Yep, it's been 33 years for the two of us. Thirty four, if you consider we married exactly one year from the day we first met. John was a dewey eyed scientist/engineer, I was an up and coming bon vivant. We weren't exactly made for each other.
We've joked back and forth since, if those on-line matchmakers had been around, John and I would never have been paired. John's hobbies were flying, sailing, scuba diving and other random guy things. Mine were reading, going to concerts, art museums, trendy movies and eating out. Not exactly a perfect fit.
But each of us was recovering from a failed relationship and was looking to enter back into casual dating. We had common friends who were dating (John worked with Ron, I worked with Laura) and they fixed us up. Not because of our scintillating resumes, but because we both had come from big Catholic families (so had Ron) and were, frankly, available.
Our first date consisted of a ride in John's dad's boat and then a bucket of clams at Pal's Shanty. Google it, you'll find it's one of the best seafood/sandwich/taverns in the Portland area. Laura and Ron had given John and I each other's phone numbers, we'd set up a date, then Ron and Laura came along for the first meeting to chaperone. How sweet!
John showed up at exactly 7 p.m. that evening. Not one minute too early, not one minute too late. I was still finishing my make-up and had yet to blend in my foundation. I was still in my knickers. I answered his "buzz" at my secure apartment and raced into the bedroom to put on my clothes. I never finished my face. He rode up on the elevator, knocked on my door and I opened it.
He was sooooooo cute - - - AND he didn't look like an axe murderer!
We met up with Ron and Laura at Ron's place, and proceeded on the date. John was ever so gentlemanly and solicitous of my every comfort. We had a lovely boat ride and went on to Pal's.
Laura had been acting a little weird, and I thought she might be having some sort of migraine headache. She kept looking at me and rubbing her brow. When we reached Pal's she hauled me off to the ladies' room and I found the source of her headache.
I never had finished my make-up and had a huge blob of foundation on my forehead. It looked like I was covering up a scar. Maybe John didn't look like an axe murderer, but I looked like an axe murderer's victim. I hastily fixed my forehead and headed back to our booth.
John looked immediately relieved when we returned. The date proceeded nicely, with John and I loosening up and enjoying each other's company. We realized we had absolutely nothing in common, but that was the point. We had fun planning future dates where we would torture each other with our interests.
On our second date, I barfed in John's rental plane or, literally, into an airsick bag in the plane. On our third, John sat through a foreign language film, complete with subtitles, and no barfing at all! We realized it was a match made in heaven (or maybe the Vatican) and moved on to more serious aspects of dating. AND we married a year later.
During that year, we realized we did have common interests, cooking being one of them. We played "Dueling Woks" in our kitchens and just generally improved our stir fry skills. We camped out (I love sleeping in fresh air) and went to the Portland Art Museum where John discovered the Monet water-lily painting and a life-long obsession with impressionism began. We realized that in the right situation, differences ARE good.
It was a good match of two opposites attracting. Here's to the next 34 years!