I sat alone on a bench outside South of The Border, a little Mexican restaurant in Raleigh, NC. It was just getting dark and there was a fantastic it’s-fall-in-North-Carolina nip in the air. As I lazily watched the cars drive by I was shocked out of daydreaming. A strange man was standing over me, chatting with me as if I knew him. "How are you!?" "What’s going on?!"
I stared at him with what must have been a completely empty gaze … was I supposed to know this person or was he crazy? He obviously knew who I was. I racked my brain… high school? No. Home? No. College? No. Elementary School? I was reaching. Digging into the corners of my brain while trying to maintain a conversation without having to ask him who he was.
Then the accent slipped… he dropped every single one of his R’s. And I noticed the tiny little socks on his hat. Jerkface… what a kidder this one was! I knew we were meeting some of Mary’s friends at the resturant and I’d heard about this Hazel kid. She said he was cute. And fun. And from Boston. That’s all I knew about him.
That night we had dinner. We went to a movie. I met his parents. We had drinks with friends. He kissed me.
Then I realized that it was a blind date. Blind to me. Blind to him. Blind to everyone except Mary. I was in town from college. He was in town from Los Angeles. And the timing was perfect.
Two years flew by. I graduated. Moved to LA. Worked. We bought a condo. Life was fabulous. And on our two year anniversary we went up to Santa Barbara. In the hot tub he gave me an ugly bracelet and then threw a beautiful ring at my head before getting down on one knee to ask me for my forever.
Mary – thank you for having the vision of my perfect life four years ago. I adore you dearest!
Chris – I love you.
That night – four years ago! (Can you believe that I fell in love with a man who wore Nike arm bands?)