I staggered over to Mama’s Losin It and really looked around for the first time. And, behold! What did I find? A Writer’s Workshop! I think I’d like to join the fun…so, I’m going to write about a memorable blind date.
Six years ago, I moved to Portland, OR from Dallas all by my little self. I was… geez…how old was I? Quick math…I’m 33 now, minus the six, 13 minus 6 is 7, change the 3 to a 2…that would have made me 27.
I was 27 and didn’t know a soul here. It was scary and exciting all at the same time. I had never truly been on my own like this before. I lived in an apartment on the 10th floor of a downtown apartment (with fantastic views, I should add) and could walk anywhere I wanted to go, even to work, which was only two blocks away. And it was at work that I started to find my footing, where I began making friends. Finding someone I was interested in was a different story. The only people I knew were the people that I worked with and you know the old saying…Don’t shit where you eat? Not that I’m comparing dating with shitting, but you get my drift.
I spent 9 months contentedly hanging out with my best Portland friend, Chris, going out for drinks, shopping with friends and spending my weekends anyway I wanted - which often consisted of wandering around downtown and watching tons of movies and TV. Yeah, the TVs and movies by myself sound sort of lame, but it was the BEST. I could even stay in my jammies!
Then, in September, a woman that I knew through the industry I work in told me that she wanted to introduce me to her co-worker, Michael. I told H. okay, mostly because saying no to something like that usually makes you look like a jerk. The more I thought about it, the more I was okay with it. I mean, how else was I going to meet someone? I wasn’t into meeting guys at bars. And I certainly wasn’t going to find one at church because people just don’t go to church here - unless they’re over the age of 70, closing in on death and want a little fire insurance.
A couple of weeks later H. came to the office with a guy in tow.
“Hi, K. I want to introduce you to Michael H.” I was MOR.TI.FIED. This is not how it’s supposed to work! It’s against the rules to catch one of the people off-guard like that. Right? But, I sucked it up and put on my smiliest, nicest, friendliest face and introduced myself.
And there wasn’t much of a response from Michael. I hadn’t thought the mortification could get any worse, but it did. But, then I was okay with it. A peace settled over me…because - how do I say this nicely? – the guy wasn’t really my type. What a relief that he could tell H. later that he just wasn’t interested and so I wouldn’t have to be the one to say, “No, thanks, but I’ll pass.” Or worse, he WAS interested, but shy, and I would say yes, because I don’t know how to say no, and end up on a date with a guy that clearly doesn’t know how to talk!!
My friend Chris happened to walk up to my desk at that moment and so I introduced her to H and to Michael. Chris, H. and I chatted while Michael stood there silently. After H and Michael left, I whispered to Chris, “I think that’s the guy that she wants to set me up with!!”
She shook her head with wide eyes, sorta laughed and said, “Noooooo. You can’t. No. Absolutely not. No.” Even she could see how painful a date with him would be.
A couple of weeks went by with no word from H. about setting me up with Michael. I was relieved. And oddly bruised. I mean, seriously, he could do SO MUCH BETTER than me? I’m not one to call myself pretty and occasionally have self-esteem issues related to appearances (I wouldn’t say no if I were offered a nose job). But, I don’t think I’m hideous enough that someone wouldn’t want to get to know me better.
Whatever, I told myself, it’s ridiculous to feel slighted by someone I wasn’t the least bit interested in.
And, then it happened on October 9th. H. came into my office and said the words I did not want to hear. “Michael wanted me to get your phone number.” Ugh. Instantaneous thoughts tumbled around in my brain. How do I get out of this? How do I say no thanks?!? Would she believe me if I told her I was a lesbian? It is Portland, after all. Oh dear, God, what do I do?!?! And I said the only thing I could think of…
“Sure, it’s 503-xxx-xxxx.” Did I just do that? Great. Now what? This guy is going to call and I don’t want to go out with him!!!
As soon as I could, I ran to Chris’s desk and told her that Michael wanted my number. “You told H. you weren’t interested, right?” I made a face. “K, you didn’t give her your number to give to him, did you?” I nodded. “Oooooh nooooo….You have to go out with him. That sucks for you.”
I walked home that afternoon with a pit in my stomach. Maybe he wouldn’t call tonight. Maybe there would be a stay of execution. Maybe….maybe….maybe. I walked in and saw the blinking light on my machine. Dammit. Everyone else I know calls on my cell phone. ShitShitShit. It’s either him or a credit card company. Either way, it wasn’t good.
With a heavy heart, I pushed the damn button. “Hi K”…strange, he sounds so outgoing… “this is Michael K. I got your number from H and wanted to call and introduce myself. My number is 503-xxx-xxxx.” Wait, what? I listened to it again. And again. Did I hear that right? Michael K, not Michael H? I almost did cartwheels. This was good news. Great news. The best. The Michael she had introduced me to was not the Michael she wanted to set me up with!!!! Yahooey-kablooey!!
And, so, I returned his call that evening. We talked for a while, getting the basics out of the way. He was leaving the following day for Philadelphia for work and wouldn’t be back until the 17th. And, Lindsay was coming to visit me for my birthday weekend on the 16th and staying until the 20th. So, we agreed to go out for Happy Hour drinks on October 21st. It was a Tuesday, so it was a safe out for both of us. If it wasn’t going well, I think both quietly knew that the old “I have to get home for a really early meeting” would work wonders.
October 21 came quickly. He was picking me up at my apartment at 4pm. I went home and changed clothes and waited. And waited. At 4:05 he called. He was lost. I couldn’t help but make fun of him for needing directions in a town that he grew up in from a gal that had only been here since January. Fortunately, he took the teasing well and showed up anyway at around 4:15. He took me to a great restaurant up in the hills with floor to ceiling windows and a fantastic view of the river and the city. We drank cocktails and ate appetizers and talked and talked and talked. In the blink of an eye, it was almost 7 and probably a good time to go home. When he dropped me off, we agreed to talk again soon.
By the end of the month, we were inseparable.
In January, I moved in with him.
In March, we got engaged.
And on October 9th, exactly one year after I almost refused to give H. my phone number, and exactly one year after the first time Michael K and I talked, we got married (ironically, with Michael H, a childhood friend of Michael K., standing there as a groomsman.)
And that is my story of a memorable blind date…and marriage…and little boy…that almost didn’t happen.