How We Met
The probability of two soulmates meeting in this lifetime is slim. I’m grateful every day that I beat that statistic. Our lives had always crossed paths, from living in the same area, to going to the same stores, but we had never connected before. That might be because of the 11 year age difference, but who’s counting! I worked at a family owned company, and the accounting manager, Frank, knew I was playing piano in his cousin’s wedding and suggested I come to the reception after dinner where I could meet his brother, Sal. I refused, as I was no wedding crasher. About a month later, we were at a company bowling party. Frank brought up his brother again. “He really just needs to get out there and find a girl.” I wondered what made him think I was a good fit for his brother, and I expressed my hesitation. Frank found a picture of Sal on Facebook. My eyes widened. This. Guy. Was. Handsome. I agreed to go on a date with him. Yes, this sounds shallow, but I can tell from a picture when someone is nice and genuine, and Sal exuded both. A couple of days later, Frank forwarded me Sal’s e-mail address. I dreaded the thought of having to reach out to him. Shouldn’t that be the man’s job? Breaking the stereotype, I e-mailed him, and then the next day asked him out on our impromptu first date.
I got there early, and Sal embraced me upon reaching me (another shocker, as I am not a hugger, especially with people I’ve just met). This further proved my assessment that Sal was definitely different from the rest. The conversation flowed for three and a half hours, until the night had wound down and it was past midnight. We were parked on opposite sides of the bar, so I drove Sal to the other side where his car was. He humored me by letting me check out his Lexus RX-330. Yes, this guy was handsome, smart, funny, AND put together and responsible. It was almost too good to be true. Leaning against my car in the calm summer night, I laid the bait. “Frank said you probably wouldn’t kiss me until the 3rd date.” “Well, I’ll prove him wrong,” as he cupped my face in his hand and kissed me gently. Yes, I was a sucker for this man, even on the first date. I drove home with a smile on my face, questioning if he was too good to be true, worrying that he was too good for me. Three years later, it’s safe to assume neither of those are true.
how they asked
I always joked that I knew when Sal would propose because usually no one can keep a surprise from me. Friday, December 16th 2016, was a different story. My best friend Georgia had asked me a few days before if I would be willing to go to the Art Museum with her because she had a class assignment. I had never been a big art fan, but agreed to go. I asked if I could bring my daughter Natalie, but she said it might get too late. Feeling bad, I asked Sal if he would be willing to watch Natalie so I could go. Of course, he enthusiastically agreed. That day, it started snowing in the afternoon, and we were expected to get as much as a foot of snow. We were still on schedule to go to the museum, and internally I grumbled about venturing out in the lovely Wisconsin weather. Georgia came to pick me up, and I said goodbye to my family, promising to be home soon. The roads were snowy, but we finally made it. I had left my glasses in the car and couldn’t see long distances. Georgia said she had a friend who had told her she should go see a particular exhibit but was still getting back to her on the room number.
Finally, that text was received and we made our way to the room. We also got lost on the way and had to ask for directions. A worker mentioned something about mannequins and pointed us toward room K218. Georgia opened the door. “Wow, that mannequin looks a lot like Sal!” I exclaimed. Then the mannequin waved and said “hello!” It was Sal, dressed in a suit! My eyes widened in shock. He told me Natalie was with his parents and he had a special exhibit for me to see. He held up poster boards and asked me to read them out loud. 17 poster boards, with pictures of us and everything he loved about me written out. The 17th poster board said “Today I am here to get down on one knee and ask you…” and as I read it, he knelt down and asked me to marry him. I was definitely surprised, but I knew my answer was yes!