The evening of the party — April 1, 2000 — arrived, and, with it, the sad news that my two companions had to bail. So I faced an introvert's dilemma: do I attend this party, where I'll have to make small talk with strangers and will probably have a crappy time ... or do I stay home, watching reruns of Cheers and Thirtysomething?
|The Constitution (aka Tormentor of Coal Harbour Rowers!)|
I brought along a salad (in my memory, it's some kind of jelly salad, which, if true, is pretty funny), and I stationed myself at the food table, making dreaded small talk and keeping my hands busy with celery sticks and dip.
It wasn't long before I caught a reference to Montreal (my birthplace and early childhood home) in a nearby conversation. Spurring myself to make at least one sincere social attempt before hightailing it back to my television, I went over and said something really witty and sexy, like, "Hi, I heard you guys talking about Montreal ...."
|Social Distancing Stick|
|Chica, the True Carnivores shop dog, trying to explain what's going on|
In the days that followed, I found myself thinking about the charming and dashing Paul with some regularity. Knowing his last name from his stories, I looked him up in the phone book (yes! the PHONE BOOK!!) and started wondering if I should perhaps just call him up and — O, introvert's dilemma! — ask him out.
I'm pretty confident I would have done the deed. But he beat me to it. Despite my (clueless, not intentional) failure to mention my own last name the night of the party, Paul employed spectacular sleuthing skills and left a message for me at work (given those skills, it's a really good thing he's not a creepy stalker!). We went on a date ... then another ... and another ... and now ...
... two decades later, in this Age of Isolation, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be quarantined with.
So — John L., wherever you are ... thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for inviting me to your party.
|Mt. Gardner, Bowen Island, March 4/20|