This is Real

I often call Hubby the love of my life.  He really is, and although we are in the middle of a rough patch these days, he always will be. As I type this, I’m listening to Dave Matthews Band’s Steady As We Go.  I love this song.  It’s Our Song.

Another blogger is telling her love story, so I’m stealing that idea and telling you mine…

We met just over 10 years ago.  I was working in the back office (operations) of a large investment bank.  My job was to compare options trades and Hubby was my counterpart in the New York office.  He’d make calls to the street to get the other side of our customers trades and we’d make sure everything balanced out.  Well, that’s the nuts & bolts of it anyway.

The first time I heard his voice, the first week of October 2001, I said to my co-worker, “Is that dude high?”  He had a cold, his voice cracking and rough, but he was still making silly howling noises and stuff to make us laugh.  I thought he was bizarre, but knew he’d be fun to work with.

Flash forward a few weeks and he was making me giggle regularly.  Once he asked me what I was having for lunch, and I said I was considering McD’s and he started singing, “Big Mac’ll make ya chomp, chomp… Filet o’Fish’ll make ya chomp chomp…” to the tune of that KrissKross song.  My friend crashed my car into a wall after a night of drinking and dancing and after I told him about it that Monday at work, he started faxing me picture after picture of wrecked cars.  Not emailing, because that would be too normal.  He faxed them so everyone in the office that shared that machine would see pics of mangled Hondas sent ATTN: (Me) RE: How not to drive.  Ha.

He also started working in cute and sweet tidbits in between letting me know what he got from Omar at Goldman Sachs or from Dave at Lehman.  Tidbits like saying my voice sounded like a warm glass of milk or like butter melting into an English Muffin.  That was his first actual nickname for me.  Better than Scroogy, right?

On his birthday, after I called him an old man (he was 33, I was 26), he hung up on me in the middle of comparing trades.  Knowing we still had work to do, I waited a few minutes.  Went to the ladies room.  Still he didn’t call back, so I dialed his extension.  His coworker answered his line and said, “He jumped out the window.  Wait… he left a note.  It says, ‘Thanks English Muffin!'”  I started laughing and he got on the phone, fake sniffling and gasping as if he’d been sobbing.  Gotta say, I was hooked.

Shortly after that, he took a week’s vacation, but was still calling me at work, just to say hello, make me laugh.  I was starting to really dread Fridays because I knew I wouldn’t be talking to him until Monday.  I found myself talking about “that NY guy from work” to the dude I was dating.  Said dude and I didn’t last long after that.

In early December, he asked if I wanted to meet up in Atlantic City.  He made it sound like it was going to be a group thing, something he did on the regular.  He likes black jack, usually plays at the upstairs tables. I debated it with anyone and everyone who would listen.  My coworker, who’d met him before, said he wasn’t my type- he was short and had 80s hair.  I decided that even if that was true and he was 5’5″ with a mullet to rival Joe Dirt’s, I still already liked him.  My friends all said I should go, I had nothing to lose. At the very least, I’d come home with a new friend.  (Except for the guy who eventually became my Bestie’s Hubby- he said that this NY guy could be an ax murderer and I shouldn’t go.  Haha)

So, one chilly and overcast day in mid-December of 2001, I drove myself to Caesars in Atlantic City, showing up over an hour late…  We decided to meet by an escalator.  Can’t remember how we determined which escalator, which is curious to me because these days we have issues with communicating & verifying details… UGH.  Anyway… Happy thoughts, happy thoughts.

At first, I didn’t feel even a smidge of attraction.  My coworker was right- maybe he wasn’t as short as she said, and his hair wasn’t exactly the mullet I had pictured, but he wasn’t my type.  The evening started off awkward and nearly disastrous- he went to the men’s room and left me playing his hand at the black jack table and I lost 3 hands in a row. Amazingly, he wasn’t mad.  He just laughed and suggested we take a break from gambling and walk outside on the boardwalk.  It was nearly winter so I was pretty cold. He stood behind me and hugged me, rubbing my arms with his warm hands.  He really is one of the physically warmest people I’ve ever met.

Later we decided to check out a dance club and took a cab to the Taj Mahal.  We found a little cocktail table and tried to keep up conversation.  Then it happened.  He leaned in to hear me better and his cheek brushed mine, our heads tilted just so, and we were kissing.  And kissing.  And kissing.  One of those first kisses that you never want to end.  Those luscious, electric, deep, and wondrous kisses.  During a break, he went to get a drink, and I let out a breath.

A breath I didn’t know I was holding, that I’d probably been holding inside for years.  I just exhaled.  Finally.  And I knew that day that he was Mine and I was His and I was safe and home.

I called Bestie and told her as best as I could over the music and mayhem, “No, this is Real”

He and I started a long distance relationship from that day forward.  He proposed in 2005, he moved to Maryland in 2006, we were married in 2007, the twins came along in 2008. Like I said, things are strained these days.  And it sucks.  Hard.

Another symptom (or cause) of my lack of Mojo.  Another reason I (so very very much) need to earn it back.

3 thoughts on “This is Real

    • I loved that job! My background is in Elementary Education, so taking that job was a complete 180. But I’d found my niche! Later I also worked in mutual funds trading and repo balancing.

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