Family Moments

Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Richard Black

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Meeting Laura Black and Our Twelve Year Anniversery

Twelve years ago to this day I met my wife for the second time.

We met in exactly the sort of place woman are told that they’ll never meet a spouse, at a bar, during the Super Bowl, an event I’m certain most women don’t expect to meet a life partner.

I was wandering around and looking for a group of friends I didn’t ever find when a mutual friend of ours introduced us. I immediately recognized the future Mrs. Black and ,upon introduction, mentioned that we’d met before.

Laura (the aforementioned future Mrs. Black)  gave me the sort of look one would give a used car salesman trying to sell someone a ’74 Pinto for a really good price. She smiled and mentioned that, being in sales, she never forgot a face.

“The last time we met you told me that your favorite movie was Snatch,” I clipped back, “Your favorite line from the movie was when Bullet Tooth Tony knocks on the window of a car and quips ‘Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity’”.

Laura’s jaw dropped. I ordered a drink, sat down next to our friend and proceeded to ignore my future bride for the next hour and a half. It is one of the few times my brain has lived up to its potential and unquestionably one of the smoothest things I have ever done.

Six months earlier Laura and I met at another bar and, to be fair, I was in less in a less than optimal condition to woo a woman or, really, anything more ambulatory than a cactus. A buddy of mine and I decided to show up a few hours early to get some good seats and after four hours of drinking we were both hopelessly inebriated by the time Laura and her friend had shown up.

During the course of the next four hours I proceeded to do just about everything a man shouldn’t do to put himself in a woman’s good graces except spill a drink down her blouse and smack her on the ass.

I’d recently ended a long term relationship and felt compelled to bring up my ex-girlfriend whenever the conversation lulled. I’m also fairly certain I asked her for her name five or six times. Upon finding out that she was attending a wedding the next day I graciously offered to go as her plus one. Being a consummate moron I didn’t even have the sense to ask her for a phone number at the end of the night.

Fortunately I was in better form the next time we met and had grown a giant bunch of facial hair that rendered me, more or less, unrecognizable from the douschebag I had been some six months prior. We chatted. I remember saying that I could listen to her talk for hours and meant it. Laura was, and still is, profound.

Once I finally let on who I was she was kind enough to forgive me for my past behavior. My wife’s willingness to forgive my various idiocies is a trait that’s kept us together. It might seem to be surprising but I wasn’t a “catch” when it came to relationships.

When we met tn 2002 I had been working for a startup company for the better part of three years and hadn’t been paid regularly for a good nine months. I’d been evicted from my apartment, I could barely make a car payment, and was saddled with an amount of debt to rival that of many third world countries. To sweeten the deal I was also living with my mother at the time.

Any one of these issues would be enough to send most women screaming in the opposite direction and Laura, to her credit, was different in that she was just looking for a piece of ass. Laura was leaving St. Louis. After selling air time for a local TV station for a few years and making a decent amount of money (and losing a fair amount of hair) Laura had built up a war chest and decided to move to Miami.

At the time I didn’t know this. I don’t meet many people and I don’t often have sex with the ones I do and Laura was no exception. We screwed around in the way drunken twenty somethings do. I may have offered to make a condom out of Saran Wrap because I didn’t have protection and Laura may or may not have politely declined.

Laura scooted out of town three days later to hit New Orleans with a few of her friends. I played the “how long should I wait to call?” game, promptly dialed her up inside of the first hour she’d popped back into town and invited myself over for dinner.

 

“Do you realize what today is?” she asked.

“Errr Tuesday?” I responded.

“It’s Valentines Day,” Laura clarified, “You want our first date to be on Valentines Day?”

Better, I thought, to get it out of the way.

We had a pleasant evening. We cooked dinner, had a few drinks, watched a movie, had quite a few more drinks and I helped her pack for Miami some 1,800 miles away where she’d be spending the next year. Sometime during the night I decided to weasel my way into her life. It was, hands down, one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Over the next six months or so we maintained a long distance relationship and then moved to Chicago. We were engaged within the year and married shortly thereafter.

We have weathered quite a lot over the past twelve years. Some of it is the usual sorts of things that any couple goes through, issues with in-laws, issues with finance, unemployment, relocation, family dinners, Holidays… the death of loved ones.

There have also been good times. Many, many good times as I would do well to remember. The birth of my daughter remains at the top of the list. The album Laura gave me a few years ago on my birthday featuring our life together was another in addition to countless other bits of tenderness, notes, and thoughts she provides me with every day.

I am truly blessed, and I do not use the word lightly, by being a part of Laura’s life. I am a better person for knowing her, a better man for being with her.

I can’t imagine my life without her. Nor would I want to.

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