It seems natural to begin with, “So how did we first start dating?” which is pretty darn interesting in its own right... but not the story we’re telling today. So how did it all happen, or better yet, where did we first cross each other’s paths? In keeping with our respective personalities, our introduction required more than a little bit of awkward social circumstance.
Many years back, Alec began working at a new job and within a few weeks of starting, a co-worker and his wife invited him to meet them at a local bar. Though highly uninterested in their choice of venues and doubting having very much at all in common with this couple, Alec didn’t want to appear rude with a new colleague, thereby souring potential relations at work. After a bit of coercing, the offer was accepted. (At the risk of sounding elitist, some editorial content must be injected at this point to further the irony of our meeting and explain that this particular bar is the kind of place Joy and Alec would both generally avoid as if every table and chair brought with it a moderate chance of the plague.)
Upon meeting said co-worker and entering, Alec felt extremely out of place and began people-watching over a few rounds of drinks. Out of an extremely packed bar, there was quite obviously one person who consistently caught his eye… and why wouldn’t she? Even across a dimly lit thirty feet, she had an amazing smile and laugh that spoke of humor and a desire to make her surroundings a place we’d all like to be part of (which Alec likes to say is evident to this very day). She was comfortable with herself, yet without the slightest note of arrogance. She was unique, yet visibly quite genuine and unlabored. Not to mention, she was wearing the greatest black jacket with pink trim. So yes, Joy was sitting at a small table, also looking out of place given the element, and talking with a female friend (who also turned out to be a co-worker at Joy’s recently acquired job).
At any rate, Alec’s co-worker apparently took note of how his surveying the room seemed to linger a little bit longer any time his eyes passed in Joy’s direction. It was at this point that he and his wife began a discussion as to whether Joy and her female friend were there together or “together.” What was Alec’s reaction to this, in a word? Mortified, folks. It didn’t take long at all for the discussion between husband and wife to evolve into a full-scale debate, at which point the wife challenged to go over to the girls’ table and find out. The terrors and humiliation that ran through Alec’s brain were white hot, and despite his protests she proceeded to walk over, introduce herself, and sit down in the last open chair. Seriously? The one person in that establishment to whom Alec might like to talk, and he was unwittingly caught up in a sad social display that would almost certainly result in his looking like an underdeveloped fool. It was at this point that Alec turned to walk out the door, but his co-worker stressed that they could walk across to the other side of the bar as his wife chatted away on her devious little mission.
Sitting on the other side of this place, it was obvious that Alec’s co-worker was trading text messages with someone on a fairly regular basis. After an uncomfortable fifteen minutes, his co-worker informed him that he had to relieve himself and asked Alec to please remove his wife from her conversation? Eager to get it over with and leave, Alec walked over to Joy’s table and before any words had the chance to escape his lips, the wife bolted up from the now-empty chair and said, “Hey Alec, I need to use the restroom. Take my place for me while I’m gone. Joy, this is Alec,” and promptly abandoned him at the table. At this point it dawned on Alec that he’d been set up from the beginning.
The ultimate revelation here was that this couple had planned to see who the new employee would gravitate toward, and then thrust him into a “sink or swim” scenario. The fake debate, text messages, and restroom trip? All part of the ruse. But hey, that night Alec and Joy managed to find great conversation and a bunch of laughs in a sea of striped shirts and popped collars. It’s crazy to think that two people so completely out of place, meeting up with their respective new colleagues for almost identical reasons, were able to establish a friendship lasting many years before dating ever entered into the picture. Well… before they were nebulae, but that’s a whole other story.
** Professionally edited by an OCD journalism major! It's great being surrounded by brilliance.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Best Husband Ever
So I have a huge test in Cross Sectional Anatomy tomorrow and I've been a freak stress ball for about a week. My wonderful husband insisted, and I mean INSISTED that I get a massage tonight because I've studied enough and what I really need is to relax and good a good night's sleep. He's the best.