I met my ex-wife
while I was still in school at the University. I spent a weekend at my
parents house in southern Minnesota. I had my first car, a 1974 Nova hatchback.
My friend Greg also had an old Nova, and I drove over to his house to do some
work on my car. N*O*V*A* stood for Chevy (N)ova, Oldsmobile (O)mega, Pontiac
(V)entura, and Buick (A)pollo. All these four makes used the same
X-body. Greg had been going out off and on with a
younger woman named Joy. He wanted me to go uptown to the bars that night
to accompany him while he sought her out. To entice me, he told me about
Joy's pretty friend, who would most likely be with her.
She was Joy's age, had two small children, and was divorcing.
We ran into Joy and Margaret at Margaritaville, a local watering hole.
Yes, Margaret was very pretty I thought, but we didn't seem to be hitting
it off. Standing around talking in the bar, I offered to hold Joy's coat.
Margaret asked me to hold her coat too. Then we began to talk to one another.
I found out later that Margaret and Joy were kind of mad that we didn't buy
them drinks, but they still hung out with us. But I was very poor, just about
done with my second engineering degree, and only had
about $10 on me total - plus I was never much of a drink buyer. No wonder
I was girlfriend-less having just reached the age of 27 ....
We left Margaritaville and went down the block to a basement level bar
called the First National Bank or something like that. Somehow Greg didn't make the trip with us.
Phil, another mutual friend of ours, did. By coincidence, Phil had also
been dating Joy. It was here that I blew my money and bought a round of
Long Island Iced Teas. Margaret and
I were now connecting pretty well. I remember she and Joy telling us
that they had told some guy some other night that they were both models who sometimes
modeled together. Okay - they
were pulling our legs but Margaret could very easily
have been a model ;).
The girls excused themselves and went to the bathroom. Margaret told me
years later Joy wanted to, "Slam these drinks and ditch these guys", but
Margaret kind of liked me and wanted to stay. Then Joy warned Margaret that
we were "a lot" older than them. Margaret was not quite 21, and like I said had just
turned 27. But the girls didn't ditch us. Phil saw how Margaret
and I were getting along, and I think he thought the act of buying the
drinks would work for him too. So Phil began to buy more rounds, for which I am
I had a nice time talking to Margaret, and dancing with her a little. I never
had that teen-age girlfriend that teaches you to dance without looking like
an idiot. Oh well. All
the while, I considered her situation: "two kids, very pretty, two
kids, nice personality, two kids, seems very smart...".
I don't want this to seem like I thought anything was wrong with her
situation. I did feel it would be wrong to act interested in a young
woman with children if I wasn't interested in her children too.
must have figured it was time to clue me in to her situation and see how
I would react. She told me, "I have two kids", and then looked at me.
Well, I knew that.
I always wanted to have kids - if I couldn't be around them when
I was 27, when would I be able? So in reply, without missing a beat,
I just said, "So when do I get to meet them?"
Perhaps in the past I had been a bit timid. I made up my mind this night
that I was going to risk rejection and make sure she knew I liked her
a lot. I was having trouble with my back, so partly because I wasn't
bending so well, I knelt in front of her, put my hand on her waist,
drew in close between her knees, and kissed her while she sat on her chair.
I think we kissed a lot.
Later, back at Greg's "after-the-bars-close-party-house",
I did the same thing. I remember Joy walking by the sofa Margaret was
sitting on and smooshing our faces, which by the way were already
smooshed together, together a bit more. I guess the lesson is don't
be shy if you think really like someone. You won't remember the other
99 rejections ...
I got Margaret to write her phone number on my U of M student fee statement. She
wrote "Maggie" because she told me later Joy was getting her to experiment with
using this name. I came back to town a few weeks later and Margaret and I went
out on a date. I carried her daughter across the street from her mom's house
just as she turned one year old. I liked her kids. We began to write letters back and forth
and I called her every
Wednesday night long distance on the phone. One time she screamed and dropped
the phone because she saw a mouse. Margaret was a very good mom and I
liked that about her. Years and years later, she told me the whole thing
blossomed because (1) How I kissed her (2) I was persistant.
You never know where you will
find your mate. We had two kids of our own together - even though eventually
we divorced. I still think it was worth it -