It was June 30, 1992. Almost Canada Day. Blue skies, bright sun, cool breeze. I had been dating this guy for years, what seemed like forever, and we were finally at the end of the road. We both knew it. Eventually, we made a date to hammer the final nail in the proverbial coffin, and lo and behold, the bastard stood me up. Pissed off, I got in my car to embark on a search for him, driving, shall we say, a little (OK, a lot) aggressively.
As I headed north, I happened upon a convertible with a vanity licence plate. Inside were two good looking guys and a couch sticking straight up out of the back seat. The joker driving was booting it fast, and he wouldn’t let me pass. Infuriating.
When we pulled up to a red light, they cat called me, and I turned and glared at them, then started laughing. It struck me as absurd. Here I was, on a mission to break up with a guy who stood me up, and at the same time, these two were trying to pick me up. Then the blond driver yelled out in an English accent: What are you doing Saturday? Are you from Quebec? Because you drive like you are.
We continued to chit chat until the light turned green. They continued to keep pace with me, which was quite a feat with my speeding and their not-so-aerodynamic love seat. At the next light, they asked my name and asked again if I was free Saturday. The cat-and-mouse game continued for several lights. Finally, they stopped and handed me a piece of paper. On it was a phone number and the words Alan Morris, party Saturday, please come and they pulled a U-turn and disappeared.
I kept heading north, sure I would soon locate my almost-ex boyfriend, and I did. Now, it was my turn to U-turn.
I pulled up next to his big-ass motorcycle and glared, shooting laser beams of death at him. After we made eye contact, we drag raced the entire way home. We then proceeded to break up and he packed up his stuff and left. I felt exhilarated. The next day, still on a high, I called Alan Morris, of the couch moving convertible.
I had no idea which guy it was, since they had never told me their names. If it turned out I wasn’t interested, I figured I could try and sell him a membership to the health club I was working at. After all, a lead is a lead. So I called up the mysterious Alan, and got the answering machine, sporting the blond guy’s English accent. I left a message saying only this: How is it I drive like a Quebec-er?
No name, no phone number, nothing.
I called back the next day, and he answered. I said: Hi Alan! He responded with Hi Danielle!
These were pre caller ID days. He simply recognized my voice. We chatted for a while, and he asked me to dinner the next night. He said he would pick me up, but I wasn’t about to give my address to a stranger and be reliant on him to drive me anywhere. That didn’t seem safe.
We met at the Keg for drinks at 10 pm, and ended up closing down the place. We had so much in common, and we even realized we had met once before, when I was 16. We knew many people in common, too. When we finally left the restaurant with plans to meet again, he pecked my cheek, said It was nice meeting you, and practically ran for his car.
That was almost 24 years ago. Within five weeks, we were practically living together. Two and half years later, on Valentine’s Day, he put an ad in the classified section of the Toronto Star asking me to marry him. Three years from the day we met on the road was our wedding.
We Jews have a term for how we met. It is B’shert, which means destined. Every year on our anniversary, we celebrate our destiny with fireworks. I still have that little piece of paper inviting me to the Saturday party.
The greatest irony? We met because we were both driving like assholes. In fact, it is now the biggest bone of contention between us: his driving. It scares the crap out of me, and it is one of the few things we really fight about, other than how messy he can leave a kitchen. In the end, I guess I was able to take the man out of the race, but I’ll never take the race out of the man. He got me, after all.
Danielle Swimmer Morris is the author of the blog Swim In the Kitchen and the children’s book The Spicy Princess. She is The Management a facebook page of Uncommon Sense for the Moronic Masses. She is also: Wife. Mother. Friend. Reader. Writer. Real Estate Agent. Cook. Baker. Innovator. Experimentor. Traveller. Not necessarily in that order. She can be found in Toronto, Canada, probably wearing an apron or staring longingly at high heels, or lamenting the size of her ass. Sometimes all three.