I work in corporate America, where large meetings are common. If you’ve worked in this environment for any amount of time, you likely know your fellow meeting attendees well. But sometimes you find yourselves in a room large enough and full enough of near strangers that the organizer requires you participate in an icebreaker. I can hear y’all groaning. Yeah, sometimes they’re superficial and boring. But sometimes you get great insight into people. This particular one made me think about my marriage differently and several people came up to me afterward and said they could never have imagined what a romantic I was. (Xena, Warrior Princess is warmer and fuzzier.) Here’s the icebreaker question and my answer.
Question: If you had a chance to do over one day in your life (a la Groundhog Day), what day would it be?
I’ve already had my do-over. It was Memorial Day weekend, 1986. I was working two jobs at the time, daytime in an office and nighttime, cocktail waitressing in a sports bar. I had student loans and in those days, you could actually pay them off if you took a parttime job. These days, not so much, right?
Anyway, back to my story. It was Friday night and I was working my tables. Sitting at the bar was a very good looking guy. Of course, all I could do was watch since he wasn’t in my section. The joint was jumping but I managed to keep an eye on him and was so, so disappointed to see that he appeared to be on a date. She was really cute and they looked like they were having a great time given how often they laughed. By the time the bar closed, they were gone. It might have ended there except for Mr. Good Looking’s interest in soccer.
The next afternoon, I was back at work. It was a gorgeous May Saturday and if I could have stayed by the pool, I would have. Imagine how happy I was to get to work and see Mr. Good Looking back in the bar. This time, though, he wasn’t AT the bar, he was at one of MY tables. Even if he was taken, there was no harm talking to him, right? He was nice, he was funny, he was charming. He said he’d come back because he was looking for a place to watch the upcoming World Cup games. (This was back in the day before ginormous big screens and a gazillion sports channels, so you had to go to a bar to watch.) Oh, and, come to find out, his ‘date’ the night before was his sister-in-law. And he’d come back because he’d seen me waiting tables the night before.
He spent the afternoon, watching sports and talking to me; I had the early shift and I didn’t have to close. We had our first date that night and have been best friends ever since.
So now you know my Groundhog story. Martin & I were married about two years later (April 1, 1988 – yeah, April Fool’s Day – warned ya about my missing romance gene). We have two beautiful boys and 27 years of memories.
What day would you want to do over?