The year I met my husband didn’t start out so well.
I’d been having a rough time. I’d graduated with an English degree (with honors!), but there was a nasty recession and nobody was hiring people with newly minted English degrees, honors or no. I scrambled for a job, any job. I remember offering to work unpaid for the local newspaper for a while, just so they’d give me a chance. No dice. Finally a friend hooked me up as a clerk for a major bookstore chain in San Diego, and we roomed together (with others) to save money.
That worked, for a while. But I… fell in with some people. Started smoking. Started drinking Scotch, pretending to be tough. I thought I was in love with my boss, who was cute in a ne’er-do-well sort of way, but was already living with one woman and constant-flirting with another.
I was miserable.
On New Year’s Eve, I broke. One of my friends from college had come down to visit, and I’d been hoping Bad Boy from work would show up to our party, but he didn’t. I lost it — got waaaay too drunk, cried a lot, got sick a lot. Poor friend from college.
The next morning, in my hungover, regretful haze, I grabbed my calendar for the new year. I flipped open to a random page, stuck my finger on a random day, and wrote:
I will change my life by this day.
March 26th. I forgot about it, later. Drifted through the days doing what I was doing, being largely unhappy. Got promoted to Manager Trainee, started traveling to stores around the district, covering where they needed it.
On one of these trips I met a super-hot Assistant Manager. He was funny too, and smart. The next day he called me to ask a question, and we talked for 5 hours. He asked me out — we had a disastrous, yet perfect, first date that’s another story. Three months later we moved in together. On Christmas morning that year he asked me to marry him, and I squealed in happiness. There was no question. There was no stupid Scotch-drinking, and we quit smoking together (and ate pounds of chocolate cake in the process). We traveled all over California, we got better jobs. We were together, from then on.
It was only later, the next year, when I flipped through the pages of that calendar and realized it.
I’d met him on March 26th. That very day. And it changed my life.
We’ve been together for 20 years this year. I believe that there are small moments of magic in the world — every once in a while one of them crosses your path, and changes everything.
A version of this story previously appeared on Susan’s blog.
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