I know you’ve heard those stories about people locking eyes across a crowded room? Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away (meaning before I got married). I had moved to New Orleans to work for my brother.
I lived in an apartment complex in New Orleans East and they had one of those big “meet your neighbor” parties. My brother went with me and stayed for a while because I was afraid to go by myself because I didn’t know anyone there and contrary to popular belief I can be somewhat shy at times. As soon as I walked into the clubhouse I saw standing on the steps this tall dark and handsome gentleman that set my heart aflutter!
When I walked in he looked up and we exchanged a look and a smile but then he went downstairs I guess to get another beer. All night long we watched each other but never actually spoke. As the party was ending one of my neighbors asked if there was anyone I wanted to meet and I said yes and pointed to my mystery man. She said she didn’t know him but would introduce us anyway. We waited and waited and he was talking to a couple there. And we waited some more. Then they turned out the lights and we STILL hadn’t spoken… so I told my neighbor that it was his loss and if it was meant to be I’d see him again. I called my mom and we had the following conversation:
Me: Mom, I “met” this man and if I ever see him again, I’m going to marry him.
Mom: What’s his name?
Me: I don’t know.
Mom: What does he do?
Me: I don’t know.
Mom: Is he married?
Me: I don’t know.
Mom: Are you drunk or doing drugs?
Me: No, Ma’am. I just have this feeling that if I EVER see him again, I’m going to marry him.
My mom thought I was totally crazy and so did everyone else I told this too (My brother, his wife, my sister, anyone who would listen, etc.). So, every evening I would come home from work and drive around the parking lot because I knew he probably lived there since it was a “meet your neighbor” party. No such luck. I probably did that for several weeks. Yeah, I know. I was stalking before stalking was cool! LOL
Anyway, about a month later, I went to this cafeteria style restaurant with my brother, SIL and nephew. We‘re going down the line when I look up and THERE HE IS, behind the line! I grabbed SIL’s arm and said “That’s HIM!”
Me: The guy I told you I was gonna MARRY if I ever saw again? From that party?
My sweet brother turns around and goes “OH… this is gonna be good! I gotta see THIS!”
Me, being the cool (haha) confident (bigger haha) chick that I was caught his eye across the line and smiled and then said “Don’t you live at *** Apartments?”
HIM: Yeah, how’d you know that?
ME: I thought I saw you at a party there about a month ago… (I was SO cool …)
HIM: Oh, I don’t remember. I was probably drunk.
My brother turned to me and smirked and said “Yea, baby… he really likes YOU. What are you gonna do NOW?”
Brothers can be SUCH jerks, can’t they?
So started our little routine. EVERY week at least once a week I made my brother take me to this cafeteria whether he wanted to or not. Every time I’d make some kind of small talk but never with a lot of response but I was NOTHING if not persistent. In the meantime, I would inquire of the girls who worked there if he was married, dating, etc. Despite my best efforts he would NOT ask me out! Wreaks havoc on a girls confidence, I tell ya!
Once, we were eating and there was a black lump in my mashed potatoes so my bro, just so he could further torment me, called him over and told him there was something in it. He picked it up, looked at it, fairly threw it back on the table, glared at bro and practically growled “It’s the EYE of the potato!” and stormed off.
Bro thought it was hilarious… me, not so much. This little cat n mouse stalking game went on literally for a couple months. Finally, one July Saturday afternoon (July 11th, I remember) SIL and I had taken my nephew to the circus and stopped there for an early dinner on the way home.
We’re sitting there eating and the waitress comes up and asks for my check, mumbles “Uh, huh, just what I thought. I’ll be right back.” What the….??? She returns a couple minutes later and hands me my ticket and written on it was “COMP MEAL…. Please come back and see me when I have time to talk to you.” S C O R E! ! ! ! !
I was so happy I think I danced all the way home! I did call once I got home because I didn’t know when he had time to talk and told him SIL and myself would be at a local bar that night and what time and lo and behold he actually showed up! On time! And the rest is history…. This is five months later:
Oh, as a footnote, the reason he was being so mean is he thought bro was my boyfriend and that I was trying to throw him in his face! Bless his heart. And 28 years later:I guess he’s not too upset that I stalked him, huh?