Valentines

moonlight-romance.jpgAs my husband and I celebrated our 14th anniversary, I realized that my first marriage lasted exactly 14 years.  Heading into our 15th year, I have every expectation that I will beat my personal best.  And things look promising.  So after a total of 28 years in marital experience, you would assume I've learned something about love.

I'm not so sure.

A good example is the question I remember asking my mother around age 12:  "How will I know when I meet someone, if he is the right one?"

And she answered serenely, as mothers have through the ages, "You'll KNOW."

I KNEW at 28, when I married my first husband.  Enough said.

My younger sister Carla asked our mother the same question and got the same answer.  Carla KNEW at 15, when she decided her first boyfriend was the love of her life.

And she was right.  So you tell me---how did she figure it out? 

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party.jpgAll couples have the story of how they met. Ours comes with a small bit of fate – if you even believe in that sort of thing. It was Christmas-time and the charity I worked for was throwing a small bash to thank our local volunteers and meet some of our vendors. It even included an uptight board member or two. My future husband-to-be was not officially invited. He had other plans that night; however, his date canceled at the last minute to finish her holiday shopping. So, he called his good friends, Peter and Jo, to see what they were up to. Jo, being Jo, invited him to join them at my party. They were only about 15 minutes ahead of him and, she cajoled, the charity was chock-full of single women. She was not lying about that. Ten of the eleven employees were young women. Of course, since she had never met any of us, she did not vouch for our attractiveness.

I got their side of the story from them at a later date. Apparently, they had scoped me out and then engaged me in witty repartee until the unknown man of my dreams arrived. We were already fast friends by the time Dave turned up – aided a bit by some very strong margaritas – and in no time we were all chatting as if we'd known each other for years. It goes without saying, I gave him my card – though it was the first time in my life I had agreed to go on a date with a man who until moments before was a total stranger.

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girl_cork_sm.jpgShe came highly recommended – like a great book, a fine restaurant, or a good plastic surgeon. Her name was Delilah, and our mutual friend, Nina, wanted to hook us up.

She described Delilah as a great beauty, with intellect and insight.

“She’s your muse,” said Nina.

I wasn’t falling for the hype. I didn’t want to go on a blind date. But Nina wouldn’t let up. She was sure that Delilah and I were perfect for each other.

I sighed and told her I’d think about it.

“Don’t think about it. Call her,” she insisted. “Fate doesn’t wait.”

 

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breaking-up.jpgI broke up with my boyfriend the night before I took off for Ohio to canvass for Obama.  Well really, I broke up with him three nights later, but I knew in my head that I would do it the night before I left.  What I did that night before was tell him I could not talk to him for three days.  Three days of: landing in Ohio the morning after the red-eye; having breakfast with Carol Ogline (my 84 year old host) at the fanciest restaurant in Alliance; Ohio (where the side salad is $3.00 extra); driving to the Alliance, Ohio campaign office (the first national campaign office to ever exist there); taking off from the office to canvass down the street; getting chased down that same street by a rabid dog, finding out the owner was an Obama supporter and recruiting him to volunteer; returning to the office to make phone calls; going back to Carol Ogline's house and eating peanut butter sandwiches with her at 1am while her 1 month old puppy rolled around on the floor; getting back to the campaign office the next day to canvass some more; promising a man I would show up at 6am the day after election day and chop the wood piled in his yard if he voted; taking a picture at the end of that street; returning to the office to make phone calls; going to Applebee's with my volunteer coordinator; returning to the office the next day to canvass, swaying a voter, swaying another voter, going to another county to meet the 20 new volunteers that had just arrived; jumping on a conference call to hear Obama give us all an amazing half time speech; and going into the backyard after that phone call to sit by the empty pool and have that final phone conversation with my boyfriend.

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blogchocmoltencakes04.jpgI have started internet dating the last few months so occasionally I ask someone over for dinner. Should I query them about their food likes and dislikes? What I really want to ask is how do they feel about eating herring, do they like Champagne and is eating lamb in your comfort zone?

Usually asking this at first is a real dealbreaker, never mind mentioning that Classical music will probable be playing in the background. Should I keep it “safe” and make a simple braised chicken dish or should I go out on a culinary limb and make braised lamb shanks that perfume the house with the ethic smell of a casbar in some far away place. Should I ask or just take a gamble? 

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