i woke up in takoma park, close to floor, as i didn’t have a box spring those days (silly considering how many roaches umm “hung out” in my apt). it was just another wednesday for another new-ish college grad at her very first job. i was a community reporter with pink-streaked hair and a bad attitude. i talked big but i was lonely. i could have never guessed, not in a million years, that later that same day i’d meet the love of my life.
i remember it was unseasonably warm the night we met: april 3, 2001. it was “ladies night” at a now-defunct dc bar called chaos at Q & 17th streets NW. it was by chance that i wound up there. a girl i randomly hung out with those days and i went to go see sandra bernhard at my alma matar (university of md, college park), where i graduated not even a year earlier. a couple of other girls (other entirely random girls i don’t think i’ve seen since; one was a stripper the other was a corrections officer, go figure) invited us to go out. i was like “eh, ok,” so they picked us up afterwards from my place and off we went.
a girl in a yellow sweater (who turned out to be holly’s longtime close friend) had another girl tap me on the shoulder b/c she must’ve thought i was cute (i must say that i was wearing an exceptionally 80s outfit that night, so hell if i know why she even wanted to talk to me!). it was all very high school, but very cute. anyway, she wound up introducing me to all of her friends. one was this quiet girl (well i thought she was quiet then…) named holly. we were being wallflowers, holly and i, as i recall. the bar was hot and, as per usual, i was breaking a sweat (i break a sweat sometimes just thinking about breaking a sweat). i went to stand in front of a fan and she was there. we started talking and i invited her outside to talk some more where it was cooler.
i remember touching the black shirt she was wearing.
“your shirt’s so soft,” i said.
i also remember thinking how cool it was that i was talking to someone with a good head on her shoulders at a bar. i got her and her friends’ email addresses. and again, hell if i know how i remembered her email (come to think of it, probably b/c it had to do with her darling brown eyes) b/c it wasn’t even close to her name. anyway, i don’t think her friend expected us to start chit-chattin it up outside the way we did, and her group wound up leaving and i was like, “um, aren’t those your friends?” she was like, “oh! yeah! email me!” and with a squeeze of her hand (tho she doesn’t remember squeezing it, but she was drinking and i wasn’t and i say she did) she was off.
anyway, i emailed her almost a week later from my reporting gig:
Subject: chaos craziness etc.
Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2001
hey so it’s been almost a week since the chaos at chaos so i figured i’d drop you a line…i was in my new jersey homeland this past weekend for passover. i really love new jersey. it is, after all, the *garden state* — that’s what the license plates say
geez i hope you got home ok wednesday night…your friends looked like they were heading off without you. what was that all about??
anyway, it’s deadline day here at the newspaper, tuesday afternoons, the papers come out wednesdays, but i’ve finished all my stories. now i’m going food shopping.
are you gonna be in dc anytime soon??? we should meet up.
let me know how you’re doing…
every year i log in to my old hotmail account (i only keep it around to save our old emails and there are a lot of em; yes, i’m sentimental….) to count back the days to figure out exactly when we met. anyway, a week later i get an email back. we email and talk on the phone for a month until we meet for our first date (also on 17th st. NW, same street as our wedding reception site and just down the street from where we had our wedding ceremony). that first date is a whole ‘nother story. but that first date led to a second which led to another and…the rest, as they say, is history. but i just want to say to you, holly, my hunny, my sweatheart…i love you so much. i thank G-d every day that eight years ago, for whatever reason i decided to go out with those random girls and bump into you. you are the light of my life, and meeting you was the best thing to ever ever happen to me…
to all of you out there still searching for that special someone, take heart. i thought it could never happen to (little badass) me: meet someone, fall in love, build a life with another person, get married. i’m not saying you’ll meet that person at a bar (for the record: we’re telling our future children we “met thru a mutual friend” (hey, she’s a mutual friend now!) until they’re older, not that meeting someone at a bar is a bad thing, ijs) but you never, ever know. it’s been an interesting eight years, hasn’t it, honey? ever since i met holly, every day has been…an adventure. looking back, my life was in all blues and grays before i met you. i love you, sweetheart. here’s to april 3! here’s to eight more years and eight years after that. here’s to forever. mmwah… ❤