Who knew boarding a flight 23 years ago in my blue sweat suit (think 1980’s wear) would change my entire life? Certainly not me, or I might have dressed a bit snappier and put on a smidge of makeup and perfume. But I had reached that elusive place of peace in my quickly-nearing-explosion biological countdown when I figured that if the right guy were to come along, I best relax a bit and calm down.
So calm down I did, donning one of the ugliest outfits I had for sheer comfort. Then, in walks my seatmate for our eight-hour flight, and we commence what could be termed a date—dinner, movie, etc. There were way too many intelligent conversations, laughs and glasses of wine, and the next thing I knew, the sun was coming up on our trans-Atlantic flight, and I didn’t want the fun to end. He was returning home to Germany, and I would eventually return home to Kansas City—worlds apart.
He called a week later asking if he could come to visit for Christmas in a couple of weeks. “Sure!” I answered, not knowing how many martinis it would take to enlighten my parents of this impending event. So I commenced, “I am 29 years old, you have trusted me this long, blah, blah, blah.” Their shock equaled my freak-out. I’d known him for eight hours. When I went to the airport—in a much spiffier outfit—I actually wondered if I would recognize the gentleman who had wooed me weeks before. I had already endured all of the “Are you CRAZY?” comments from friends, so I took my chances that he would at least look familiar.
Honeymoon is the word we use for those two weeks of Christmas bliss. Without question, we would end up together, so two years of trans-Atlantic, pre-Internet, large phone bill dating ensued. There were some language and culture barriers to overcome, and fortunately for my non-German speaking self, he was excited to move to the States. We were married two years after meeting, and immediately moved to California for his engineering job. Now, I have to giggle at people with text and Skype who complain about having to endure long-distance relationships from New York to Boston.
Love at first sight does happen, and sometimes it comes in a big old jumbo jet of a package. We are ready to celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary and have two wonderful teenagers. Maybe the blue sweat suit wasn’t such a bad choice after all.