Thursday, May 16, 2013
How I met my husband
So today, I am writing about a story that is definitely, positively, directly related to him. No mistaking it. (That's why I put the word HUSBAND in the title.)
In 1995, I worked in downtown Minneapolis and I rode the #17 bus to work, complements of the Twin Cities Metro Transit (and my bus pass). Same story for Chris, although I lived a few miles farther down the route than he did. For years (I guess this makes 18?) we have been telling everyone that we met on the bus, because it sounds kind of cute and charming, a little unusual -- many people who are regular consumers of public transportation tend to be a little on the skanky side, which we obviously are not. What are the chances of meeting your future spouse on public transportation?! Very small, I'm sure I don't have to tell you.
So here's the truth, bold and uncensored: later that afternoon I had gone to my local gym, the Uptown YWCA, to workout. I was in the weight room, most likely finishing up some bench presses with like, 100 lbs. or something, and I spotted Mr. I-mind-my-own-business-at-the-bus-stop. So I catch up to him by the drinking fountain and say, "So, did you catch that hilarious conversation at the bus stop this afternoon?" I am assuming he will take one look at me and know without a doubt that I was waiting at the same bus stop as he was because who doesn't like to just check everyone out and people-watch constantly? Well, I may have been off-base, I'm not sure he knew who the hell I was, but he did remember the Army commentary (I reminded him) so he was not totally oblivious and he was not entirely minding his own business afterall. We exchanged some chit-chat about where we worked and then he asked me my name. I told him. He told me his name, and presto! There's the actual introduction. All bus-based interaction took place following that exchange.
I'm not discounting the cute and charming potential of the story mind you, but I am pointing out that we've misrepresented ourselves and the initial moment our relationship began.
Anyway, I apologize to anyone who has heard the bald-faced lie version of how we met on the bus. I'm sorry we made it sound so cute and charming. Chris may have thought I was blatantly hitting on him at the gym and how's that for the tackiest, cheesiest way to meet a guy/gal? I should probably feel more embarrassed about it. But I don't. Relationships are funny, as are the stories we tell, because they are so malleable. We shape them into what we want, what we need. All of history gets told in this flexible manner that leaves room for interpretation and perception to manipulate the truth.
On a totally different note, however, for anyone out there who is searching for that special someone, let me recommend the bus-ride-tactic as a very clever strategy in the big, wild world of dating. I mean, you don't literally have to be on the bus or even any other form of public transportation, but the idea is that you find some way to swing a conversation (or two or ten) before any actual dates have been arranged -- preferably something with a time limit of say, 20-30 minutes. It allows you to get to know a little about the person without having to be on an actual date, because you know how hideous dates can be sometimes. Quite frankly, if you can't think of a clever way to just bump into the person in a situation where they are stuck next to you for a brief period of time, I say just ask them flat out if they'd like to have a conversation which does not involve going to a public place and partaking of any form of food or drink together because you'd like to figure out if you want to ask them out on a date or not. Really, anyone with any sense of practicality will see the genius in this approach and appreciate your directness and the economy involved in the preliminary chat. If the chat doesn't go well, no one's out any money, barely any time was wasted, and you won't feel like a total loser because every date you have is a disaster. No date, no disaster. It's just a little chat. Everyone wins. You're welcome.