There’s a Facebook meme going around that asks you to check the applicable box: single, in a relationship, married, engaged or hoping for an act of God. A little over a decade ago I would have checked the last one.
Why? I was in my early 40s and still single, i.e., on a bullet train to a lifetime of sensible lace-up shoes, chin hair and soup for one.
During my early 30s, everyone said, “Don’t worry. You’ll find someone. That lake is packed with trout.” When I reached my mid-30s they said, “You’re so picky! Are front teeth really necessary? And who cares if he drives a moped?” By my late 30s, they were giving me books with titles like Repurposing Your Hope Chest and asking me when I was going to adopt my first cat.
One evening I was invited to a party and a cute single guy named David was in attendance. All the other single women there were vying for his attention, but I was too busy bonding with a hot artichoke dip and a bowl of Fritos. Eventually we were introduced, but when our eyes met, violins refused to play.
After the party I ran into him again, but he didn’t remember me. Then I ran into him again. And again. Each time David looked at me like I was a complete stranger. It didn’t matter what I did—talked pig Latin, made balloon animals, stood on my head and recited the Gettysburg Address—the guy did not remember me! I was starting to take it personally.
In the mean time I was spending hours at the library checking out stacks of books to take home to my husband-less little hovel, petting my imaginary cat (I’m allergic so I couldn’t get a real one) and living my romantic life vicariously through books. One of my favorite books was a novel called The Crimson Petal and the White. When I closed the book for the last time a piece of paper floated out. It was a slip from the library indentifying the last person to check out the book.
After I returned the library book I ran into David yet again. As usual he said, “Have we met before?”
“Only nine or 10 times before,” I said. “And by the way, we checked out the same book.”
I told him the title and suddenly the dark clouds of disregard parted and David really looked at me for the first time.
“I loved that book!” he said.
“So did I!” I said.
And that’s when we both heard it: the sound of violins. Maybe that’s because we’d bumped into each other at the symphony, but still….
Two years later we got married. Our wedding was lovely and when I was walking down the aisle I overheard one of my relatives whisper, “About time we found a buyer for the Yugo.”
Twelve years later I’m grateful Cupid was so darn persistent.
Karin Gillespie is a local author and this is a true story except for the symphony, the balloon animals and the Gettysburg Address. Visit her at Karingillespie.net
This article appears in the February/March 2015 issue of Augusta Magazine.