Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tartiversary of Sorts

[Note: not a writing blog. More of a sentimental journey.]

Twenty-one years ago today I was a new college graduate, working at my first real job (for all of five weeks at this point, since I’d spent the summer doing an internship). I lived in a room of a big house in Portland, Oregon—a big city compared to where I grew up, or even where I went to college, and I was living the high life on $14,000 a year working as an Advertising Account Coordinator (the Holy Grail among jobs for UO ad-grads).

It may shock some of you, but at that job I found myself with a couple wild women friends—the Fun Hogs (Jilly Mac, wish I knew where you were), and in my spare time I was dating, off and on, three different guys (two pursuing me and me mostly running, one more a friends with benefits arrangement—probably because he wasn’t chasing). You see, I was less than six months off a rather overly-consuming thing, and not in a frame of mind to commit.

Among my coworkers was a Greek man (second generation) named Mike, henceforth to be referred to as Fat Mike, the etiology of which you should understand soon. Portland has a Greek Festival at the Greek Orthadox Church that falls late September, early October, and Fat Mike invited all his coworkers, plus a few friends. So the Fun Hogs and I… not to miss a party… went to Greek Festival.

When we were there I realized one of Fat Mike’s friends was there with a sorority sister of mine—a girl a couple years older who barely recognized me, but it was fun to chat with her, and left me sitting among Fat Mike’s friends. When she and her date left, probably for a Retsina refill, I turned to see the man sitting next to me. He had sort of a sheepish grin, but his eyes were ALL bad boy. We started talking and his voice had a deep, resonant mesmer to it. I felt a little whoozy. I probably would have followed him into the bushes there and then, except he was a friend of Fat Mike, my immediate supervisor. I was also aware that my Fun Hog sisters were watching and something in me said ‘play this cool—no tartish escapades for the brand new coworkers’, of which I was the youngest by several years.

The man, I’ll call him Bob, called me the next week for a date. It was a nice date—fancy restaurant (well, fancy by Portland standards—Jake’s—there is no place in Portland that you can’t wear jeans to, but it is higher end). We had nothing in common but attraction, though we enjoyed some similar things—music, beer gardens... The big selling point though, was that neither of us was really looking for a serious long-term thing, and we figured we could enjoy each other in the meantime.

Darn it all though, if I didn’t get attached to him. Two years later, after attending the same Greek Festival, we decided to get married. And that is how he became Mr. Tart. [Back to the Fat Mike story… this group of men seems to just give each other a bad time all the time and THAT is what they call Mike. Mike isn’t fat, though the Fred Flintstone costume he often chooses at Halloween isn’t too hard a sell, but for 21 years now, Mike has been Fat Mike, and so that is what he remains.]

To this day I don’t know how it might have played out differently if I hadn’t had my cautious ‘coworkers are watching’ face on. Some men get scared off or put a stigma ON when a woman is too forward, but Mr. Tart has remarkably few hang-ups about MANY such things. He is even fine with me keeping a handful of exes as friends (three attended our wedding). In fact that was probably key in my attachment to him. I am a Cancer, and we Cancers never let go—the college boyfriend tried to force the issue—jealous around every turn, and it made me want to give him something to be jealous about, if youknowwhatImean. Trusting is the only thing that could have made me trustworthy.

So Happy Anniversary of our meeting, Sweet Baboo! (I can say that, because I know he’s not reading *snort*). It hasn’t been easy, but for the most part, I think it’s been pretty darned worth it. We are more complimentary than alike, but considering each of our failings are rather monumental, that was sort of the way it needed to be. We have fabulous kids, and a pretty good life, grouchy grumblings notwithstanding.


Elspeth Antonelli said...

What a lovely story! I so enjoy learning about how couples met. Thanks for sharing, you've lit a small light in my day.


Joris said...

Dude, that's the photo I vectorized for book 3 of the CONSPIRACY trilogy... :)

Joris said...

And now that I've actually *read* the blog (hey, I'm a visual person, what can I say :P), I suppose here comes the time to congratulate you on your anniversary, ne? Well, you're exactly right! Happy anniversary!! =)

Helen Ginger said...

Congrats on the anniversary of your meeting. I liked the meeting and the long-term consequences. It sounds like you two were meant to be.

Straight From Hel

Galen Kindley--Author said...

What a very nice story. Would it be unTartish to call it, “sweet?” Hey, there’s such a thing as Sweet Tarts, right?

Best Regards, Galen

Imagineering Fiction Blog

Jan said...

I'm with Galen! Sweet Tarts indeed. Why don't you change your masthead??? What a good story. I love how everything hangs on everything else - no way that things happen! Must be why I like mysteries...they're so mysterious

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I love happy endings! Happy anniversary. It must have been fate--how else would you have met and had things go so smoothly?

Mystery Writing is Murder

Watery Tart said...

Awwwww! Thank you everyone!

And yes, I'm in with the Sweet Tarts... except when I'm a Spicy Tart...

Jan, I love you pointing out how it all hangs on everything else. This would be why I write long books... I sort of think real life is that way and have trouble buying anything that is too neat and tidy. Maybe if I believed in near and tidy, my life would be more that way. So far as I can tell though, it is fiction.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Love the story, Sweet Tart. So that is how you and your Sweet Baboo met - guess you were just destined for each other.

Love also how you say you are complimentary rather than alike - that is so much more important in a relationship, isn't it?

And, how can you be sure he is not reading this?

Hi there, Bob. *waves*