Get yourself a cup of coffee, sit back and relax because this is going to be a long one. This is the story I promised awhile ago, the story of how I met Luisa... I saw Luisa for the first time at an Indigo Girls' concert. Yes, the Indigo Girls - because as much as lesbians hate stereotypes, sometimes they exist for a reason. I was at the concert with my recent ex-girlfriend, the Mistress of the Flans. We were in that "Determined To Be Best Friends" phase which, for those of you who don't know how lesbians do break-ups, comes after the "Let's Break-Up But Still Have Sex With Each Other" phase. So, there we were, sitting tensely next to each other and smiling awkwardly. We were saved from ourselves when this adorable woman bounded up to us and greeted my ex. She was wearing a navy blue sweatshirt, jeans and a blue and red baseball hat (forwards, not backwards). She had the most amazing smile, gleeful and open. She wasn't sly or trying to play cool and I could think of only two things:
1)I want this woman to smile at me like that.
2)Why does my ex know all the cute girls?
We were introduced and exchanged pleasantries before she returned to her seat. I should mention at this point that Luisa has absolutely no recollection of meeting me at that concert. Don't you love it when you have this moment with another person that makes an impression on you and they don't even remember that you were there? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, I turned to my ex and commented on how attractive Luisa was and I remember her saying, "She is a very serious student" and I thought, "A serious student...how hot!" Seriously! How hot is a master's level mathematician? I was intrigued and wanted to see her again. My ex kindly offered to invite Luisa to a party she was having a couple weeks later and the concert was so much more enjoyable after that.
The day of the party arrived and I went with a good friend of mine. I had one purpose - to see Luisa and get her phone number and my friend agreed to do whatever needed to assist in that endeavor. When we arrived fashionably late, however, Luisa was not there. I held out hope at first but, as the night wore on and hope faded, I busied myself with the drinking of beer. Quite a bit of beer, I believe. It was in this state that I decided to do the infamous noodle trick. I was standing in the kitchen near a big pot of boiling water, surrounded by the few people interested in the trick, when Luisa walked into the room. She was as cute as I remembered but I could tell she was nervous. I poked my friend and subtly pointed Luisa out to her which would be my last subtlety of the night. My friend begged me to abort my plan to do the noodle trick. She thought it repulsive and unlikely to impress a cute girl. I laughed off her concerns and insisted that this would be memorable. Just like that, I was standing in a roomful of people shoving a wet piece of spaghetti up one nostril, hacking and gagging until the end emerged from the back of my throat. I stood in the cheering crowd with half of a piece of spaghetti hanging out of my nose and half hanging out of my mouth. I don't remember seeing Luisa at that moment but she saw me because she remembers the noodle trick with great clarity. She does not remember me singing Willie Nelson's song "Good Hearted Woman" while playing a guitar that was desperately in need of tuning. This is surprising but, ultimately, a blessing. As the party was drawing to a close, I asked Luisa if she would be interested in going two-stepping with me sometime at the local queer country bar. Let's interrupt our story here long enough to enjoy a good laugh at the words "queer" and "country bar" together. Have you wiped the tears from your eyes? Then, let's proceed. Luisa said that it sounded like fun and then we stood awkwardly nodding at each other. My friend saved the day by suggesting that we exchange numbers. If she hadn't, we might still be standing there.
I waited a few days before calling her. I didn't want to seem desperate because I had been such a model of restraint up to this point. I planned to execute the Master Trick of the Introvert - call her in the middle of the day when she would not be home so that I could simply leave a message. She ruined that plan by actually answering the phone. I was caught off guard and babbled nervously for several minutes before asking her if she would like to go dancing the following Saturday. There was silence and then she said, "I usually do my laundry on Saturday nights". I never saw that one coming. Laundry? That's all you got? In a tentative voice, I suggested that perhaps she could do her laundry on Sunday instead but she was pretty firm that Saturday was laundry day. I figured that was that and was about to hang up when she said, "Wait. I guess I could do it on Sunday..." We had a date.
Saturday arrived and I was excited. In fact, I was so excited that I decided to bake brownies for Luisa. I can't help but wonder what the hell I was thinking. Who takes baked goods on a first date? Apparently, I do. So, I made a batch of brownies, dressed in my lesbian finery and drove to campus to pick her up. After she got in the car, I handed her the big plate of brownies and said something clever like, "Hey! I made you brownies!" The expression on her face clearly said, "Who takes baked goods on a first date?" but she accepted them graciously saying, "Um...thanks?" After that, the details get fuzzy. We danced and laughed and then went to Perkins for coffee. We did not kiss. We did not eat the brownies. We did have a great time and agreed that we would see each other again sometime.
There were more dates after that first one and before April 17th, 1993, the date of our anniversary. There was the time my ex and her new girlfriend ran into us at a coffee shop and embarrassed us both with their incredibly inappropriate teasing. There was the time I thought I had invited Luisa on a date only to be confused when she brought another woman with her. Obnoxious former lovers, missed connections and misunderstandings...those will have to wait for another time.
We discussed this post last night because I needed to obtain her authorization. We negotiated the details shared here and it was not easy because Luisa doesn't particularly understand my need to write about personal things and post them for strangers to read. She's funny that way. When we had laughed at our past and reached an agreement on what I could share, I told her, "You are so lucky that I pursued you!" She said, "You are so lucky that I stayed with you!" I guess that pretty much sums up the beginning.
We have now had 15 years of good luck.