Ms. Moon posted her 'how did you meet' story, and it was sweet and it is funny, and she is right. The smallest choices can be life altering. What would have happened had she not gone to a dive bar the day after Thanksgiving?
My story lacks the romance, I suppose. Tim is very shy. I was also coming out of a very bad marriage to a very bad man who was on his way to a very bad place. How did a woman who considered herself intelligent get tangled up in that? I didn't know, but what I did know was that it was never going to happen again. I had 3 children to rear and then I was going to be a genial old lady with a nice garden and a cat.
Life goal, people. It was my life goal.
So I'm working night shift at a factory, and Tim was a machinist/mechanic there. He was very quiet, very efficient, slipping around from machine to machine keeping everything running. Sometimes his friend would be with him.
Now John was a talker. He'd talk your leg off. Tim would just stand quietly by and listen. Laugh. Add the occasional word to the conversation.
One day, my machine was having difficulty and Tim stood by to see what it was doing. During the course of the observation, he talked a little. More than I'd ever heard him talk, anyway. He'd heard that I'd just had a birthday. "Yes," I said, "It was one of those milestones. I just turned 40." He looked very surprised. His chin lifted off his hand and he said, "So did I. When's your birthday?" And I said, "May 21st. When's yours?" and he lauhged and said. "April 21st." He had the most pecuiliar expression on his face. "Do you go to church?" he asked. Intent on what I was doing, I answered, "Yes. Every Sunday. I'm an Episcopal Lay Minister."
I turned around and the man had vanished. He was gone. I thought 'that really is the shyest man that I have ever met.'
After that day though, Tim began to put himself forward. He coordinated his breaks with my breaks. He ate lunch when I ate lunch. He began to talk a bit more. He was a good friend at a time when I needed a good friend. And when I bought a bed for one of the kids, he had a truck that he offered up right away. He stayed for supper and liked it a lot.
And so it began.
I was very clear about the fact that I was never going to marry again. Not ever.
It didn't stop him from asking. Multiple times. He took every turn down in stride. What I didn't know was that he'd been divorced for 8 long years. His shyness was a problem. He had a prayer. He wanted to meet a sensible woman his own age who went to church. He prayed that for months. That was what he wanted.
He knew I was the answer to his prayer from that first day at my malfunctioning machine.
I know he is lucky that I was unaware of all of this.
He asked me many times. Finally, shortly before Christmas, he asked yet again. I studied him. He was a good man. A quiet person. I decided that I could trust my own judgement on this one, and so I said yes. His astonishment was plain to see. He asked me to repeat myself. I did. He got up and put on his boots and left.
The kids got home from school and we had a quiet supper. We were getting ready for a Christmas party at my parents' house. "Where's Tim?" they asked.
"I don't know," I answered.
"Isn't he going with us?" they wanted to know.
"I don't know," I answered. I didn't believe that he was coming back, and the ironic thing was that he'd been really pestering about marriage for so long. I didn't know that all I had to do was to say 'yes', to put a halt to all of that.
Shortly before we were to leave. Tim came walking back in the house. It was my turn to be astonished. "I didn't think you were coming back!"
He said, "Why would you think that?"
I said, "You didn't say anything. You just left."
He said, "I've got a big family. I wanted to tell them that we were getting married. That's a lot of phone calls."
The kids said, "Wait, you're getting married?"
I said, "My God, Tim. You need to learn to talk."
I've been saying it for 25 years now.
Late edit: Sorry that Ms. Moon's link was not initially included.