The final and awesome truth is that Sylvia and I are the product of an arranged marriage. And her family has never given my family the goat they owe us! Well, that's what I tell people anyway. Allow me to back up. No, seriously, move aside, I want to back up...beeep beeeep beeep beeeep...Now, I will tell you...on the day before our anniversary...the real story.
I will start from the beginning. I owe you that much. I mean my wonderful readers have very nearly paid for the entire gag gift that I brought to my Christmas party last night. (Well, the ad place doesn't send checks for less than 10 dollars so...still crossing my fingers!).
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was just after Christmas and my brother and I were both at my mom's house when Mom walked in. The conversation is between Mom and I. Dan was a semi-uninterested bystander.
My mom said something like, "Oh good. You are both here. I was wondering what you guys were doing for New Years."
"Going over to the Hardy's. Nothing big. Why?" (I was a little tentative...my mom has been known to ask questions that were precursors to other questions.) Here it came.
"I have a friend who is looking for something to do."
"Sorry Mom. You still have a friend who is looking for something to do." (I was a little snarky..even back then.)
"No! I mean Sylvia."
"Sylvia" and then she said the magic words that would forever change my life... for the better..."The girl who works in the nursery with Pia."
It turns out Sylvia, my mom explained, had just broken up with her boyfriend (Let's call him, "The moron who let Sylvia get away") and did not want to be alone on New Years.
I also need to explain that Sylvia, and this is important, was being paid to work in the nursery...by my mom! You see, money did change hands in order for me to get married. I think the dowry usually goes the other way but my mom was desperate to have a son not live in a cave.
I had to act fast. I always knew that my brother Dan, who was younger than me, was a little smoother than me around the fairer sex. I glanced at him to see if he was charging toward my mom to get this secret information. I expected a brother/brother wrestling match. He was lost at, "one of my friends..." and didn't have the funny reply skills I did. (That was my edge) I was in perfect position. He was farther away and wasn't looking over at Mom. I nonchalantly said, "Oh, I guess I could give her a call and see if she wanted to go too." Inside, I was doing the happy dance and shouting "goody goody goody!" I was not very smooth back then. Ask anybody. No seriously, ANYBODY! I had no skill set other than, I was a nice guy who people could talk to.
Back to the impending, unbelievable date.
In my head I was thinking, there's no way on God's green Earth that she would want to go to a party like that. It was a large collection of my friends, to a stranger's house, on New Year's Eve...no way! (but what I meant was, there's no way I would ever go to something like this so of course no one else would either) I took the phone number to work the next day. I had to work up the courage to call her. I was also petrified that she would, because she's awesome, find something to do in the time that it took me to develop a backbone. The problem was, I worked in a warehouse. With warehouse workers. Guys who come to work and say, "Not sure where this tattoo came from." (seriously) and "I was gonna stab her but didn't want to go to jail so I stabbed the table...that's when my hand slipped and I had to get stitches." (Again, seriously) I tried to pretend that I was a man (ahem) of the world. I was fooling no one of course but they let it slide. If any of them heard my stumbling attempts to talk to a girl on the phone, I would have had to quit, change my name, and move to Abu Dhabi.
That day I volunteered to work the lunch shift at the parts counter. It could be hectic or it could be boring but it was always devoid of other workers (and their tattoos). If it was slow, I figured I would be able to sneak a call to have Sylvia say, "Yeah, I know who you are...click. Hummmmmmmm" and then I could go back to my Cave Digest magazine to see about new decorating tips.
Slow day...not a soul in the place...the phones were silent...my pounding heart was not. I had planned out everything I was going to say, unlike when I write the blog, and I went into my boss's office to make the call. His was the only private room in the place. Dial, sweat, dial some more, ring...if I have to leave a message I'll die...