I met my husband in August 2004. I actually remember the first time I talked to him– but not because it was some beautiful, angels come down singing out of the clouds or anything like that, and I guarantee that Mitch has forgotten all about it. I really only remember it because I laughed about it with my friends later, at Mitch’s expense.
I was 20, a junior in college, president of the concert choir at my college– which, obviously, made me the most important person in the world. In fact, when I rewind memories from that year, it’s almost hard to see anything else because I have to look around the giant chip on my shoulder. Probably they could see my head from space. It’s possible that small children seeking shade would rest beneath the shadow cast from my enormously inflated ego, where the temperature had to be at least 20 degrees cooler, since the sun was no competition for my frenzied self-importance.
One of the super duper important duties that I had as concert choir president was to order polos for everyone that had our concert choir logo on it so that we all matched when we went to places to perform. This was oh-so-important. And of course– every year– those silly freshmen just didn’t quite comprehend just how important it was that we all have POLOS THAT MATCH. OTHERWISE, WHEN WE PERFORM, WE WILL LOOK SOOO SOOO DUMB AND THEY MIGHT THINK WE ARE ACTUALLY JUST A BUNCH OF COLLEGE KIDS, FAKING IT LIKE WE ARE PROS. SOME OF THOSE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MIGHT SUDDENLY REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL REALLY ONLY ABOUT 16 MONTHS OLDER THAN THEM AND ONLY SLIGHTLY SMARTER. THE FACADE WOULD BE SOOOO BROKEN!
And THAT, my friends, would have been the REAL tragedy.
So on this day in fall of 2004, I happened to make some big announcement about how I was going to personally hunt down every single person who still owed me 23.50 for polos. They were all freshmen. And one of them was Mitch.
I’d never talked to Mitch before, but I had noticed him. This is because my friend Heidi and I were talking about how when we travel to other schools we always check out the guys in the other choirs, like all music students who are very serious about their craft. “Who would you check out, if you were visiting here?” I asked her, and we both looked back dubiously over our hunting grounds.
“Mitch, in the tenor section.” She said, pointing with her chin him, who at this point was in the middle of some song that I can’t remember. Sometimes I like to make believe like they were singing something totally heavenly, so that at least I can have THAT part of the Disney miracle that we were all promised as children. Probably they were singing scales. “See him?”
Well, of course I could see him. The kid was a giant. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the choir, one of those guys that my Dad would have called a brick-shit-house. Broad shoulders, muscles, the whole bit– looked like a football player. Super blonde. Lifted his eyebrows and tilted his chin down when he sang, and produced a really very impressive tenor tone, you know, for a freshman non-major. That’s the kind of crap that us music students said to each other to disguise the fact that most of us felt extremely inadequate, because we had no fall-back and were only slightly better than most people at our chosen career. I’m not so self-deprecating to say that I’m not a good singer, because I know that I am, but it was always a little disheartening when someone like Mitch came along; some kid who was so good at SOMETHING ELSE that he chose to make a career out of it, but who also just so happened to be so chock full of musical talent that he thought he’d sing in a very selective choir JUST FOR FUN.
Had I known I was going to reproduce with the guy, I would have been much more excited about this find.
But none of that was really what I noticed about him that day. When he lifted his eyebrows, even from the cheap seats I could see that he had the most piercing, sincere blue eyes I’d ever seen. He caught us looking at him, glanced in our direction, caught my eye, and then looked back at the conductor.
“Yup.” I said, staring a little dreamily at my future husband. “I see him.”
A few weeks later, I marched up to him, carrying a clip board. A clip board, for God’s sake. His name was on my list– highlighted– because he hadn’t paid for HIS POLO. EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ONE HANGING IN HIS CLOSET. It was almost enough to make my concert choir president head explode, and all those small children resting in the shade of my huge ego would have to go seeking shelter elsewhere.
He was standing in the auditorium with the director and some other guy. But I’m the lady with the ginormously important job, right? I have NO PROBLEM interrupting ANYONE.
So I looked up at him. “Mitch,” I said, “You haven’t paid for your polo yet. I need that money asap.” I actually freaking said ASAP like it was a word, like the syrup that comes off of trees. And I wasn’t kidding. Like I said, I am sure that Mitch has forgotten about this encounter, because if he hadn’t, he would have fallen on the floor laughing when the thought of dating me crossed his mind. Unless he has a thing for clipboards and bossy ladies. Which is possible.
“Oh.” He said, this poor kid. While the choir director and some other guy looked at us. So Mitch turned around and said, “Dad… can I have 23.50?”And this other guy– who I now realized was very obviously definitely related to Mitch– reached into his pocket for some money.
I didn’t know I was going to marry the kid. I still operating under ‘THE PLAN’ wherein I would be moving to Italy in the next few months and learning how to write sonnets in a leather bound journal while looking very pensive and important. But even if I did, I still probably would have hassled him about my damn 23.50. But maybe I would have pretended not to notice when he had to ask his Dad for it. And probably, I would have had the grace not to tell my girlfriends about it at lunch that day, laughing over my french fries at how embarrassed the freshman was, while I sat there with his Dad’s check folded in my pocket.
Not exactly the Disney Miracle that we’ve all been raised to look for. But I’d take my love story any day. When they cast the voice-over, I’m hoping for someone who sounds hot…. and not bossy.