[about the author]
i actually like speaking in front of large crowds. freakish,
i work crossword puzzles in ink.
i am the american nigella lawson. or maybe the american eddie
izzard. can't decide, really.
i would be a really good mom, but i'm cool with being a really
i am sometimes more perceptive than i would like to be.
i am fiercely loyal. sometimes, stupidly so.
i never play dumb. never.
i am way too hard on myself.
i am a change agent.
i sometimes cross that fine line between assertive and aggressive.
i am not afraid to tell people that i love them.
i am militantly pro-choice.
i am pro-adoption.
i know a little bit about alot of things.
i typically enjoy the company of men more than women.
i am capable of being really mean and nasty, but i fight it.
i am a lifelong cubs fan. do not laugh.
i have been known to hold a grudge.
i have hips.
i am not my sister.
i am lousy at forgiving myself.
i am an indoor kind of gal.
i am a bargain shopper. to the point of obsession.
i am 32 flavors. and then some.
boy meets girl: a requiem
i spent my morning off writing my resignation letter, which i will submit tomorrow. two weeks from tomorrow, i’ll leave my job and start packing up my belongings into clearly labeled boxes. and, on my 33rd birthday, i’ll move back into my room in my parents’ home in the small town i grew up in and swore i’d never return to.
sometimes things don’t work out the way you think they will.
for five and a half years, i’ve tried everything I know to make my relationship with m work. but, finally, it’s apparent that there is nothing to be done. it is finally, actually, over.
when my marriage ended years ago, it was a maelstrom of emotions. anger. desperation. sadness. pain. but, i survived – stronger than before, and with very few scars, and, remarkably, i think, an amazing lack of bitterness.
one day, i’ll feel the same way about this.
during the five and a half years there were times when we were on the verge of ending things, and one of us would say, “but it would be such a waste of a great story.” it was a joke, of sorts. a way to break the tension, or defuse the situation, or just stop the “serious” conversation so we didn’t have to talk about ending things any more.
the “story” was a reference to the story of how we met. it’s one of those questions that is always asked of couples, “so, how did you guys meet?” and, we had such a great answer for that one. we “met cute” as they say in hollywood. a scenario reminiscent of that sappy little movie, 'til there was you. years of near-misses, and, eventually, a hit.
and so, for the last time, i’ll tell the story of how we met.
about nine years ago, i worked for the state attorney general, and my office was in the rotunda of the beautiful capitol building. having an office in such an amazing setting had one major drawback – no onsite parking. so, capitol employees had to park at a remote lot and ride a shuttle bus that dropped employees at various office buildings in the complex.
i saw him occasionally on the bus. a tall, blonde guy. i thought he was the most beautiful man I’d ever seen in real-life. i would catch myself actually staring at him – but never working up the courage to speak. my mood was markedly different on the days i saw him on the bus – i had a huge smile plastered on my face when i waltzed into the office on those days. it became a joke in my office – “oh, she saw the guy on the bus!”
he came to be known as “bus guy” in my office. i sustained significant ribbing.
eventually, i noticed his car, which happened to have a license plate with three letters on it. aha! in addition to giving me a clue each day as to whether or not he’d already caught an earlier shuttle, this gave me a lead as to bus guy’s true identity – his initials! using the state employee telephone directory, i learned bus guy’s name, where he worked, even his office phone number! but, true to form, i did nothing. the extent of my efforts was to look for his car in the morning to see if he had already taken the shuttle. if i didn’t see it, i’d wait, hoping he’d arrive and i could take the shuttle with him.
i eventually left the ag’s office, without ever speaking to him. several years passed. i had a new career. a boyfriend.
one day, as i walked through my office, i noticed a familiar-looking man sitting in our lobby. unable to place his face, i asked a co-worker, “whose guy is that in the lobby?”
one of my friends answered, “oh, that’s my friend, m. we’re having lunch today.”
“he looks really familiar to me, but I just can’t place him,” i answered.
“well, maybe you can figure it out tonight – he’s going out for drinks with all of us after work,” she said on her way out the door.
that evening, after several drinks, it dawned on me: it was bus guy! how could I not have recognized him – my dream guy!
as i made my way to the bar for another round, i found myself standing beside him. he turned to look at me and said, “you know, you look really familiar to me.”
“oh,” i said, “i know where you know me from. you work at the capitol. you drive a green saab with your initials on the license plate.”
although i’m sure that it wasn’t the case, it seemed that everything ground to a screeching halt at that moment. i’m sure there wasn’t a sound in the bar.
he stared at me.
“um, excuse me. i have to go.” and i grabbed my drink and high-tailed it to the other side of the bar.
words like “stalker” and “restraining order” bounced through my mind as i drowned my embarrassment in my glass.
“smooth move, ex-lax,” the seventh-graders in my head taunted.
i made my way to the bar for yet another drink. when i turned, i found myself face to face with him again.
“listen,” he started. “about what you said a little while ago. um, there’s something i should probably say….”
“oh, god,” i stammered. “listen, you probably think i’m some sort of nutcase…”
“actually,” he interrupted, “what i was going to say is…well, i was just wondering if you still drive that white subaru?”
and then, there was no sound in the bar again.
i learned that i was known to his co-workers as “that girl on the bus.”
as time passed, we learned of our long-running series of near-misses. that we were “this close” to meeting each other about a dozen different times. that we were at the same parties, or the same concerts, or we knew the same people.
and, so it began. i always thought it was destiny -- that “hit” after all those near-misses. that we were supposed to meet and end up together.
now, five a half years later, i look back and wonder…what if it was the misses that were destiny.
but, no matter what…it’s a good story. i just wish i could rewrite the ending.
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