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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Other Woman

In honor of my wedding anniversary, I'm going to tell you the story about how Greg and I met. It's a story of shame and scandal because I, gentle reader, was the other woman.

It's true.

I was 16 years old and my best friend kept bugging me to go with her so she could spy on this senior at our school. Ordinarily, I would have gladly accompanied her since I'm always up for a chance at espionage, but this was all taking place at a CHESS CLUB meeting!

Could this guy be any more dull? I begged her to let me pass on this. I'd rather watch ice melt than die a slow death watching a bunch of nerds play chess.

My friend with her big brown eyes kept pestering me. She was too shy to go by herself and she desperately wanted this guy to notice her. So I caved, like I usually did with her, and she dragged me down to a classroom filled with high school boys.

I walked in first with my short blue skirt and my too-tight sweater. A few mouths dropped. Other boys stuttered in incoherent sentences as beads of sweat formed on their brows. I had their complete attention. (LOL)

Only ONE guy didn't have the decency to look up from his chess board and acknowledge me. This conceited, pompous, nerd-herder ignored me! The nerve!

I whispered to my friend and asked her who it was we were here to spy on. She made googly eyes at Mr. (too good for little girls) Hot Shot.

Yeah. That was Greg.

I rolled my eyes. Okay, I told her. 'Make this quick. Give him your best line and let's get out of here.' Instead, she tortured me and we stayed for over an hour, me groaning like a dying dog.

I chatted with some of the other guys while my friend edged closer to Greg. They talked a little, and Greg was surprisingly polite and sweet to my friend.

Okay, so he wasn't a total jerk. But the guy was obviously blind since he still refused to acknowledge me. As a matter of fact, he ignored me the entire time I was there.

But a funny thing happened over the days and weeks that followed. I kept seeing Greg everywhere.

He'd be at all my favorite haunts, my favorite eating places, my favorite hiding places. I'd look up and there he'd be. He never said much to me. Just a hello, before he went on to someone else.

This went on for weeks and even my friend had lost interest by then. One day, Greg caught me after school and asked me if I wanted to take a walk by the lake. We lived in Chicago. Our school was less than a mile from Lake Michigan.

We walked for what seemed like hours, talking about everything. He was smart (too smart), funny, and terribly witty. (I adore witty men.) By the time he walked me home I felt like I had known him all my short life. He never touched me. Never kissed me. We just talked.

When I got home I realized I wanted to keep seeing him. I went to my friend to tell her what had happened, but she said she already knew. When Greg started showing up at all our 'spots', she knew he had already put his mark on me.

Why didn't anybody tell me?!


Greg and I dated throughout his last year of high school and stuck together even when he went away to university. I didn't expect him to stay with me once he went to college. I was getting ready to go to university myself and our lives were about to be parted forever. I knew soon, we'd never see each other again. I was bracing myself for the big breakup.

But the breakup never happened. He moved back to the city. I scaled back my plans and took a full time job at a newspaper. 

One day, he took me to McDonald's for lunch. 

The lot was horrendously jam-packed and noisy. There were cars and people everywhere.

Greg took me by the hand, and with all the sincerity only a man in love could muster, he got down on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and asked me to marry him.

I swear to you, all at once, we were completely alone. All the noise, the traffic, and the people disappeared in a gentle whoosh.

I stared at him for a minute. Wondered if I could outrun him. :o) But when I searched his face, it was as if I could see the future. I knew he would always be there for me. I knew he was the one.

It was silly. I was so young. How could I possibly know such a thing? But I did.
Today is our wedding anniversary. 35 years with the same annoying, exasperating and magnificent man. 35 years with the only man I've ever loved. He's been an adventure since the day we met.

I think I'll hang on to him a little while longer. Just to be sure.

By the way, it was no accident that I chose the date 10-10 for our wedding. I knew one day I'd be seeing 10-10-10 with Greg at my side--and here we are.

Tell me your story: How did you meet your significant other--be it spouse, best friend, or best pet? 


Dru said...

That was beautiful.

Happy 35th Anniversary!!

Are you still friends with your girl-friend who accidentally introduced you to Greg?

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, Dru.

Carmen remained my best friend all through high school, but college took us in different directions and we never saw each other again.

I still remember her fondly.

Ellie said...

Firstly, congratulations on reaching your 35th anniversary; such an acheivement in today's society.

Secondly, what an amazing story. And how romantic choosing the 10th. Bless.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...


I also have a sordid tale to tell about how Eugene and I met. I met his roommate first through class and dated him for a while. Then Eugene wanted me to help plan a surprise birthday party for him. We talked for hours on the phone (good thing it was free). The more I saw the two of them, the more I realized how immature the other guy was in comparison to Eugene. The party came and went. A few weeks later, after my own birthday. Eugene and I sat in the corridor of my dorm, talking all night. At 6:00 a.m., he asked me to go out with him. I gave him a definite "Maybe."

That maybe took me through fifteen years of dating (most of it long-distance) and five years of marriage so far.

Joanne said...

I also married my high school sweetheart, we met and started dating as seniors, and are still together! Raising my coffee cup in an Anniversary toast to you and Greg ... Cheers :)

Maria Zannini said...

Ellie: Thanks! When Greg asked me to choose a date, I gave it a great deal of thought. 10-10 sounded powerful to me.

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: That's a great story! How did the guy you were dating feel about it?

Did you all remain friends?

I liked the definite maybe. LOL!

Maria Zannini said...

Joanne: High school sweethearts are rare indeed.

It's tough to find the right one at any time, but to find them so early in life is almost miraculous.

The trick, I think, is being able to recognize it. Congrats to you too, Joanne!

jackie b central texas said...

You just wrote a magnificent love story right there lady and congratulations on it staying true for 35 years! Happy Anniversary Maria and Greg, hope you have many many more!

My sweetie and I met in school also, he was best friends with my best friends brother and we all used to meet up at her house and play basketball.. (her family had 4 boys and 2 girls so they had a team right there, their Dad loved to play so when we had a few more friends it was fierce fun)

What made us a couple was when I got a Grit paper route my husbands family was one of my customers and he was always the one who paid me for the paper so we talked a lot while he counted out the 35 PENNIES for the paper!! LOL
2 years after that I had graduated and he had moved back home after losing his job when the oil field went bust and asked me out on a date to go to a dance where he and his "band" were playing.. We have been together ever since going on 30 years now and will be married 29 in December... ( cannot believe we dated an entire year before tying the knot)

Like you Maria the man I married is the only one have ever loved and has ever made me "feel" the way I do without even having to touch me.. My best friend and the man who can make me laugh and scream and cry all in the same day is one and the same! Ain't love grand!

jackie ^_^

Meghan Schuessler said...

What a sweet story. I'm jealous of those who find their true loves so early in life! I'm 32 and I *think* I've finally found the one, but I'm still waiting for the ring! Congrats on 35 great years together! :)

Barbara Ann Wright said...

That's so sweet! >_< My husband and I are high school sweethearts, too. He asked me to marry him before he went off to college, and I followed him to the same school one year later. I was the only senior in my high school to have an engagement ring, and we're still here 15 years later.

Angela said...

Awwwww!!! How beautiful, though I admit the "Other Woman" title set my imagination for something a bit more - dastardly (sorry, lol!!!)
Being friends with someone 35 years can be difficult for many. Knowing that you and Greg are very much so in love these 35 years after tying the knot is a commendable blessing. With all my heart, I hope you're able to enjoy 35 years of more happiness.

Kay Theodoratus said...

I was in college, determined not to get married so I could go to graduate school. The old man had just finished his Ph. D. and was going to stay with his sister for the six weeks between degree and starting his new job. All her friends were lining up to catch him.

Well, it so happened she had just bought a MGTD and he had two steamer trunks to haul from the bus station. I had a car big enough to carry them.

I remember my first sight of him. Looking up the stairs at him: baggy trousers, lopsided mustache, and his ears sticking out forever. My reaction. "They're going to fight over that?"

Short story shorter. He was one of the few people I knew who was a Lawrence Durrell fan (The Alexandria Quartet among other things). We started talking ... and talking ... and talking. I ended up getting engaged because I figured the odds of finding anyone who would fit my cantankerous personality better were slim.

Yeah, we're pushing 50 years ... when all our friends thoughts we'd be divorced within five years. Moral: Be careful who you talk to.

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: Sounds like your sweetie was going to make SURE he was the one who paid you for the paper. LOL. That is so cute.

I kinda think we put our marks on our respective choices--even if we don't do it consciously.

Maria Zannini said...

Meghan: Believe it or not, we BOTH fought the idea of getting married at first. I had almost convinced myself that marriage was not a good idea, and he had done the same on his own. But when it came right down to it, he said he couldn't argue with logic. We were perfect for each other. He was right.

If your Mr. Right keeps stalling, tell him you'll settle for eloping as long as there was a nice honeymoon destination at the end. :)

Bookewyrme said...

Happy Anniversary! Congratulations on 35 years. ^_^

I too was the "other woman" (and he was my rebound relationship from a particularly terrible boyfriend!) though we were slightly older. He was 18 and I was 19. Now we've been together for 6 years and married for a year and half of that. I'm definitely keeping him...he's just now got me trained right! ;)


Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: That is so neat that you were engaged and at the same college. (Good way to keep an eye on him too. LOL.)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela! You know me better than that! LOL.

Being the other woman at 16 is about as evil as I get.

But I guess it doesn't count if my friend changed her mind by that time.

J.L. Johnson said...

Happy Aniversary! Wow, 35 years, that's incrfedible.

As for the story of Husband and I, well, we met when he was still married to his first wife. She and I worked together. It was a few years after they divorced that we got together. Our first date was New Year's Eve 1992. We moved in together that April and were married that November. It'll be 17 years next month.

Maria Zannini said...


Ref: ...I figured the odds of finding anyone who would fit my cantankerous personality better were slim.

Oh, this was us too. We always say we got married because no one else would have us. :o)

I love your story. I love all these stories.

Maria Zannini said...

Lia: I have a feeling you have him trained too. LOL.

I'm so glad you found each other and he treats you better than that bad boyfriend.

We all deserve people who love us and respect us for who we are. May you have a long and happy marriage!

Maria Zannini said...

Jannette: That's amazing! You met your future husband while he was married to someone else.

At 17 years, it sounds like he definitely got it right the second time.

Good for you! Glad you found each other.

Liz Fichera said...

Happy Anniversary! And what a great story. *clinks champagne glass*

Sue Guiney said...

A wonderful story! Not many people can boast of loving the same person for 35 years. How lucky you are -- and wise to have realized you were right for each other from the start. I thought my husband was a jerk, too, when I first met him in graduate school -- an arrogant, self-important, "dig me" type. We've been married now 28 years. You never know....

Marianne Arkins said...

VERY cute story :-)

DH and I are terrifically mis-matched, but it seems to work for us, or has for 16 years (no one thought we'd make it ... in fact, his brother advised him to break it off THE MORNING OF OUR WEDDING -- that didn't endear me to my in-laws much).

I wrote a fictionalized account of our meeting as a free read (which is remarkably close to the real thing). I'm too lazy to recount it here, but if you want to read it, it's here:

Happy 35th ... wishing you 35 more! *G*

Shirley Wells said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing.

Happy 35th anniversary. Here's to the next 35 years!

Renee Miller said...

Awesome story, Maria. I wish mine was as romantic. I met Kurt ten years ago at a bar. One of my best friends is married to Kurt's cousin and she decided I'd played the single mother long enough. She dragged me out (okay, so it wasn't so much dragging as 'hey, let's get drunk' and then 'sure, I'm in.')

He was the most obnoxious, hilarious, loud and rude man I'd ever met in my life. I was hooked. He asked, as I was leaving rather early in his opinion, if he could call me sometime. I was probably too eager in giving him my number because he didn't call me for a couple of weeks.

My friend, bless her, told him if he didn't call me, he'd lose his chance and that was enough. He called, I was moving the day he called, trying to talk and haul furniture up and down the stairs, and somehow managed to move in soon after.

Funny thing is, the night we met, my friend made me a bet. If Kurt and I 'clicked', she wanted one of our kids named after her. I was like, "I am not having any more kids with anyone." My youngest is named after her.

Maria Zannini said...

Thank you, Liz!

Maria Zannini said...

Sue, I have a theory about brash and arrogant men. I think we deliberately look for them because we want self confident mates.

I wouldn't want mine any other way.

Congrats on your 28 years!

Maria Zannini said...

Marianne: Your brother in law tried to break it off? Holy moley, he'd be in my gun sights. LOL.

At least you proved him wrong.

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Shirley. We'll be a couple of pretty old people should we make it another 35, but I say in for a penny, in for a pound. I'm game if he is. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Renee, that is so sweet!

I'm glad your friend 'dragged' you out to that bar. It was meant to be.

Thanks for sharing your story!

Stacy said...

Happy Anniversary Maria! That is a terrific story. Romantic and so sweet. Tom and I met at a party - just a few weeks after we'd both ended long term relationships. We were engaged in 4 months - and I'm NOT the impulsive type but we both recognized a good thing right away. It's been 23 years and I still feel like I found the best guy ever. Life is funny like that and wonderful too.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: 4 months! Now that is scandalous. LOL!

I know what you mean about knowing the right one when you see him.

Congrats on your 23 years!

Tia Nevitt said...

Happy (belated) anniversary! What an adorable story.

I met my husband on the flightline, in the military. He was one of the only guys in the flight who didn't laugh at that cute, innocent girl who was totally out of place in that rough-cut environment.