*This post was originally posted in March of 2015. I’m reposting it now as today is the 9th anniversary of the day I met my wife… *
I met my wife at an Irish pub. More so we met up at an Irish pub. It was a Sunday night in 2007. Sunday night because she had been on enough of these dates to know it was best to have a good reason (work in the morning) to dip early, and Irish Pub, well, because they’re always fairly full. Even on Sunday nights. Which worked for me since I knew it didn’t take a whole dinner to know whether or not you were interested and if you weren’t, and usually you weren’t, you saved a good chunk of change by not committing to dinner too early as this was New York. Besides, at the very least I had someone to drink with for a couple hours.
Before she reached me I knew I was interested. After confirming our identities the first memorable thing I said to her, the first full sentiment, was ‘Hey, it’s too loud. You wanna get outta here?’ There was a charming Irish band playing on bar stools against the wall all of 8 feet or so from the bar. They were good I think. Who knows, only heard them for a few waiting moments while sipping a Guinness. It was a good precursor to how we would hang out for those first few years. The golden years. The years when we were in the spotlight and our relationship took center stage.
She was smiling ear to ear by the time she’d worked her way across the pub to me and she agreed it was too loud. I downed the pint, not the whole thing, I didn’t want to scare her, and we wandered. In the rain. We huddled, giggling nervously and flirting furiously, wandering the Upper East Side. She would insist it was Yorkville, as the ‘upper east side’ sounded way too fancy for a girl from the country, but no one else in any of the places we went would have known what Yorkville was. She will disagree with this when she reads it. To her I say, write a blog and then you can win the debate! Anyway, What we found and where we became a couple was the Mad River Grille.
We took up residence in the to two stools at the street end of the bar and quickly went about socially lubricating. Probably got down two pints a piece in a half hour or so, just to calm the excitement and remove some nerves. This worked splendidly. We talked about our families and our friends and our histories and our jobs and our funny dates we’d been on and about how much we loved the city because we were both upstaters. We talked about our dreams and our plans our joys and how much fun we were having. It was so great that the ‘Sunday night at 8 date’ as I came to understand it, had turned into the ‘wee hours of Monday date’. Which came to be the, ‘Hey guys, you wanna shot?’ from the bartender date. The ‘If you guys wanna stay and drink some more that’s cool, but I kinda want to join you so do you mind if I lock up. You guys are welcome to stay as long as you like.’ date. Which turned into a ‘meet your neighbors while falling in love and no one believing we’d just met kind of date.’ But like all dates, this one too had to end.
Or did it.
‘I have a ton of sick days.’ I said.
I was taking the temperature and she was thinking. Had I known this girl and her work ethic I’d have known just by the pause how much of a good impression I was making. But I didn’t really know her that way yet. So, you know, nothing ventured…
‘Could you take tomorrow off? Would you wanna hang out in the city tomorrow.’ I asked.
She did! We did. We walked the whole city, a thing we would do a lot. We saw a movie that we are both still INCREDIBLY happy was our first… ‘Blades of Glory’. Yep. Will Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite in a figure skating comedy! Needless to say, as far as first dates were going, and despite this being the second day and meeting up for a second time, this time at a Barnes and Noble, we were nailing it. This was the best date of our lives, and it would last for years to come. And when it changed it changed for something even better. Our Family.
So here we are. We live in a beautiful little town we love in New Jersey. We have our beautiful little house and our amazing little kids. And it’s great. But it’s also a lot to do and not a lot of time left for us. So from time to time when my mind drifts back to those two stools at the street end of the bar, and I think about the bubbles that flowed that night both between us and through us I get a little wistful. The work in this time of our lives is never ending. We have two toddler boys and they are more, frankly then we can handle at times. The noise and the clutter are just part of the job description. But in this wholly beautiful place there are still times when across a room cluttered and crowded with our very full and happy lives I look at her and more than anything in the world I want to catch her eye, get that smile and that look of excitement and walk right to her and lean in and say…
‘Hey, it’s too loud. You wanna get outta here?”