sometimes Mr. J. and I chatted, just the two of us. Then the waitress brought our check and fortune cookies. Waitress asked how the check should be divided. Used to Blane, I said, "Separate" and Mr. J. looked at me and said, "I'd like to take care of this, if you don't mind." Did I mind?!? Hell, no, I didn't mind!!
Then, the only small red flag: We all got our fortune cookies and went around the table, taking turns reading our fortunes out loud. Somehow, when we came to Mr. J., he managed to do something socially subtle but it was clear he was distracting us from the fact that he didn't want to read his fortune out loud. I was kind of bummed: Was this a "too cool for school" type of guy? Just a generic party-pooper? Or perhaps he belonged to some super-scary cult that forbid the reading of the future because only Master Moonbeam or whoever can tell the future.
Months later, I asked Mr. J. why he didn't read his fortune out loud. "I still have it," he said. I was flabbergasted. "You do?" He nodded. "Why?" He replied, "Because it read, 'A great romance is about to enter your life,' and I liked you so I didn't want to freak you out."
Gotta love him!
Labels: How I Dated My Husband