February 14, 2012

How I Met My Wife

I stated last week that I'd explain how I met my wife.  I promise to not make it as long-winded as How I Met Your Mother.

Boise officially became my home on December 31st, 1999 when I left the Air Force after completing my second enlistment.  My goal was to join the Idaho Air National Guard because they had just formed a TACP.  The National Guard wouldn't take me because evidently I was not out-processed from the air Force with a proper physical, and they wouldn't get me in to have the physical done for around 45 days.  Being upset at the time, I said "screw it, I'm going to try civilian life for a while".  It took me a while to find a decent job, but eventually I started working at Fred Meyer and was able to get into their management training program.

On my first day in the program I met Carolyn Prange.  She was in the program also, but for a different department.  She was wearing a red outfit that I could only describe as some sort of woman's business suit.  To this day I don't get women's fashions so I won't pretend to have a clue.  I can tell you what I like and don't like and I liked what I saw.  Stunning is the only word that comes to mind.

This was in May of 2000.  I saw Carolyn around the store off and on during the summer and we flirted a bit going into the holiday season.  Back in the day the holidays really sucked for management.  I'm sure they still are bad for employees, but back then I know it was even worse because the worked the managers like dogs.  I regularly had 60+ hours a week working five days a week while the salaried managers had to work six days a week.  Don't get me wrong....I loved the overtime, but that time was a bit of a blur.  Carolyn was transferred to another store in early January and now that she wasn't at store 439 I figured I could ask her out.  Technically I could have done so earlier since we worked different departments, but that didn't seem right to me.

I asked a mutual friend for her number and I tried calling her when I knew she would be off work.  Now both of us normally worked closing shifts so I was calling a lot around midnight and later in the mornings on the weekends I knew she was off.  No matter how often I called, I couldn't get in touch with her.  My guess was that her phone didn't work.  She had this antiquated flip phone that was from the early 90's.  It was a POS.  Eventually I called during normal hours on a weekday and got through.....to a print shop in downtown Boise.  It was not a dialing error on my part.

I went back to our mutual friend and asked why she gave me a bum number.  Her response was one of shock.  "You haven't called her yet, she was expecting your call?!"  Of course I hadn't......wait, what....she knew I was calling?  Evidently our friend had first called Carolyn and asked if it was ok for her to give me her number.  That was about three weeks ago.  I figured that I had really screwed the pooch on this one.

Carolyn was working at the Meridian store.  Pretty much across the street was this flower shop called Petals & Stems.  I went over there on the 5th of February and ordered a dozen roses to be delivered to her store the next day.  Now if you've ever been in a business when someone gets flowers, the delivery isn't exactly a secret.  Within five minutes everybody knows who just had flowers delivered and if the front desk person is nosy, within ten minutes everyone knows who they are from.  These weren't cheap roses......I had to pay the Valentine's Day price.  What I did at that time was take one rose now and asked for the other eleven to be delivered.  The enclosed card simply said, "Missing Something?" and my phone number.

It was my assumption that it would be noticed that it wasn't a dozen roses and that I'd get the chance to present her with the final rose, preferably on a date.  All I had to do was wait for the call.

The call never came.

Months later I was sent over to the Meridian store to assist the HOM department there for some reason and I ran into Carolyn.  I managed to ask her out in person, which is pretty much a no-no in my book (because it was while we were both working), and she agreed to a movie.

Between this attempt to ask her out and me asking her to marry me on the same date a year later, this is why we don't celebrate Valentines Day, but February 6th.

1 comment:

JediSoth said...

Nice story. Despite all the SNAFUs, it's great that everything worked out for you.

And kudos on displaying more brevity than "How I Met Your Mother."