Modern Romance

by Susan McBride

Ah, February, the month of love! And not only because the 14th is Valentine’s Day–on which I’ll be talking about romantic reads on “Great Day St. Louis”–but Ed’s and my third anniversary is February 24. Seems like yesterday that we met though it was nearly six years ago. Funny how it happened, too. When I look back, I think of how many dominoes had to line up and fall before the moment we were introduced.

If I hadn’t been named a 2005 St. Louis Magazine “top single”…if Ed’s then co-worker, Jeremy, hadn’t been selected as well…if I hadn’t become friends with Jeremy at the photo shoot…if Ed hadn’t decided to show up at the magazine’s party at the Contemporary Art Museum…if I hadn’t been talking to Jeremy when Ed appeared…if he hadn’t contacted me through the magazine after I lost his card…if we hadn’t enjoyed each other’s company at a hockey game the next week…well, you get my drift.

I like to think that our grandmothers up in heaven plotted the whole thing. I can imagine mine saying, “For goodness’ sake, she’s over 40. If she doesn’t find someone soon, she’s going to be too danged independent to ever want to share her life with anyone but her cats.” And Ed’s grandma responding, “Well, he’s finally got his doctorate and has a job with a start-up company, but he needs to find someone who’s a bit pushy and who can convince him not to wear that dreadful Fred Flintstone T-shirt to work.”

Then there was the age factor, my being nine years older. Which didn’t really matter to me or to Ed (but I know it worried his mom in the beginning!). The most important concerns I had were these: could we communicate despite the fact that I’m Captain Kirk and he’s Spock; and is our sense of humor on the same plane, or maybe I should make that “planet”? Luckily, the answers were “yes” and “yes.”

I knew Ed was special very soon after we began dating. I’d never felt that “rightness” with anyone before. Never. I’d heard friends say, “You’ll know when you find him,” and I’d think, “But how?” It wasn’t long before I realized they were spot on. Within three months, I was sure Ed was The One. I knew it in my heart and in my gut. Indeed, it was on Valentine’s Day in 2006 that I decided I’d ask him point-blank if we were on the same page. I had to be certain we were going somewhere (and I don’t mean away for the weekend). Yep, I’d become very direct in my middle-age. I just couldn’t let myself go on believing “this is it,” if he wasn’t feeling it, too. When I told my mother what I’d done, basically giving Ed an ultimatum, she squawked, “Well, there goes that relationship! You probably just sent him running for the hills!”

But Ed showed up at my condo after work that night with a dozen red roses and said, “You are the one.”

We’ve been through a lot since (and before) our wedding, and I can’t imagine having lived even a minute of those days without Ed in my life. If anything, I love him more now than on the day we said, “I do.” I feel incredibly fortunate that all those dominoes fell into place at precisely the right moment. Chalk it up to fate or the Powers that Be or even two heavenly matchmaking grandmothers. Whoever’s responsible, thank you.

Anyone else want to share their tale of “How We Met?” I’d love to hear!
P.S. Welcome to Maria Geraci, the newest member of the Stiletto Gang! I recently read Maria’s latest, THE BOYFRIEND OF THE MONTH CLUB, and loved it. What a perfect Valentine’s Day book!
15 replies
  1. Evelyn David
    Evelyn David says:

    What a wonderful story. You and Ed were, as the Yiddish expression goes, bashert (meant to be).

    Early Happy Anniversary wishes to you both.

    As for John and me, we met at a party in high school. I took him to my Junior Prom. You're right — you do know when it's HIM.


  2. The Stiletto Gang
    The Stiletto Gang says:

    Jim was my French tutor. Sounds cliched, but true. I think our French teacher–who we call our fairy godmother–knew exactly what she was doing when she suggested the arrangement. At the beginning, I knew I liked him a lot but all of a sudden, I was madly in love with him. Today, although I tell him I love him every day, I also remind him that I truly adore him. Maggie

  3. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Aw, Marian and Maggie, I love your stories! When you know, you know. Even if I'm still learning to speak Spock (just when you think you've got the hang of it, you realize there are nuances still to master). Keeps me on my toes. 😉

  4. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    I met Hap on a blind date when I was 17 and he was 20, a Seabee. He was so handsome in his white Navy uniform. But, it you want the truth, my real love for him came after we were married–and since we've been married nearly 60 years, I suspect it's true love.


  5. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    What a romantic story!!! I love it, Susan.

    My husband and I had two first dates. We met sophomore year at college. My bff was meeting her date at the pub and he asked her to bring a friend for his buddy Mike.

    We hit it off immediately, but I wasn't ready for a commitment, and he wasn't willing to share me … so we drifted apart.

    After we graduated, he ran into my bff in NYC, and asked her for my number. I had no idea he'd been carrying a torch for me all those years, and when we got together for our second first date, it clicked. Three years later we were married, and the romance still sizzles …

    Thanks for this great post, Susan!

  6. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Marilyn, I aspire to that kind of love! You and Hap are so wonderful together. My parents met on a blind date, too!

    Ellen, your story sounds straight out of a novel! Love it! How cool that he thought about you all those years. No wonder the romance still sizzles! Keep that fire burnin', girl! 🙂

  7. Maria Geraci
    Maria Geraci says:

    Susan, your post brought tears to my eyes. So romantic!

    I met my husband when I was working part time at the university he attended. He was giving a tour for his fraternity and I asked him what the name on the back of his shirt (Twinkie) meant. He gave me some BS story and flirted a little. A week later, my car broke down in the parking lot and he happened to come along and get it started for me. Ah! Young love!

    Thanks for the warm welcome, Susan. I'm thrilled to be a part of the Stiletto Gang!

  8. Melissa
    Melissa says:

    I agree with Evelyn about it being besherte. Ed sounds like a real sweetheart and you're lucky to have each other. 🙂 Happy early anniversary!

    This Sunday will be 9 years since my husband and I met. We were set up by his (drunk at 2 a.m.) friend, who had overheard me say that I had to bowl the next morning (I was out with this friend of his and a few other friends, as well, thanks to Jewish geography). His friend gave him my contact info and my (now) husband called me less than 12 hours later to ask if I wanted to go bowling with him that night. I had a Super Bowl party to attend, so I had to turn down his invitation. The next night, we talked for 3 hours on the phone. Then we were calling and e-mailing a lot. We met at a B&N for hot chocolate (I ended up having tea though) on February 6, 2002. We had so much to talk about and I just knew that he was the one!

  9. Mark Bouton
    Mark Bouton says:

    Great story, Susan. You're certainly a fine match. Of course, being an FBI agent, I met my wife, Ellen, over a fresh federal crime. I'd seen her once or twice before and thought she was a knockout, but I hadn't had occasion to talk with her. Then a jealous woman who'd been jilted by her boyfriend went on a rampage, chasing her ex around a parking lot at the Air Force base in San Antonio where he'd gotten out of work,and shooting at him with a pistol she'd just bought. Pretty good aim, too, she hit him three out of five times. Tore him up good, but he didn't die. I interviewed her shortly thereafter, and she confessed right away. As fate would have it, Ellen was the attorney handling the case. So, we got acquainted over the next few months as we gathered and discussed evidence and witnesses. And then the case went to trial. Sitting beside her at the prosecution table in the courtroom, I felt very attracted to her. So, during a lull between witnesses, I passed her a note. Inasmuch as I knew her dad owned a cattle ranch, I thought it appropriate to write, "You're a cute little heifer." She read it without expression, promptly stuck an evidence sticker on it, and set it aside. Had I messed up? Nope, it turned out she thought it was cute, and we started dating. We've been married for 26 years and have two great sons.

  10. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Maria, sounds like you and your hubby were destined to be together, too! (And did you ever find out what "Twinkie" actually meant? Maybe he just liked to eat them?) 😉 We're so glad to have you here with us!

    Melissa, ah, another blind date story! Yep, when you can talk to someone for three hours and feel like you've still got more to say, that's a very good sign! Another case of "meant to be," I say! 🙂

    Mark, I love it! You slipped her a note at the prosecution table during a trial that said, "You're a cute little heifer?" That is priceless!!! So glad she didn't shoot you down (so to speak). Now that's amore! You sound like a perfect match to me. 🙂

  11. Bethany
    Bethany says:

    I'm voting Marks story for the win! But I'm just glad to hear about all the successful matches!

    My husband and I were set up by one of my best friends who called me up and told me I should come meet her new personal trainer. Unfortunately, he was in "professional" (aka non-flirt) mode and I didn't think he liked me that way. It wasn't until a year after we started jogging together that I became convinced that we should date. Unfortunately, he isn't a Speedy Gonzales on these matters so it sounded like this…
    Me:"That movie is coming out tomorrow." jog jog. "The one with all the actors we both like." jog jog, wait for it…
    Him: Pause, jog. "We should go to that movie. You want to go tomorrow night?"
    And that's what I call hitting him with the dating stick. And yeah, Susan, you just know it's "the one."

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    What romantic stories! Bill and I must have been destined to be together. He was born and raised on Long Island. I was born and raised in New Jersey. We both ended up moving to Florida after our respective parents retired there. I went to work in the trust department of a local bank where he was basically the tax man. We each ran our departments without title or pay!

    However, it was not love at first sight. After about six months, we went to a retirement party for another employee, and all the trust department made sure we got drunk! But we were still lucid enough to, well, er, you know. Their diabolical plan had worked. Good thing my boss left me completely alone the next day until mid-afternoon.

    After a year I left the bank for a better paying job and he left to start our business full-time. We actually started the business which turned into his current CPA practice a year before we were married!

    But even if we hadn't met at work, when I joined the local Lutheran church, this red-haired woman came up to me and began telling me all about her red-haired son who worked at a bank. It was Bill. So his mom would have played matchmaker if we hadn't worked together!

    But, we almost broke up. See Bill always wants to do things a bit differently or out-of-the-box, so when Christmas came and went and no proposal was forthcoming even though his mom had loudly hinted that I was already prettier than a bride and my mother gave me a ring because she thought I should have one, I began to break up with him on December 26. As Susan said, I wanted to know that we were both on the same page, and it appeared we weren't. Bill clearly told me that no, we were, but he wanted to be different and do the unexpected. He sure did! We married on the second anniversary of our first date.

  13. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Bethany, I'll bet you were in great shape by the time you went to that movie! Sometimes that dating stick comes in handy. 😉

    Sandie, so glad you ended up together! And so are all your fur-kids!!! 🙂

  14. Vicky Polito
    Vicky Polito says:

    My spouse and I had been working together on project for months, but never met. We'd only had emails back and forth about my work (he was the project manager) and always missed meeting one another somehow. Until one Friday late in September of 1993 we both went to the Hilton O'Hare for a large user-group meeting on the system at the core of our project and I walked up to a mutual colleague during a break and he happened to be standing there.

    He said his name and the name of the hospital where we both worked and extended his hand and I exclaimed "oh, so you're him!".

    And, months later he was and still is.

  15. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    Vicky, another tale of destiny! Thanks for sharing. I've so enjoyed all these happy endings. Nothing like real-life love stories to put a smile on your face. 🙂

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