Saturday, September 10, 2005

Love Is Never Having Another Blind Date

First Gabrielle posted the story of how she met her hubby. Then Valeri did the same. Since I enjoyed reading them so much, and since I'm never too proud too blatantly mean, BORROW a good idea, here is: The Johnny and Deb Story The short version is this - we met on a blind date. Yep, seriously. But here's the longer version... I was living in the Cincinnati area, working in retail. I was dating some, but no one serious. More often I was just going out with my girlfriends, dancing and having fun. (Remind me sometime to tell you about The Blond Tanya Club.) At one point, feeling like I wasn't having much luck finding good dates on my own, I agreed to a couple of fix-ups in a row. I can't even remember now who set up the first one, but it was deadly dull, with the guy in question spending most of the evening complaining about his various aches and pains. Yeah, that's always sexy. Not. Then another friend (and I do remember who set up this one, but I won't name names) set me up with another guy. That date was ok. Not super fantastic, but not hideous. I thought I might be willing to see that one again. Until, that is, the following weekend, when I went to a festival in Cincy and saw him with someone I worked with and realized that the "Dick" (not his real name, but hey....) I'd dated the weekend before was the same "Dick" that my co-worker was engaged to! ACK! I'd never heard her say his last name and had no idea when I went out with him that he was her fiance. But if she'd found out I went out with him, do you think she'd have believed I didn't know I was poaching? Not likely! FWIW, the friend who set me up was as shocked as I was. (And because people often, I didn't tell the woman in question that her fiance was a cheating asshole. I didn't know her that well, but from what little I did know her, my instincts said she didn't want to know.) Anyway... When I went back to work on Monday, I was telling my friend Pat the "I dated someone else's fiance" story and told her I was no longer going to go on blind dates. Her response was "Hey, I know someone you should meet. I bet you'd really like him!" Me: "Um, Pat, what part of 'no more blind dates' didn't you get?" Pat: "No, but Debbie, you'd really LIKE this guy. He works with Bill" (Pat's hubby) "and he's smart and really nice. And I know he's not seeing anyone seriously right now." Me: "No." Pat: "But...." Me: "NO." And so it went for a few weeks. Pat would bring up the "you should meet Johnny" topic. I would adamantly refuse. But finally she wore me down. (I'm sure it helped that my love life was going through a major dry spell at the time.) Finally, about the, oh, I don't know....2,743rd time she mentioned the idea I burst out with, "FINE. Ok? Fine. If he's willing to meet me and if it'll make you stop bugging me, I will meet the guy! Ok? Enough already!" And so a plan was born. Pat arranged a dinner party the following weekend, with both Johnny and me on the guest list. I wore a red dress and red high-heeled shoes. He wore jeans and a flannel shirt and cowboy boots. I had big, blond "anchorwoman" hair. He had longish hair and a beard. We looked like we thought we were going totally different places that night. But we each thought the other one looked hot. I've always had kind of a thing for tall, dark, and intense. The next day I talked to Pat and said a bit sheepishly, "Um, Pat....if Johnny asks you for my phone number, it's ok with me if you give it to him." He did. We started dating. Here's a photo of us about a month after we started going out. I tried to find one that showed just how BIG my hair was, but couldn't find one like that that showed us both. Oh well. I was...let's see...I was 24 years old and J had just turned 31. I realized soon after this was taken that the sweater he's wearing in the photo is SO not him, but he was wearing it because I bought it for him for Christmas. Heh. We dated 2 years and he surprised me with an engagement ring for the two year anniversary of the night we met. I was impressed that he remembered the date, so of course I said yes. (smile) Here's a photo taken right after we got engaged. This was at our first apartment, in Cincinnati. Note the ugly granny-square afghan in the foreground? I made that. It's the only crocheted thing I ever finished prior to making the scarf-like object last year. I was 26, J was 33. And here's a photo from our wedding reception. Same ages. We got married one month before my 27th birthday. We dated 2 years before we got engaged, but once we'd made the decision to get married, we were only engaged 3 months. And here's a photo of the two of us from earlier this year... ...married 16 1/2 years and counting.