I don’t remember the exact details, but I know that I was refusing to go to the club that summer Sunday evening. My friend, K, who had promised to meet up with “Mr. Right Now” had other ideas. I had just come off of my first real heartbreak and was really in no mood for the dating scene. So, I wasn’t going to go. And I wouldn’t have gone, except that she needed a ride. Grudgingly, I took her to the club. I told her to go inside and find whoever it was she was trolling for and I would wait outside until I got the thumbs up from her that it was safe to leave. She came out a few minutes later to tell me that he wasn’t there, but that she KNEW he’d be coming. Couldn’t I just come in and wait with her until he got there? “Ugh!”, I remember thinking, “Why do I have to be such a good friend?” For sure most people would have just left her there, but I couldn’t do it. Plus, if he didn’t show up, I’d just have to come all the way back to get her. So, in I went.
I was not dressed for “clubbing” in the ’80s. I had on a tank top, sweatpants, jelly sandals, no make-up, and my hair wasn’t even teased or shellacked, nor was I wearing the requisite Jersey Girl bow. (After the big break up I had actually gone “punk”— short hair, shaved at the sides, but with a long pink tail that I braided down my back. I am fairly certain that all photographic evidence of that particular hair style has been obliterated— at least I hope so!) In any case, I was a sight. But, in I trudged for what I was hoping would be a short stay. I got a beer and hung out on the sidelines, like the proverbial wallflower. I did not want to engage with or be seen by anyone. I thanked God it was dark in there.
Within a few minutes my cover was blown. Someone with whom I was acquainted (we’ll call him B1) came over and asked me why I was hiding in the corner. I explained to him the circumstances under which I had found myself there at all. He shook his head in an understanding way (he, too, knew K) and asked me to join him and some friends. (They had found a coveted table!) He introduced me around. Ho-hum.
One of the guys told me I looked familiar and asked me if I had worked at the local supermarket. I told him that I had, indeed, worked there. He said that he had worked there for several years, so he must have seen me there. “Yeah, that must be it”, I replied. I can’t help but think that I must have been delightful company. At this point I spied my friend talking to a guy. “Great!”, I thought, “I can leave now.” Of course, this guy turned out to be just A guy, not THE guy. So, I went back to the table for more pointless and boring conversation about where we all knew each other from.
At some point, “Dancing in the Dark” came on. I think I said something along the lines of, “I love this song.” The supermarket worker (we’ll call him B2) asked me if I wanted to dance. Up to then I had really not been all that engaged in the conversation and I felt bad because he seemed like a nice enough guy, so I said, “Sure. What the hell.” We danced. We talked. As it turned out, he was a pretty nice guy.
We returned to the table to discover that someone new had joined us. I knew this woman, F. She was actually friends with K. I was pretty psyched to see her because I just wanted to get the hell out of there and I figured she could take K home. F agreed. She told me that she was supposed to be meeting someone there, a blind date. F wanted me out of there nearly as much as I wanted to be out of there. Because F and I had a weird history. The night that I had met my former boyfriend, it was she who had dragged me to a party to meet this “awesome guy” that she had connected with the night before. As it happens, I met an “awesome guy” at that party and dated him for two years. Unfortunately, my “awesome guy” turned out to be her “awesome guy” from the night before (in the end he didn’t turn out to be all that “awesome”, either— still, he was cute and she was pissed). Oops!
During the scintillating conversation with B1 and B2, prior to F arriving, it was established that B2 and I actually lived a couple of blocks away from each other, on the same street even. When I saw my opportunity to leave the club, B2 told me that he had come with B1, but since I lived so close, would I mind dropping him off? Early shift at the supermarket and all that. I agreed.
As we were walking out, there was a line of people waiting to get into the club. As we were passing the line, someone grabbed my hand and said, “We should talk.” My former boyfriend. In the flesh. We hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in months. It was the strangest thing. Because up until that point I would have done just about anything to see and/or speak to him again. In that moment, when the opportunity presented itself, instead of telling B2 that he would have to go back in and get a ride home with B1, I said, “Sorry. The Chestnut Street Express is leaving. And, what would we talk about exactly?” It was liberating and exhilarating.
As B2 and I got into my car, he looked at me and said, “Now you look like the girl I remember. You’re smiling. It’s your best feature.” I was confused. “Remember?”, I asked. He said, “Yes. I told you before I remembered you from the supermarket.” “No”, I said, “You told me that I looked familiar.” “No”, he said, “I remember you. How could anyone forget you?”
He’s spent the next 28 years making sure that I never forget him.
P.S. The guy that F was there to meet up with? Her blind date? B2! He revealed to me on the ride home that she was the reason he wanted to leave so suddenly, that she wasn’t his type. That was the first time I wanted to smack him, but surely not the last. (So much for “Mr. Nice Guy!”) Oh, and not that I blame her, but F? She never spoke to me again.
THIS IS A BLOG HOP! <<<Click for more info!
Here are some more posts from the blog hop. Enjoy!
How—and Why—I Met My Husband – Empty House Full Mind
How I Met My Husband – Books Is Wonderful
How I Met My Husband – CarPool Goddess
Shopping at the Man Store – Midlife 2nd Wife
A Date with Destiny – The Giggling Truckers Wife
Soul Mates and Angels – Connie McLeod
How I met the Big Bison – Wild Life In The Woods
How I Met My Husband – The Boomer Rants
The Love Story With A Warning Label – The Chloe Chronicles
How We Met – Joy’s Book Blog
How I Met The Men Of My Dreams – Daily Plate Of Crazy
Joe And Heidi – Did You Exercise Today?
Bald Men Have The Prettiest Wives – Home Place
It Takes Two To Make a Thing Go Right – The Fur Files
Blind Date = My Fate – Forever 51
Rites of Passage: Mid-life Marriage – juliedanis.com
Over 50 and Happy – Wanna Wrestle?
The One Night Stand That Lasted 25 Years – Really Real Atlanta Housewife
Don’t I Know You? – Life on Wry
photo credits:80’s hair