As is true in many a romantic tale, I met the man I’d marry when the last thing I wanted was a boyfriend. I’d had it with boyfriends! Me, a rented movie, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s…now you’re talking! Who needed a boyfriend?
You see, I’d recently been dumped. Twice. Quite dramatically, both times. The first breakup came after a two-year relationship that had really run its course after two weeks. This guy finally ended things by leaving me on a rock in the middle of a lake. I was the timekeeper for boat races, you see. The races ended. I waited an hour before finally swimming to shore. ) I have to give points to that boyfriend…mission accomplished, you know?)
I only dated the next guy for a week and a half. Man, he was fun…right until he sent his friend to the restaurant where I waited, sipping my ultra-sophisticated white wine spritzer, and was informed that my brand-new boyfriend was actually, um…engaged.
So it was that I decided to go to New York City. Take a class. Broaden my horizons. Stop sticking pins in my boyfriend voodoo dolls. I stood in line, waiting for class to begin with the other registrants, chatting, trying to look as cool as the real New Yorkers.
And speaking of cool…the guy in front of me was wicked cool. Curly black hair. Battered leather jacket. Faded blue jeans. Pointlessly long eyelashes. Uh-oh, I thought. Here’s trouble. Don’t look, Kristan. And do not speak. Don’t speak! You know how you are!
“Hi,” I said. “I’m Kristan.”
“Hi,” he said, turning. “How are you?”
The lashes framed green eyes. How dare you have green eyes! I fumed. He asked me questions about where I was from, what I did for work. He listened to the answers. Smiled. Don’t you be nice to me, bub, I thought. I’ve had enough of nice men, thank you very much! Of course, this was far from the truth. I’d had plenty of the other variety…not nearly enough nice men.
He was Irish…ruddy cheeks, cheekbones to die for, achingly lovely green eyes. It wasn’t that he was gorgeous per se — it’s even arguable that some of the voodoo doll boyfriends were better looking — but there was something about that face. He looked…yes, it’s true…a bit like Bono. It was the 90s. You understand.
Then, remembering that I was on the rebound, had sworn off men, was terribly important and extremely busy, I turned my thumping heart away and pretended to do something. Pick gum off my shoe. End world hunger. I don’t remember. I do remember telling myself, “Do not go out with him, Higgins.”
Our first date was a few days later. He lived in Brooklyn. There was a coffee shop. Those green eyes, those lashes. He poured cream into my coffee. Held my hand…none of this dead-fish stuff, but a warm, reassuring grip from his working-man hands. Sigh! And the piece de resistance…he called when he said he would. I was in love.
Six weeks later, he proposed. We were married a year to the day after our first date. On our first wedding anniversary, he sent me roses — the same color as my wedding bouquet — and took me to dinner at a tiny Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village where the waiters don’t speak English and the food is incredible. We walked home through the snow to our tiny apartment, our Christmas tree and our little cat. Ever since, despite the sorrows and bumps of life, we’ve been living…well, you know. Happily ever after.