Archive for December, 2010

Dear Evan: How I Met Your Mother

December 15th, 2010

Dear Evan:

Forget the fireworks. By the time your mother and I finally met, the Universe peered peevishly over the top of its newspaper, cleared its throat, said “Well, it’s about damn time” and took a sip of coffee.

People talk a lot about destiny, and about fate, and about Meant to Be Together. What they forget is that we humans can so quickly and easily foul whatever plans the universe has for us. I know, because for six years your Auntie Em tried to introduce me to La, and the timing was never right. I was too far away; I was too self-destructive; I was, yes, in love with other people. (Love, I hope you learn, doesn’t belong to just one person, nor does it become unattainable if you and that person split.)

Laura on St. Patrick's Day 2010Finally, finally, Auntie Em got married. Because she was getting married, I got my butt onto a plane from Chicago to Dallas. On the day I met your mother, I added to my commute by driving your Uncle Benjie and myself the three hours from where my parents lived to where Em’s husband’s parents lived. After drinking a lot of coffee. Yeah, I had to pee.

Those were the first words I said to your mother. I practically burst into the bathroom where Em and La were primping and said, “I’m kicking you out. I have to pee.” Once I had, Em brought your mother over and said, “Look.” La pointed proudly to her T-shirt, which read “My bartender can beat up your therapist.” (Did I mention Em and La met in the University of North Texas’ psychology graduate program? They did.) Before I could think of anything slyly witty to say, Em had pulled La away for more wedding business.

I spent that day trying to get close to your mother, to prove I could be witty too, but people got in the way. At the rehearsal dinner, I was stuck at the back, while La was up front with the bridal and groomal parties. Even when I thought I’d get a chance to flirt during a post-rehearsal dinner get-together, your aunts talked me into bringing Ben to their own gathering. I was frustrated. My run of bad luck continued through the wedding, and while we talked a bit just after, I don’t remember it being anything of consequence.

Lucky for you, little Evan, that the parents all retired early that night, leaving us youngsters to dance and drink and mingle. La and I talked, finally, probably not as wittily as I’d like, but aided by vodka and dry ice and Snoop Dogg on the sound system. After she danced, she sat next to me, plopped her feet into my lap, and I absently began to rub them. I think that’s when she decided I was a keeper.

Once the revelry slowed down, your mother and I walked hand-in-hand to where she’d parked. We stood there, by her car, staring up at the amazing number of stars visible in the East Texas sky, and we kissed. Too soon, she decided she needed sleep, so she drove me back to my own car, where we kissed one more time.

The next morning, your mother barely made it to breakfast before I left. (By the time you’re reading this, you’ll know how much she loves to sleep in.) Em talked her into joining us back at Uncle Chris’ parents’ house, but once there I felt the sudden new shyness return. I did exactly one thing right, and that was to get La’s phone number.

The next month, I was in Los Angeles for work, and to my surprise, a member of our L.A. office was the spitting image of your mother. I didn’t want her, though. I wanted Laura. I texted her, laughing about meeting her clone, and she reminded me nothing was as good as the original. I agreed, and we talked more after that. That’s a good thing, because we’d be talking a lot over the next few months, separated by 2,000 miles.

It took four months for me to see her in person again, but that’s another story.