“How we met”

     (The local newspaper has a “contest” seeking brief “how we met” stories. I sent one in, and, for a change of pace on this blog, thought I’d post it here as well)

     First, I stepped on her foot. 

    We were on line, signing in for a singles organization’s discussion on “romantic love.” I noticed her name, written above mine, because it seemed curiously half French and half Irish: Therese Broderick. 

     I was 40, newly single, and looking. I cased the room with a gimlet eye. The women appeared, well, “mature.” Now, I actually wanted maturity, having resolved against chasing the flighty young things I had vainly pursued in my youth. Yet I wasn’t quite ready for middle age either, and that’s what confronted me. The only exception was Therese Broderick – who, alas, looked to me like a mere teenager. 

     Well, doggedly, I went through the grim business, meeting all these gals whom I saw more like my mother than like romantic prospects. Finally, at the very end, I sat beside Therese, and remarked that she seemed out of place here, age-wise. 

     She replied, “I’m twenty-eight.” 

    I perked up. I had figured thirty as my cut-off; but, okay, 28, close enough. So I phoned her at the library where she’d mentioned working: “I’m the guy who stepped on your foot.” We made a lunch date. 

    As it ended, I was frankly still skeptical about her presumed youthful callowness. Then she asked me who my favorite artist was. “Magritte,” I answered, smugly supposing she’d never heard of him. But no: Therese was quite conversant with the works of Magritte! 

     She had me. 

    We married six months later. That was in 1988. Therese has told me that after the singles event, she wanted to kick herself for apparently letting me get away. Good thing I’d remembered her name from the sign-up sheet.

     That original page of signatures now hangs in a frame on our wall. 

     And she still looks (to me) like a teenager.

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2 Responses to ““How we met””

  1. Scott Perlman Says:

    She was the intellectual profoundly quiet yet consistent leading lady of all the school’s plays.
    I was the class President jock who did not hang with the Varsity or Key Club. Wore the badge of an all inclusive kind of guy a bit too overtly.
    The Drama Team coach wanted to “integrate” the team with diversity, you know, jocks, hippies, and the like. He knew one person would try anything.
    He asked and I accepted. Rather than have a rookie fly a solo event he teamed me with a very experienced “grounded” actress that could show me the ropes in the event, Duet Acting.
    She picked the scene from the Rainmaker. You know, the scene where Starbuck and Lizzie are in the barn and….they kiss.
    I liked it, really liked it. Rehearsing was great. She was all business, incredibly shy out of scene but a real trooper while rehearsing and performing.
    Asked her out. The date was a disaster. She said nothing and after the play I took her to (of course) smoked cigarettes and drank coffee in utter silence.
    Drove her home. As I backed down her driveway I resolved never to ask her out again.
    By the end of the block I thought I would give it one more chance.
    That was thirty-six years and three children ago. She still has all the magic.

  2. Catherine Says:

    Oh, I love this story about Frank and Therese (half french/half Irish).

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