Friday, October 2, 2009

How I Met Your Father

Here's a story I may hesitate to tell my kids - or at least not in its truthful entirety. This is a story I don't readily offer in social settings. It's a strange tale of lust and crazy ... and quite possibly kismet ... all tied up together. I'll warn you - there are points to this anecdote that will make you shake your head in sheer embarrassment (for me) and others that may make you change your mind about me completely. I hope in the end, I have entertained someone. This is the story of how I met my hubby:

I used to work for a large financial institution ...  one February afternoon in 1996, a new business account client entered my branch. He proceeded to the counter provided to clients for getting their poop in a group prior to approaching the counter. Let me say that as a former teller - people who have an affinity for grouping their poop have a special place in my heart, so please don't let the following deter anyone from doing so.

I was basically alone in the department that afternoon. It was unusually quiet for that branch and most everyone had gone off to find a project. I was left to man the fort. I saw this joker in the corral. Thought to myself 'this guy's gonna be a problem - I can just tell'. I waited for the inevitable displeasure of serving yet another cranky ass, self important prick, and when he approached my wicket, I hit him with the most sugary sweet greeting I could muster - seriously ... dude likely got a cavity. I was so certain of my analysis of him, that when his response to me was anything but pricky - I was rendered nearly speechless. He told me - in a goofy sort of way that he was all flustered because 'the prettiest girl in the place was waiting on (him) and (he) was having trouble operating his hands'. I know - lame, wha'? I took the bait - hook line and sinker. It was like a flash flood, my iceberg melted that fast.

I had recently ended a five year common law relationship and though I was on the mend, I was still a train wreck (sorry for that blasphemous reference - Mark). Soon to be “Mr. Dragonfly” was a once per month client, though I often saw him out in the parking lot as the bank was in a strip-mall-appaloosa... and there was a Tim Hortons in it. (Only us Canadians are likely to know what this is ... imagine I said Star Bucks) I was a smoker in those days (... and a joker ... oh, hell - who am I kidding? I was a midnight toker too ...) and often spent my breaks in my car having a quick smoke. Now and again he would pop into my passenger side (not a euphemism) and have a smoke with me. We had a good rapport. He flirted like a lounge lizard, but somehow it was incredibly endearing on him. It stayed like this for nearly three years.

On St. Patrick’s Day 1999, something changed. I had talked to him many times before, I knew he had an ex wife and two sons that he was seldom allowed to see. I knew he was born and bred in Newfoundland and that his relationship with his family was strained due to his divorce. I knew what he did for a living and that he worked out like a maniac (that I could tell just by looking), but really at the end of the day I didn’t know much at all about how he was living then. I never asked. This day, however was the beginning of something that I didn’t expect and, for a long time, regretted a great deal. He walked into the branch as I was headed for the front desk. When he came in, I greeted him with my million dollar smile and said: “you know what?? I think you should take me out for a green beer after work today”. He stood there … going through his day timer, trying to reschedule his day so he might pencil me in. (I later learned he was simply buying some time to think of some way he could take me for a beer and not piss off his live in girlfriend – but I digress) After some thought, he decided that he could not accommodate that request on this day, but he was free Friday evening and would meet me in the parking lot at 6pm. Score! My take on this was that he actually wanted a real date instead of a quick beer, thus the Friday night suggestion … and then my mind went all kinds of places between nerves and indignation at the thought he might have it in his mind I’d put out on a first date … honestly – in hindsight such a waste of brain effort on my part.

Friday night came … and went. No sign of him. I waited for 20 minutes in the parking lot and left. Sad. Dejected. Embarrassed. Pissed. I got home (after stopping at the liquor store) and cracked a fresh bottle of Captain Morgan, turned on some tunes and proceeded to dull the sting. 

The next day, I felt compelled to figure out what had happened. I really didn’t want to spend my whole weekend feeling like crap, and the only hope I had for that was to get to the bottom of it. (After all – it was OBVIOUSLY a mistake – like he was in a terrible accident that rendered him unable to dial a phone or he had been abducted by cannibal aliens and was too busy marinading for Sunday dinner). So I looked him up in the book and called. I got an answering machine. The voice on it was female. I thought perhaps this was his office assistant, but just in case I left a message that could be construed as being of a ‘professional’ nature (no, not THAT kind of profession). I knew. I wanted to believe she was his assistant and he wasn’t a slimy piece of traitorous crap, but I knew. At least I didn’t feel so bad about me anymore. Dodged that bullet. (Ha!)

He called me Sunday. I missed it, because I was blaring Dave Matthews and cleaning my house. I didn’t realize I had a message from him until later in the day. His instructions were to give him a call ‘after such in such a time’ and ‘at his work number’. Yeah – I knew. But I called. I asked him flat out, and when he told me he was living with someone I asked why he would have agreed to go out with a woman he’d been flirting so hard with all this time? He turned it around and made it sound as though I was equivalent to a guy friend and that it must have been my own ‘take’ on the situation that led me to believe it was romantically based. (Bullshit!) This, folks was the first of MANY signs that I should have RUN AWAY. I told him I wasn’t interested in playing home wrecker and that I would see him around. He asked me if he could call me again. Why I didn’t say no, I will never understand. It was like someone else answered. I was not looking for a man. I was getting quasi steady booty call from my ‘friend with benefits’ – that was working for me. I didn’t need, nor even want the complication of a normal relationship – never mind this looney toon … but I said that he could call. And call, he did.

We pretended to be 'friends' for a while, but it was like he was daring me to try something with him. It's hard to explain, but it felt as though he was almost mocking me in a way. At the time, I thought he was just a bit of an asshole ... and I really can't explain the force that kept me talking to him. It really was as though another force was at play. At one point, it became a game. 

One night, he came to my home. It was after work, which for him was like 2:00am. It was a 'school night' ... meaning I had to work the next morning. I still can not (for the life of me) explain what drove me to behave in such a way. I can only compare it to when a cat goes into heat. Not that I was rubbing my chin along the floor with my arse in the air whilst meowing - but really, in hind sight it wasn't a great deal prettier. He came in and sat down on the couch ... we chatted for a bit, but seriously - what the hell kind of small talk is appropriate at 2 am? He looked at me at one point and said something along the lines of "you are thinking: Will he? and I am thinking: Will she?". Honestly ... the act of typing this out may make me go on my lunch break and file for divorce. What a tool. Sadly - it worked. Guess that doesn't say much for me, does it? I assaulted him, sexually. Just a kiss, but some heavy petting too. 

It wasn't long before he escaped - er ... left. I think I scared him a little. It's hard to have that same lack of perspective knowing him as well as I do now. Today, I can analyze the shit out of his behavior with sniper-esque precision ... but at the time, 'power tool' best described him. This was the beginning of my descent... and I hit some lows during this time. 

We continued playing cat & mouse for roughly 3 months. (I know!! For someone with the attention span of a gnat, I sure hung in there for him) The end of June rolled around and this one night - late, I get a call. "The call". It was him. He had been at a bachelor party and was in need of some assistance getting home. To be clear, he was within walking distance of where he lived and I lived in another town. Getting 'home' wasn't why he needed my help. I went anyway ... at 3 am, in my pooh bear nighty and a sweater ... yup, I did. Wound up picking up both him AND a friend. A guy with whom he worked. Okay ... this was odd. I drove the friend home ... to yet another part of the city - which involved crossing the harbour, and then back again. At this point, I am wondering what the 'ef' this guy is doing and the game is getting old. I ask him where he's going - his place or mine? He makes me choose. Literally I am approaching the "Y" in the road that will lead me either in the direction of my house (right) or his place (left). I went right. I figure at this point, I'm at minimum going to take advantage of his drunk ass.

Now, as a side bar I feel the need to point out a couple of things: Up to this point in my life, I have NEVER asked a guy out. Not one time. I have never chased a guy in any way, other than in a highly humourous manner, and not ever with the thought that I would even want to catch them. I have never had sex with a stranger, and I can count my number of partners on one hand and not repeat a finger. As my very dear friend used to say (when my angst over not being able to just go out and get laid would spill over everything we discussed) - "you are not the kind of girl that guys pick up and fuck ... you are the one they fall in love with." Nice sentiment, but I wanted some action at this stage and I think maybe I wanted to prove her wrong (a little).

So, we did the dirty deed. Whoopie doo. Technically, he was no longer with his woman as he had moved into another apartment (in the same building). Technically, he didn't cheat ... as he would point out again and again. Whatever. I had bigger fish to fry ... like, now what?? The experience was ... under whelming. I had acheived that ridiculous goal I had been chasing and was left ... well ... unfinished. At the time I thought perhaps that was derivitive of my physical experience, but as time passed, I realized it was much more sinister than that.

The next 4 months were similar in nature. He moved out 'officially' and determined he needed some time to himself before getting into another relationship - which really, was smart of him. The problem was that he wasn't okay with the possibilty of losing me ... not that he ever intimated that to me. I felt like a toy. I insisted that my heart was not involved, but it was - I just didn't realize it.

At this point in my life, I had quit my job and decided to go to trade school. (The first of a few life crisis' I have experienced) By October, his antics were getting old and tired. He would make plans with me and then not show ... or call. I had never been treated that way. It was hateful. This one night, he had said he would come and have dinner with me (he rather enjoyed my cooking). I made dinner - like the dumb ass that I was. No show ... no call. I was done. By the time I went to bed that night, I was mad enough to finish this bullshit. I was asleep when the phone rang. I awoke to my answering machine belting out his stupid voice. I got up just as he was hanging up. I listened to the message again ... no sorry, no explanation ... prickface! I called him back ... all I can say is this: I truly wish I had recorded that conversation. 

Have you ever had a situation that, once it passes you think of all of the things you should have said? Yeah - that didn't happen here. I said everything I should have said. He had borrowed a little money from me a few weeks prior and had not yet repaid me. In closing my conversation with him, I said: "oh and about that 20 bucks you owe me? Consider it payment for services rendered ... keep the change, but lose my phone number". SLAM (okay - imagine a slam ... it was a cordless - really tough to hang up angrily on a cordless)

And that was that. Done. Mental health prevails. Or so thought I.

It was Christmas day before I heard from him again. I had fallen at school and had aggrevated my herniated disk and also had walking pneumonia ... fantastic holiday. I was camped out on my couch watching movies when he called. I was nice. We talked for hours. (This was back when it was still acceptable to 'talk' to each other instead of texting) I heard from him again on New Year's Eve ... yes, I spent the bulk of the change of the millenium alone at home. My friends had tried to include me in their plans, but I was still so sick and could hardly walk ... so I opted out. He was working that night. Again ... we talked for hours. I took the entire night to drink a half glass of wine, wrote in my journal and went to bed after we hung up. One thing was clear, he and I were not quite finished yet.

My friends hated him. They saw the way he treated me and had voiced their opinions with vigor. I didn't have any interest in playing the same game again, so I opted for friendship. We tried that for a while.

On Valentine's Day in 2000, I had been told by a good pal of mine that someone from my past had been inquiering as to my current 'situation' as though he may be interested in looking me up. I was rather excited by this prospect as this guy was hot and yummy and I (at one point in my life had) harboured a huge crush on him. I told 'soon to be Mr.D' about this. I was excited! I was ready for a real boyfriend and I wanted to dish about it. I don't remember having an alterior motive. Truly I don't ... but anyone who knows this tale would swear I baited him. I didn't do it consciously. 

Since that day, there has never been another pass without my talking to him. From February 14th to April 15th (the day he moved into my house) we went from bud's to lovers, to common law spouses. I fell in love with him in about 37 seconds once I allowed myself to accept it. Once he allowed himself to try love again. 

We got engaged at Christmas 2001 were married in August 2002 ... and I gave birth to our first daughter in January 2003 ... our second March of 2005 - the day before St Paddy's Day... In fact, I reminded him the day I gave birth to her that it was 6 short years ago that I first asked him out. All he could do was smile and look at me with all the love and admiration a man should when gazing at the woman who just gave life to his child. We are the best of friends, partners in every way. I can not imagine my life without him.

I have not seen the man that I chased for most of 1999 since. That man was juevenile and stupid and selfish and I guess pretty darned scared of me, at the end of the day. The man that I fell in love with is kind and thoughtful and takes care of me like I am a priceless jewel. He always puts my needs ahead of his, even when I beg him to do things for himself. He is Uber Dad and our daughters worship him... and ya know what?? So does their mother.


Spot said...

Danica~ I think that you are very very lucky that he changed because the vast majority of them don't. Not without a life altering "aha" moment anyway. And maybe the threat of losing you was that moment for him. Yeah, probably not a story I would tell your girls, kinda like how I've never told my kids how their dad proposed (it involves nudity, not so romantic, but very effective). Great story though.


Danica Dragonfly said...

You know, I really don't think that he 'changed'. Now I believe that he was only trying to keep me at arms length while he got his head together. He just sucked at it.

There is no doubt in my mind that we are supposed to be together ... and trust me when I say - if we've survived this past year, we are strong ... 'cause it's been brutal.

Mark Price said...

What a great story. How do women remember this stuff? I am usually trying to guess what the last thing I ate was by looking at the remains of it on my shirt. I disagree with you thinking that your girls shouldn't hear this story. It's a great story. Yeah I would wait a few years, but, there is some wisdom in here that might be helpful to a young lady. And it's sooooo funny! Oh I almost forgot, the 3rd sentence of your last blog said "drag and fly" (drag-n-fly) (dragonfly) and that made me laugh.

The Management said...

Excellent story!