When Steve Met Susie

It was 1985.  It was her first day as secretary to the supervisor of an engineering unit that handled projects once they began construction.  I was supervisor of an administrative subunit that handled non-engineering project activities.

From her desk, she could see me as I came in or out of my office.  The first time she saw me, I was wearing a light beige, buttoned sweater with dark brown pants.  Back then, I had a 32-inch waist and weighed 130 pounds.

She asked one of the women in my unit: “Who is he?”  The answer included the fact that I was from the Philippines and: “Wait until you hear him talk.”  I don’t know if that comment meant I had no southern accent, could affect a foreign accent, speak in a foreign language, or some combination of all three.

Whenever I came to visit her boss, she was very friendly.  Enough so that I quickly deduced she was sending a signal.  But did I want to accept it?

First, she had the deepest southern accent I’d ever heard.  So deep I sometimes couldn’t understand some words.  Second, she didn’t fit the “profile”- a college-educated woman in a professional job who had at least led a middle-class childhood.  She lacked the first two and I doubted she had the last one.

I think what encouraged me was a transparency and simplicity about her that shone through.  I’m a very observant person.  I noticed that she was never catty or gossipy;  never said a bad word about anyone past or present.  She always seemed to be in a pleasant mood.

One day, a I received a rather large travel reimbursement.  I found a reason to visit her boss.  While I was waiting for someone to leave her boss’ office, I mentioned the travel check to her and wondered aloud what I might do with it. Her move…..

She suggested I take her out to dinner!  And I agreed…

That first date began with dinner at one of our finer (no buffet) Chinese restaurants – Ming Tree, which is still in business at the same location. The coup de gras was going across the street to the mall where I introduced her to white chocolate at a confectionary which has long since disappeared.  Then I dropped her off at her place.  No kiss or advances.

Shortly after I got back to my place, she called.  She said she had really enjoyed the date, and thanked me for introducing her to white chocolate.  I told her we’d do it again and she said she’d like that.  I was 34 and that was the first time anyone had called me after a first date.

That was in October 1985.  In January 1986, we began living together. At her suggestion, I recall.

In March 1995, we were married on her deceased mother’s birthday.  October of next year will be the 25th anniversary of our first date.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to my “head” when deciding whether to ask her out.  Education, job, background.   These things matter little.   I’m glad I had the wisdom to go with my intuition rather than with my admittedly privileged class perspective.

Despite our many “exterior” differences, I see myself in her.  Why I do is another post I’ve promised PTFan1.  I’ll get around to it…

Everyone who’s known us for any length of time says I’m a lucky man.  I know it.

We say “thank you” to each other almost  every night as we go to sleep.  Time I said so publicly: thank you Susie for all these years and the ones to come.


8 responses to “When Steve Met Susie

  1. What a wonderful tribute. You are indeed a lucky man, Susie is wonderful! But she’s lucky too! The two of you seem to have so much in common, a love of shopping and movies, for example. I don’t know if that was there in the beginning or if it was something that developed over time. I guess it doesn’t really matter what you do if you enjoy the company of the other person, as the two of you clearly do. I was really moved by the “thank you” part. More marriages would last if people would remember to be their best selves around one another.

  2. Great post. Yes unusual “bedfellows”. Blountstown and the Phillipines are indeed worlds apart. Congrats to you both:)

  3. Fakename… actually, a love of travel is probably our strongest shared interest. I’m much more of a shopper and film fan than Susie!

    and PTFan1, I guess love can make stranger bedfellows than politics!

    Check out these “how we met” stories, including ones in the comments. Susie and I were fairly “normal” compared to many of these stories…


  4. “When Steve met Susie” sounds so Brady Bunchish… LOL You’re a lucky man Anarchist!

  5. I was just playing on “When Harry Met Sally.”

    Broke down and spent the big money to see “The Reader” Saturday. Excellent! Hope Kate Winslet wins best Actress; she did a magnificent job.

  6. It seems that very few people share such a deep and true love as the one you’ve found. You are indeed a lucky man.

  7. Hi Terri! Thanks for visiting! Now that I’ve approved a comment, your future comments will not need approval.

    BTW y’all, if you haven’t noticed, I added Terri’s blog to my list. I think you’ll enjoy her posts! I found her from a “related’ post form one of Nick’s posts.

  8. Pingback: Hearing Voices « Fakename2’s Weblog

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