The Moment I Met My Wife

When I saw my wife for the first time, I leaned against a wall for support. She had just turned in my direction after stepping off the elevator at the far end of the otherwise unoccupied dorm floor hallway in which I was standing like the Scarecrow with dropsy.

I was twenty years old, and drunk. It was 1979. I had come to San Francisco State University after a year and half spent working the graveyard shift at the Wrigley’s Gum Factory in Santa Cruz, California.

The second I saw her I thought, “The wall! I should lean against the wall! I’ll look cool and stabilize!” So I jammed my hands into my jeans pockets, and with all the nonchalance I could muster let myself casually slump to the right.

About half-way into my lean I became aware of how long it was taking me to actually reach the wall.

Too far away! I crashed against the painted brick wall so hard I practically popped a clavicle.

By way of recovering, I quickly assumed a posture that I desperately hoped would at least impress this exquisitely beautiful girl coming towards me with how cavalierly I was daring to test the very limits of gravity.

And then she was there.

And then I wasn’t drunk any more.

Turns out you sober right up when find the future you’ve always wondered about standing right in front of you, wearing a tan overcoat and ever so slightly smiling.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • He's weird that way, isn't he…tells you stuff that you just KNOW will be.

  • Judy

    You are a fortunate man. Meeting and marrying your wife rates in the top two best things in your life. 🙂

  • You're not alone, John. The night that I met my wife, I managed to spill a cup of coffee on myself, fling the contents of my wallet all over the counter where I paid for said coffee, and didn't realize until after I had left that my pants were unzipped.

  • Christine

    Ahhhhh vthe joys of being completely embarrassed in front of the one person you want to look cool in front of (someone start singing "Memories" would you). So how did she react to you?? I mean in the long run OBVIOUSLY it all worked out but would love to hear her first impression of you.

  • Oh Christine, I think that's entirely necessary. C'mon John, let Cat give her side!

  • Christine

    HA!!! That's all I can say to that John. Come on, everyone here wants to hear it. It's not like you can go and say that you don't want to talk about personal stuff, you BLOG for goodness sake!! And it's not like we don't know any embarrassing things about you either. So you can't hold out on us Johnny Boy 😛

  • OK, fine: I'll tell you what she really thought. She felt very … FOCUSED on. She says that she was really aware that I was … definitely … what's the word … well, focusing on her.

    She was older than I, by four years. She was the star of San Francisco State's photography department, which was one of the top three such departments in America at that time. She was focused; she was smart; she lived in the darkroom. She was 24 and, been living on her own for some nine years. She was a woman; and I, at 20, was barely a man.

    But I was dang sure man enough to know my life had just changed. I don't exactly know how to say this without sounding arrogant or whatever, but …well, all my life before then pretty much all I ever cared about was girls/women. So I'd always had girlfriends, and so on. I was very comfortable at that point NOT having a girlfriend; I didn't want one, wasn't looking, was very content alone.

    But the fact that this girl was single changed everything. There was no WAY a girl like that was going to remain single for long. So I knew, right away, that I had to either board … um … buy a ticket on that plane, or let it fly off without me. So right away, I was … compelled to meld our lives. Within two days I'd basically moved into her dorm room. We've never been apart since. She was good with it. She liked me.

  • (And Christine: I do blog. But believe me, I'm VERY selective about what I do and don't blog about. Like anyone is, I imagine. Some things you share. Most you don't. Most you can't.)

  • Christine

    Ohhhh that is so sweet 🙂 (and John I know I was being facetious. I don't expect anyone to lay their soul bare where people can read and I don't expect anyone would really understand, so thank you for sharing this much with us:D)

  • Did you shave while you dated?

    Will you post a part two of your dating days?

    How about a part three of the wedding day?

    Love the story!


  • I'd love to write a post or two about my dating days—except I've never been on a date in my life. One. I went on one. That's it. So I'd be … the wrong guy to write about dating, I'm afraid!

    And did I ever do a part ONE about my wedding day? Did I … miss that? (I know I write fast, but this IS news…)

  • haha. Hysterical John. I can imagine this scene in a Friends episode somewhere. Sorry, I know a young guy like me should not be reading this but I could not resist!

  • aubreypeth

    don't worry, the impressionable youth can handle it…and I'm sure soem of us relate a bit anyways, because there are a handful who have maybe once in our lives leaned against a wall.

    I'm new to your site, and i like your words. I will be adding you to the simple and selective RSS feed of mine!

  • aubreypeth

    oops. that was a typo. I meant to say "some"…not "soem"


  • She thought I was the handsomest, smartest man she’d ever met. I’m sure that’s what she’s thought. I’m so sure of it there’s really no need at all to have her personally tell you anything about it at all.

  • Lynn

    This was a fun read John. A special memory for both of you I’m sure. I could almost imagine hearing James Taylor’s rendition of “How sweet it is to be loved by you…” drifting from the elevator into the hallway as Cat got out. Yeah, let’s hear Cat’s interpretation of your first encounter 🙂

  • Christine

    I think it was meant as part one is meeting, part two is dating and part three is wedding. And how do you have a wife whe you have never been on a date?? She must be an angel of all understanding!!

  • If you think about it, there’s a whole lot of cultural stuff that has to be in place in order for an actual “date” to happen. I never dated because I never … I don’t know … existed in a place where “dating” occurs.

    Like, with my wife. I met her; I liked her immediately; I … wanted to be her boyfriend. So I started hanging around with her. Then we were together. There’s really nowhere in there for a “date,” you know?

  • Christine

    Yeah I suppose so but maybe a ‘date’ is different in terminology in America than over here. Over here couples (as in people who are together) still go out on dates, they just can’t go out on dates with anyone else. So like me and my b/f will still go out to dinner or to the movies etc and that is considered a date but I would KILL him if he did it with another girl. In NZ there is no dating stage where you can date different people. There is together, or not together. If you are dating they are considered your man and no one, NO ONE moves in on that. Is it different there??

  • Christine

    Well, not kill him but it would put a damper on the relationship 🙂

  • Like the story of how you met your wife.

    Meet my husband after he ran me over in the cafeteria at school. Ok, I sort of knew him before but not his name. He spent the next week trying to get my attention and I spent it trying not to get run over.

  • Aubrey: Thank you so much. I really appreciate what you've said here.

    Dee: TOO FUNNY! That's as delightful a comment as I've ever gotten. Got. Had. Whatever. But I love it. Thanks!

  • hehe woah interesting tale.. that you can remember 😛

    A friend of mine actually had the same experience 🙂 only the drunk person is my friend and is a girl.. and threw up on the guy..

  • arlywn

    awwww……… john. I'm so impressed. Drinking before 21? How so non goody christian. You were living in the dark side man, lol…. did you enjoy the cookies?

  • Candace

    Back then, Arlywn, the drinking age was 18 in most places.

  • Judy

    Candace, the olden days! 😉

  • arlywn

    OMG? Are you kidding candace? That is so unfair…. Kids now..nevermind. Actually I totally understand upping the drinking age. We are morons now. lol