Given my disclosed fascination with “how we met” stories, I decided that it was about time that I shared the only really good one I’ve ever had…
It was the kind of early spring Friday that is the balm for the last couple of winter months when the fun of the first two has turned to fatigue. Nothing was going to keep me in the office (I was in a prior career back then.) I took the top down on my car, lit a cigar and took the longer but prettier route back into the city. About an hour later (suburbs suck or as my friend Lexa would say “suburbs are something that happen to people,) I was driving down U street, your standard issue four lane urban road through a kinda trendy area.
At 9th and U, a woman driving the car next to mine at the stoplight waves at me just before the light turns green and we drive to the next light.
“Forgive me, have we met before?” I asked the woman who waved, although I was 95% sure we had not because despite my occasionally sieve-like memory for faces, there was no way I could have forgotten the acquaintance of a woman this stunning. She strongly resembled a younger and Latin American version of Penelope Cruz.
“No… I was just flirting with you” She replied just as the light turned green and we drove to the next light.
“Was this random I’m-bored-on-my-ride-home flirting or deliberate flirting?” was my next question.
“Oh, it was very deliberate” she replied when true to our timing the light changed again.
Down this block she moved into the left lane so I shifted to the right. Now at the 15th street light, I asked “So since this was deliberate, if I gave you my card you’d give me a call sometime?”
“Probably” was all she could get out before the light changed again.
The business card was already in my hand by the time we reached 16th street. I tried to hand it to her passenger, but she (intentionally, I think) couldn’t quite make the reach before the light changed and the shockingly pretty woman who had waved at me turned left while traffic forced me to go straight.
It would be two blocks before I could make a left turn to look for her, but I was determined not to have the story end this way. It just couldn’t end with being two inches short of “maybe.”
I drove around the very trendy neighborhood for what felt like ten minutes without success. Could she be going further South? Should I stay on this street, turn left, turn right? The questions bounced through my mind until I made one lucky turn and saw her giving her car keys to the valet at a restaurant.
I found a close-enough-to legal parking space and walked toward the restaurant. The two women were already at a table. I went to the bartender and told her I needed a favor. I told her the whole story… the bartender (who has since become a friend of mine) promised me she’d take care of everything.
Before the unbelievably pretty woman and her stingy armed friend ordered food, the bartender went to the table with two glasses of champagne and my business card with a note that read:
“The story about meeting a woman at stoplights needs a better ending. I hope you’ll give me a call.”
She waited an agonizingly long two days to call – That annoying book, The Rules, was still popular back then.
We had our first date the Thursday following the Friday we met
I swear she got prettier by the day
We Dated for almost a year, broke up for almost a year, got back together for close to a year, broke up for another two years or so, got back together for a couple months, broke up for good.
Our love was very real, but there were a couple of fundamental incompatibilities.