Cards On The Table
The True Story of How My Wife Got Drunk and Asked Me Out
Back before she became The Wife, she was merely someone I had met through mutual friends. I was instantly attracted to her as I found her to be smart, funny, attractive, and fiercely independent – all important qualities in any human, in my opinion. I was recently divorced and not looking for a serious relationship and she was already dating somebody else so we settled in nicely as friends. Our paths crossed often and they were all enjoyable encounters but I never gave anything more much thought.
This went on for about a year or so and every time I was left thinking that if I ever met someone else like her, I might reconsider my vow to never engage in a long term relationship for the rest of my days on earth. The emphasis on “someone like her” and not actually “her” was established for good reason.
Over the year of getting to know Future Wife, one fairly significant character flaw was grossly apparent: She was primarily attracted to douche bags. I don’t mean the run of the mill, that guy is kind of a jerk, type of guys - I mean all out flaming douche bags and generally terrible people. She was dating one when we met, I sat on the sidelines as she dated others after him, and she had more than her share of stories about douche bags from her past. It was obvious to me that being a douche bag was a prerequisite for dating this otherwise phenomenal woman so I never considered myself a potential candidate for her affection.
So it went until one fateful Saturday evening in 2009 when we ran into each other at one of our local watering holes. Things went as they always did as we laughed, listened to a band, and casually enjoyed each other’s company. It was as I was about to take my leave that she stood from her seat and told me to wait a moment.
“I’m going to lay my cards on the table,” she said, swaying with all the uncertainty of someone who had started their evening much earlier than I had. She paused for a moment before she followed this statement by sweeping her arm across the bar, sending salt and pepper shakers, a menu, and those little cards that list the weekly specials flying across the room. I could not help but assume that she had actual cards that she needed to make room for but, alas, she was just being dramatic.
“I really like you and I think you like me and I think we should go out on a date and see what happens,” she blurted out.
This was unexpected to say the least. I had spent so much time wondering if I would ever meet someone like her that I completely wrote off any possibility of ever landing a real date with actual her. Yet, here it was and I could not help but wonder “Wait, does this mean I am a douche bag?” I powered through this momentary pause and told her I was completely on board with her suggestion. We agreed to go out to dinner on Tuesday and parted ways in a bit of a daze.
I woke up the next day slightly foggy headed from the night before, half wondering if the evening’s events had actually taken place. Worried that I had either dreamt the incident or that she was waking up to an “I got drunk and asked out who?” sort of realization, I gave her a call. Much to my continued surprise, she was still seemingly interested in me when she was sober. Plans were made and Tuesday would not come soon enough.
The following Tuesday evening I enjoyed the last first date of my life. We enjoyed a great meal with a bottle of wine, moved to the bar for post-dinner cocktails, and true to the unpredictability that would come to define our relationship, turned things into a double date with a local radiologist and his wife, simply because they insisted on crashing our party. We could not take each other’s eyes off of each other the entire time and, despite it being a first date, I realized I had never felt this way about another human being in my life.
I came to find out later that Future Wife had a sign hanging on her refrigerator at home. That sign held a date that was just a couple of months away and was going to be the day she would quit her job in Anderson, South Carolina and move back home to her friends and family in Houston, Texas. I also found out that this promise to herself was removed from her refrigerator door just a few days after our first date. I have spent the entirety of the last ten years since making sure she would never have second thoughts about that decision. She’s still around so I guess I am doing ok.
Sometimes you have to get a little drunk and lay your cards on the table, I suppose. It turns out you don’t even need actual cards as long as you are speaking from the heart.