My Wife and I Finally Meet

October 26, 2008

 

When I was young I was so afraid of young women I could hardly bring myself to even speak to one. I’m not quite sure exactly why that was, but probably I thought of myself as so worthless a person no woman would want to have anything to do with me. This must be one of the reasons I feel a bond with David and his tales of being harassed and bullied by other children and feeling worthless as a child.

I wasn’t bullied as a child in the same way he was, but in a sense I bullied myself.

When I was a teenager, the thought of asking a girl for a “date” seemed more terrifying than climbing Mt. Everest without a scarf. I had no idea how other boys had the courage to approach a girl. I never went on a date with a girl while I was in high school. Aside from my timidity and terror, not knowing how to drive a car, not knowing how to dance, and always being an introvert in a new school (my father worked for a defense contractor and was always being transferred to help install computers at a new Air Force base for the Strategic Air Command, so I attended six different high schools in three states) also did not help.

In college, I did go out on two very timid and chaste “dates” with young ladies I considered so unattractive that I figured they would even go out with me. I am kind of disgusted with myself when I consider my thinking at the time. I hope the ladies involved eventually encountered someone in their lives who was a little more respectful than I was, even if I was perfectly polite to them and never laid an improper hand on them.

My brother was still in high school and already had gone through several girl friends. He was far less timid and inhibited than I was, not to mention so immature he would do any fool thing that came into his head.

One day after I retreated home in disgrace after flunking out of college, my brother and I were home alone. We were bored. As an introvert, I would have just buried myself in a book. As an extroverted immature person, my brother started flipping through the phone book and decided to call people with peculiar last names and make jokes about their names. I went along for the ride, listening on an extension phone.

After the first two victims quickly hung up in disgust, he hit gold, reaching a teenage girl sitting bored at home with her hair up in curlers. Even though she was bored, and even though she was only about 15 years of age, my WTB (wife to be) was already a cautious, strait-laced person, not the type of person to stay on the phone flirting with a couple of boyish pranksters.

Nevertheless, she even laughed when we made fun of her eccentric last name. (She was quite happy to change it to my last name when we got married. On the other hand, my daughter was quite happy to change her last name to her out-of-law partner’s last name after they had been not-married for a few years and Random Granddaughter joined the conversation.)

Actually my brother quickly grew bored with the conversation, but I started to improvise a comedy routine and she started to laugh. I don’t remember exactly what I talked about, though I do remember extemporizing some sort of pathetic routine about elves living under toadstools. I am sure it was exactly as bad then as it sounds now.

The funniest thing about this exploit is that my wife is generally not much amused by my sense of humor; much less so than the typical reader of my blog. But somehow or other I got her laughing that night and she not only laughed, she agreed to talk to me if I called her again. Well, I did have her number.

Well, you already realize I was a youthful loser-dork. What was my wife’s problem? It was her bra size.

My wife’s mother was quite buxom, as is her older sister. As my wife became a teenager, her bosom never developed much bux. She apparently figured this physical handicap meant that no men would ever be attracted to her, forcing to her succumb to a fate of being a lonely old maid. Intellectually, even then, she knew this was nonsense, and in fact, another teenage boy, named Bruce had actually asked her out on a date, but emotionally she considered herself as an unlovable flat-chested reject in a breast-obsessed society.

As two people who each felt ourselves utterly unlikely to ever find love, I guess our love was meant to be.

At the time we met by telephone I was attending a junior college in the San Fernando Valley section of Los Angeles (after flunking out of the University of California at Berkeley) and volunteering in the news department of KPFA, the Pacifica listener-supported radio station in Los Angeles. My wife-to-be was still attending high school, where she took a drama class with Sally Field. However, my WTB is quite unlike Sally Field. Her real soul sister in the world of entertainment stars is Carol Burnett. My wife can do a brilliant Carol Burnett imitation.

I had gone on two tepid dates in college. My wife-to-be had gone out with a boy named Bruce. Bruce, the daring rake, planted a timid kiss on her lips at the end of a date. According to my wife, no sparks ensued, and her hormones yawned. I hope Bruce found his own true love somewhere whose fire he lit.

At that childish time in my life, I did not even know how to drive. After my WTB and I had talked on the phone a few times, I asked her to go out with me. Our “date” (which my father drove us to as I couldn’t drive) was a real dork-fest. On weekends, as a volunteer, I wrote and read a 15-minute newscast at the listener-supported radio station KPFA (part of the Pacifica network).

Probably seven people listened throughout the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, six of whom were probably confined to their beds, and one of whom had already called the radio station and asked why the news sounded so amateurish on weekends. Evidently fancying myself a fascinating and alluring media star, I asked my wife-to-be if she wanted to watch me do a radio broadcast and see the inside of a radio station.

My wife told her mother that she had met me at a party at one of her friends’ houses.

We went out on a couple of other equally exciting dates. I think we took the bus to go bowling with my brother and his girl friend of the time.

My WTB (the youngest of five children as I am the oldest of five children) adored one of her brothers, L, who lived in San Francisco and pursued a life as an artist. The rebel in her family, L stirred my WTB’s inner non-conformist, though at the time he caused me to lose her.

One day I called to ask her out. Her mother told me that she had gone to stay with her brother in San Francisco. The implication-or so I interpreted it-was that my WTB did not want to see me again. I figured love had been glimpsed and then lost forever from my life.

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12 Responses to “My Wife and I Finally Meet”

  1. truce Says:

    What? You’re stopping there??!!

  2. modestypress Says:

    We will be celebrating 43 years of marriage around Thanksgiving time (American version). I can’t cover everything that happened in the 49 or so years of our relationship in one post. I will cover how we found each other again in another post.

    I did tell everyone I would tell how we met and that it would be very embarrassing. That’s as much as I could handle in one weekend.

    Also my wife just got home from her weekend away visiting her best friend.

    “Did you have a good time?” I asked.

    “Yes…but,” she said.

    But #1: “There all sorts of things going on the weekend before. There will be all sorts of things going on next weekend. This weekend absolutely nothing was going on. The scenery was very nice…but…”

    But #2: “On the way home, I was at a light on the road to the ferry. I was very tired from the long drive. My foot slipped off the brake pedal without my noticing it. I bumped the car stopped ahead of it. My truck is fine, but their bumper is scratched and we will have to pay to have it repainted.”

    If I do something like that, I get chewed out severely. If she does something like that, she chews herself out severely.

    If my mad scheme to bring you and David together actually comes to fruition, the both of you will entertain us by severely chewing each other out constantly.

    Anyway, I will write about how we found each other again and how my wife threw herself out of her house as she turned 18 and didn’t speak with her mother again until shortly before she married me at the age of 19. But those are additional premiums, and David, by speaking to his therapist about his suicidal thoughts (and by staying alive) is ahead on his premiums, so it’s time for more people to send pledges in.

  3. giannakali Says:

    I was an ardent listener of KPFA when I lived in the Bay Area, the majority of my adult life (of which I hope I still have another majority to live)


  4. And yet another commonality, my sweetie was a campus DJ when I met him at college, and trained me (although I didn’t perform). I used to call him during his jazz show using a fake voice, and ask for non-jazz songs. 🙂

  5. modestypress Says:

    giannakali,

    I made an error. KPFK was the Los Angeles station in the Pacifica Network where I volunteered. In my post, by mistake I typed KPFA, which as you mention accurately is the San Francisco Bay area affiliate. As a high school student near New York City, my family listened to WBAI. KBOO is a listener supported station in Portland. KSER is a listener-supported station in Everett.

    This is an incredibly pedantic comment on my part.

    Fluffy,

    You imposturing rascal, you.


  6. You. Met. Your. Wife. Whilst. Making. Prank. Phone. Calls.

    OMG.

    ZOMG.

    That was worth the wait. No, really, it was. I’m officially flabbergasted.

  7. modestypress Says:

    At the time, I thought Someday I will encounter a man with several personalities who will need to learn about this way of meeting women so I will try it now, myself.

    Each of your alternates will begin calling women at random. That’s your assignment for today.


  8. And here, Mr. R, is the sign that you are The Tip Of The Iceberg, money-raising-wise:

    http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/trends/reader_supported_writing_98694.asp

    You should contact her and request a pledge for stealing your idea.

  9. modestypress Says:

    Wow, fluffy.

    That’s unkcufing believable. I expect to see 1000 people put one dollar in an envelope addressed to David by tomorrow morning. I have a zeitgeist burn on my wrist.

  10. vroni1208 Says:

    This is such an awesome story! Really it is! I just love it! And I love Carol Burnett! And seeing as how I see you as Louis Black (that’s just how my mind wants to picture you) and now your wife as Carol Burnett, I’d have to say, “Boy, you guys sound like such a cool couple.” 🙂

    David….grab your phonebook! 🙂

  11. pandemonic Says:

    Ah… that was so heartwarming and touching. I loved it.

  12. Corina Says:

    I’m with David. Worth the wait! What a story!


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