Nineteen years ago, the Matron met her future husband.
She was sitting in a coffee shop, minding her own business with a book or four. The place was a long, simple line of tables and it was packed. Because no seat was available, John--newly arrived with a steaming espresso and a magazine -- asked the much younger Matron (in her twenties! nearly twenty years ago!) if he could sit at the empty chair at her table.
Yes, yes. She's written about this before but can't find the post. Lazy and unorganized about the blog.
He sat. They both read. Made small talk. Mostly, yours truly was annoyed that the gorgeous man beside her didn't make an overt overture. They read, chatted briefly, went their separate ways.
A week later, the Matron -- then a Youngish Miss -- had a startlingly vivid dream in which she accompanied the man at the table to Target to buy plastic dishes. Then they went to Jiffy Lube for an oil change in the minivan (really -- that dream happened and it was Jiffy Lube; you're allowed to read into this).
The Matron woke to this dream and thought: well.
Several days after that, she was preparing to drive to her then-boyfriend's house in Wisconsin, where he was working on a doctorate similar to Young Miss's. Both were semioitic and deconstruction slaves. Combing her hair in the mirror, Young Miss wondered if the boyfriend was the real one, the main man in her life for nearly ever.
Instead, a voice popped into her head that said: No, sweetheart. It's the guy from the coffee shop.
Reader, it was a VOICE. "It's the guy from the coffee shop."
Now, the Matron has heard clear messages from time to time. Her small intuitive flare has opened many doors and made her believe that life isn't simply science and logic (although those rule), but something she doesn't understand but can imagine.
So she broke up with her boyfriend (let's admit here that things there weren't going all that well) and went to the coffee shop the very next day.
And the next. Then the one after that. Then she sort of forgot about the dream, the intuition, the voice because she was in her twenties and there was more freight in life's immediacy.
She wandered into said coffee shop four months later for actual coffee, and lo and behold: there he was. John, sitting at a table, reading. Youngish Miss sat down and struck up a conversation which included her phone number and an invitation for a coffee date at another time.
That date lasted nearly three days.
She moved into his apartment a week later.
The day before they married in an outdoor ceremony with hundreds, it rained. Poured. They went to bed on a dismal, black and wet night. Because John requires absolute darkness for sleep, they grimly pulled the light-proof shades and shut out the torrents, abject about the day ahead and contingency plans that weren't all that great for over 300 people.
The next morning, Youngish Miss woke and the first thing she noticed was the sounds of birds. Happy birds. She snapped open the shade to the most spectacular morning she has since seen: vivid light, sun, sparkling grass -- everything was alive after the rain. Perfect.
That was fourteen years ago to the day. She's on video tape from that day, smoking a cigarette (sorry -- and yes, she's long given that up), drinking a martini (still doing that) and swearing off children as the plague.
Three children and many ups, downs, roads, narratives, challenges, and love later, she's here to say happy wedding anniversary to the man with whom she still wants to have coffee (and sometimes more).
Even if he can't pick up a piece of paper.