Under Fluorescent Lights
Like a lot of people, I met my husband at work. But this wasn’t a nice, sweet office romance amid copy machines and supply closets. When we met, we were both working at the worst job I’d ever had.
I was employed at a circuit board factory, working a shift from 6pm to 6am; surrounded for twelve hours a night with soul-sucking fluorescent lights, constant noise from machinery that ran without letup, and insane people who couldn’t find a decent job anywhere else.
I was working there because I’d just moved to town. I went to a temp agency and asked them for whatever they had—and they sent me to the factory. My husband was going to school full time during the day and needed to support himself, so he was working all night and trying to maintain a full course load at the university.
We instantly recognized each other as the only sane people in the entire place, and started hanging out at lunch and on breaks in a friendly sort of way. I thought he was out of my league: he was very sweet and handsome and really smart. I held out a candle that he might ask me out sometime, but weeks went by and he never did.
Finally, the woman who I was working next to got tired of listening to me moon over him and one night she marched over and told him he needed a good woman to take care of him—and she knew one who was willing and able!
While I was embarrassed, I was also relieved. If it hadn’t been for her, we may have never managed to go on our first date. The next week, I was working at my station and suddenly he appeared next to me. I jumped a little but I knew this was “it”, so I tried to give him an encouraging smile.
He squatted down next to me and began to make small talk. “How are you…what’s been going on…I’ve been busy…etc.” Then he said, “So…I was thinking I’d just see a movie this weekend…do you think you might want to…come with me?”
I said, “Yes!”
He said, “Yes?!”
I laughed and said, “Yeah, I would love to!”
“Great!” he said, jumping up, “I’ll give you a call then.” And off he ran.
Fifteen minutes later he came back. “Could I, uh…get your phone number?”
Our official first date was planned for Saturday night. The night before he called me at home and we talked about what movie we would see, and where we’d go. Then he said, “So what are you doing right now?”
I wasn’t doing anything…and we decided we’d just go have a cup of coffee right then.
That cup of coffee turned in to five hours of non-stop talk. We immediately dispensed with the “goo goo eyes” and started talking about big stuff: religion, family, education, money, and politics.
The next night, he picked me up and we went to a movie. (Incidentally, it was Office Space). Afterward we went down to another coffee shop by the lake. We talked and took a walk, and he kissed me on one of the docks. It was all so simple and sweet, and in a way, very old-fashioned.
That night, I went home and had a dream. The entire dream was a single, powerful scene. He and I were standing together, with both of our hands resting on my enormous pregnant belly. We were smiling at each other and I felt blissfully happy. When I woke up, I knew I was going to marry him.
Three months later, we were engaged. Six months later we were married. Nine years later, we’re still married. He graduated, we both found infinitely better jobs, and we had a set of twins.
Looking back, I am shocked at how quickly it all happened. My entire life changed in less than a year, and since that time things have only gotten better.
When it’s right, it’s right. What they say is true: You just KNOW when you meet the person you’re going to be with for the rest of your life.
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