Friday, January 29, 2010

Built for Fun

I'm pretty basic. To me, it wasn't the date, but the person/persons I was with that made the occasion.

Some special dates I remember from high school weren't dances or a prom (though some were certainly memorable), but rather, things like---my first 'real' kiss during the sailboat scene of The Way we Were (1974 if anybody's interested)*; going on a picnic with another couple that devolved into 'charging' each other in our respective convertibles like jousting and pelting them with left-over food. (You had to be there. At the time, it was crazy-fun); going to softball/football/basketball games and out afterwards; double-dating to movies like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Robin and Marion or classic film series; playing pool; dinners out; and watching Saturday Night Live. (SNL the first two seasons were a very big deal -- there hadn't been anything like it before).

In college, it was all about getting off the crowded campus and into nature -- rock climbing, rappelling, tennis, canoe trips, camping -- My BF after college made everyday life an adventure, and our travels out west will forever be fondly remembered. By the time Excy and I met, though, I'd been divorced a little more than a year and a half, and occasionally lonely, but I was comfortable on my own and engrossed in my life and career. I had dates, but my perfect BF lived in NY, a comfortable train ride from DC.

But when Excy and I finally met, that was it for me. I was his editor and wrote up a project of his. We met on the phone and spoke every day for two weeks. I enjoyed our conversations and reluctantly said good-bye when the piece was finished. He called the next day and said, "Hello kid, just missed talking to you." He got my home number, and for the next 6 weeks we spoke every night. I put off meeting him as long as I could. (I really liked having a phone pal, and was afraid meeting him would spoil all that). When he finally said this was ridiculous, we were meeting, I told him I couldn't because I 'had' to work that Saturday (he lived in MD). He said he'd meet me for lunch. I was waiting in the lobby when he walked through the revolving door. The first thought that flashed through my mind was Damn! I don't want to get married again!

A few months later he had a client meeting on the weekend and I went along. It was for a house design and we were meeting at the couple's old house. It was summer and I wore shorts. The woman answered the door and two huge dogs lunged at me, raking me with their nails from thigh to ankle. I'm scared of big dogs anyway, so I was horrified, bleeding, and in some pain. Without batting an eye this strange person said, "You shouldn't have worn shorts." I gave Excy a look like, Can we go now??After an hour of discussing house details we decided to order pizza, and her husband and I left to pick it up while she and Excy were hashing out some detail -- as you can guess, she was a caustic client -- and her pleasant husband and I were waiting for our order when he turned to me and asked what it was that made my relationship 'work' with Excy; how did I 'know' he was 'right' for me?

I think I told him that timing is important, though it wasn't everything, and basically I knew I'd always enjoy his company, and I'd have more fun hanging out with him in the parking lot of a KFC** than I would a weekend in Paris with my former husband. He grew quiet. Three weeks later, when Excy had finished the design phase but couldn't get them to call back, we knew something was up. The guy finally called, and said he and his wife had decided to get a divorce. Planning the house made them both realize how different their priorities were in life.***

I was pretty happy for him, though sad Excy lost a design job...

* I hated it, until later that night when we practiced again. Then it didn't seem a bad thing after-all, much to my relief. I was horrified my future dating life/years were gonna be gruesome....

**Not that we actually frequent KFC, or any fast-food chains for that matter, but it was the principle of the thing....And fortunate this is, too, considering our lifestyle!

***Actually not that uncommon - building a house is a great adventure but boy, it is stressful.....

14 comments:

plainolebob said...

Amy, that was such a beautiful story, kfc just really made it much more real and tasty, I don't know how you controlled your self with that woman, shouldn't have worn shorts, indeed, you did great.
BIG BIG HUGS
side, hope you guys don't get too snowed in.

Eva Gallant said...

That woman should have controlled her dog! Glad it worked for you and Excy!

Lisa Marie said...

What a wonderful story! Ahhh "The Way We Were", what a great film. "Your girl's lovely Hubble..." and she pushes his hair. I cry everytime. Great date night flick indeed. What great memories you have shared with us!

strokeofliving said...

I love stories about how couples got together and lived HEA. Thanks for sharing this story. "Built for Excy" I like that title better. Oh but not that I'd be bold enough to edit you or anything. I wouldn't have the nerve.

e said...

This was a wonderful story indeed. You have had an interesting life...

Chris said...

You are anything but basic, even if you are consistent. And you're right about building houses. I'm pretty sure it was building the house on the river that finally did it for my parents. It's a shame, too. It's a really nice house.

Kathryn said...

Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!! :)

Julie said...

Hi Amy,
Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left on my blog! Your cats are beautiful:) I will have to post a picture of Lily on my blog sometime. Wow, you used to be an editor for a magazine...I am impressed! I enjoyed your story and will have to go back to your earlier posts and read more:) I find your blog very intriguing! Have a great weekend!

wendy said...

What a nice love story.
Um, I am glad my hubby had this house all built BEFORE I moed out here.
Putting ourselves in stressful situations can really solidify the bond between each other --that is THERE ....or not.

Kathryn said...

"Congrats! The ultrasound pics are cool -- love the little foot sticking out. My middle name is Elizabeth, and mom picked it so if I didn't like Amy I could go with Elizabeth, Beth, or Liz.....thanks for stopping by my blog....."


Thanks so much! Aww Elizabeth as a middle name is great too!

Molly said...

thanks for your comment about my birthday, you look pretty fab yourself!

I love The Way We Were, and now I can't stop thinking of KFC!

Tam said...

I love your love story, especially the KFC comment. I feel the exact same way in my second marriage!

Jamie Watson said...

I love this story, too. Thanks for sharing it! Such fun.

Aleta said...

OMG, the "dogs and shorts" made me cringe! My in-laws all have dogs and after the first meeting, yep, I wear pants to visit, because my legs have taken the brunt of attacks! Yikes for you! And Wow to the nerve of the woman saying that.

I like the KFC comment. Said a lot without having to go into the details.