Wrestling With the Notion Not to Fall in Love
Movies have ruined my life; they taught me that people fall in love at the drop-of-a-hat (I should stop wearing hats). With that said, I tend to look for my ‘meet-cute’ everywhere I go. Believe it not, it’s exhausting (my apologies to people who have real-world problems). So do I stop doing it? Of course not.
I went to watch my nephew’s son (my grandnephew, I think) wrestle one morning at North Hunterdon High School here in New Jersey. Just as I was about to get out of my car, a white Jeep pulled into the spot in front of me. The Jeep’s driver and I both exited our cars at the same time (It was fate; this was the ‘meet-cute’ story I’ve waited for). She was tall, with brown hair, leather jacket, and boots. I caught up with her and asked, “So, do you know where we need to go?” (Smooth). She smiled, and replied, “Sure, follow me”.
We talked and walked. Introductions concluded, she told me where her son went to school. She asked me what weight class my nephew wrestled in, but sadly, I didn’t know (horrible Uncle). She laughed, I laughed, and I slipped in something about an ex-wife. We were just about to enter the school when she said the words no single man ever wants to hear…
“I know, my husband and I…”
Damn it – end of story.
Already holding the door open for her, I’m sure it would have been rude to abort and enter first (kidding, I’m not that shallow). Once at the admission table, she took out her phone to call her husband. Apparently, she had no money (why do all the women I know never carry cash?), and needed him to come up and pay for her.
“Don’t worry about that,” I said, “my treat.” I paid the five dollar entrance fee for each of us, and inside we went.
Wrestlers and families filled the hallway. White pages, filled with tournament brackets, taped to the walls, a crowd of people formed to review their ranks. Through that crowd a man weaved, expertly sidestepping and avoiding parents and wrestlers alike. He stopped in front of us, then gave me a stare like I stepped on his cat.
He turned away from me and toward his wife. “Who’s this?” he barked.
“Oh, this is my new friend, Al”
Without turning back to me, and not even a grunt in recognition of my existence, he handed me a folded bill, which I took and stuffed it in my pocket without inspection.
However, the look on his face made me wonder how often this woman introduced ‘new friends’ to her husband over the years.
We entered the gym together, and immediately went our separate ways.
It was a big tournament, the gym floor covered with four separate wrestling mats. Simultaneous matches continued through most of the morning, and into the afternoon.
During those matches she walked passed me once or twice, and we even spoke again for a bit. It was when I saw her talk to two other men, other than her husband, that I realized it wasn’t meant to be (apparently, her having a husband wasn’t a real deal breaker for me).
After the match was over, I lost her to the crowd (I am giving myself a real stalker vibe now). On my last trip to get coffee before hitting the road, I reached into my pocket and took out the folded bill her husband had handed me. I hadn’t realized, but her husband gave me a ten dollar bill, and not a five.
Apparently, hitting on married women is a profitable endeavor.
Out in the parking lot, I walked toward my car, and panicked for second when I couldn’t see it. Then I realized, the white Jeep she was driving obscured it from my view.
Second time I was blocked that day.