"Is he bothering you guys?" he asked, as his clearly inebriated friend clumsily sat down at our table. "No," he seems harmless, I replied, glancing across the table to my two girlfriends who looked amused.
And that's how our story began.
Our story started before the popularity of Tinder and OkCupid. It was an old fashioned boy meets girl at a bar type story, where we were forced to utilize our social skills on the spot, not having the option to swipe left.
It was a Thursday night. I had just had dinner with a girl friend. It wasn't often that I was able to go out sans the kiddo, so I dolled myself up like any mama would by wearing my tried and true MAC lipstick shade. The kiddo was with his father (I co-parent), so I relished in my relaxed, child free evening. I was blissfully full of sushi and sipping on a vodka tonic at our local watering hole, Chug Pub, while catching up with the girls.
Then they walked in.
It was a rather large group of guys. Some, clearly having more drinks than the other, and one having more drinks than them all. It was that one who sat down at our table, drunkly attempting to make conversation. But this wasn't my future husband. My future husband was the one who thought he was coming to our rescue.
After reassuring him that it was fine, his friend could sit with us, then he reassuring us that his very drunk friend was harmless, the empty chairs around us began to fill. And as Biggie Smalls said best, "Your friends can get with my friends, then we can be friends," and just like that, our groups combined.
They had walked over from not so nearby Kezar stadium having played slosh ball (think kick ball + a keg of beer) just a few hours earlier. On their walk back, they stopped at several bars, eventually finding themselves at Chug Pub. We all exchanged harmless banter, laughing and drinking on this Thursday night.
It wasn't love at first sight. We didn't lock eyes and have a magic moment. In fact, we hadn't singled each other out from our combined groups until much later that evening. It wasn't until we learned about each others occupation that the loud banter around me automatically became muffled and I focused solely on he.
He told me he had worked for over a decade with children with Autism. I, at the moment, managed an employment program for people with disabilities. I knew that it took a special person to not only choose, but be passionate in this type of work, and I was intrigued.
We separated from the group and expanded our conversation from our careers. Though I must admit, that night being nearly a decade ago and fueled with beer and several vodka tonics, I can't remember much as the night wore on. I do recall, the feeling he had left me with. As the bartender announced that it was the last call, I made up my mind that I wanted to see him again. I gave him my business card with my scribbled personal cell phone number.
Just a few days later, he called.
Today, we're a family of five, fur baby included. San Francisco is still where we call home. Though different jobs, we're still both dedicated to the same field of work. And every now and then, on an anniversary, we find ourselves at Chug Pub, grabbing a drink at the exact table we first met, and I always happen to wear that same MAC lipstick shade.
Stay Mighty (and in love),