Sunday, December 25, 2011
Eight years ago today, I met my Wookie.
About a week earlier, he had contacted me through Match.com--just when I had become disillusioned with it and was going to quit. We exchanged emails and pictures and stories of the civilizations that were evolving in our refrigerators. We theorized as to when they might develop nuclear technology and the possible consequences. My friend called every SCUBA shop in Manhattan till she found a guy with an Irish accent--she said he sounded cute. I was intrigued.
On Christmas Eve, he called me. I was driving home from work and our conversation lasted till I pulled up to my apartment. The whole time I was thinking, "Ask me what I'm doing tomorrow!" and "Ask me out!" Had he not gotten around to it, I probably would have asked him, but he did.
"What are you doing tomorrow?" He finally asked. I smiled. I had been rehearsing my answer in my head for miles. I detailed my plans--go to my sister's early in the morning for the Festival of Greed--basically, exchanging gifts and watching my baby niece open her presents. After that, I had no plans at all, as my family was heading in differing directions for the afternoon.
He asked me if I wanted to have dinner and I said yes.
Christmas morning flew by and soon I was on my way to meet him. However, no quest is without its obstacles. I followed his directions into town, only to find my way barred by a fire that had closed off my intended route. I called him to say I was having trouble getting there and he talked me through the maze of one-way streets to get me around the fire and to his house.
When I pulled up, he was standing outside, phone still in hand. I jumped out of the car and introduced myself and gave him a big hug. You can tell a lot about a person in the course of a hug and his was wonderful. To this day, it is one of my favorite things.
We went inside and I met his cats, Biggles and Rosie. I gave him a book, only to find out he already had it. I remember chatting for a while, then heading to a local Chinese buffet, because the restaurant he had planned to take me to was blocked by the fire.
That night he told me he loved me.
I don't think I believed in love at first site at the time, but here I am, 8 years later--and this is what I celebrate at Christmas, because back then, at 34, I didn't really believe I'd ever find anyone to share my life with. I had almost given up.
And that is the lesson that keeps me going today. To remember never to give up, because the best things happen quite unexpectedly--especially when I stay open to the possibilities. One day you think you'll wind up the crazy cat lady living in your sister's attic. The next day a handsome Irishman tells you he loves you--and it turns out to be true!
I'm still a crazy cat lady, mind you--but now I have a Wookie by my side.
So in this season when we celebrate light returning to the world--whether it's a divine light, the light of a miracle, or simply the lengthening of days--remember to keep open to the possibilities. You never know, the one thing you've wished for may just be waiting for you around the next bend.
Happy Holidays everyone. Thanks for reading.