In 1995 I was on vacation with my sister Susan in Paris, when I surprised her by declaring that I intended to get married again. My sister looked at me completely astonished, saying
“You? Married? After all these years!”
I had been divorced for 13 years and had no significant relationships the entire time. In fact, I had had over 100 first dates which had gone nowhere. Not exactly a success story. My sister could be forgiven for her skepticism. Then recovering herself from her vote of no confidence, she continued
“How will you find him?”
To which I grandly replied,
“I am a marketing person. You need a lot of leads before you make a sale”.
She shook her head.
Over the next 6 weeks, I joined several dating organizations, I also asked friends to hook me up. I also put a personal ad into Boston magazine, the precursor to online dating. Much to my delight, I got over 60 replies to my personal ad. I soon whittled it down to 4 suitable men – Mr. Friday, Mr. Saturday, Mr. Sunday and Mr. Monday. I was having a great deal of fun and enjoying the attention.
Mr. Friday was drop dead gorgeous and a very sweet man, Mr. Saturday phoned me every day and we chatted up a storm, Mr. Sunday was wildly suitable, very sexy and checked off all the boxes, Mr. Monday was quite brilliant and loved that I was highly intelligent.
However, Mr. Saturday, now known as Herman, set his sights on me and was determined to vanquish his competitors, despite being last on my list of four men.
Herman was a clinical psychologist, and before we even had a first real date asked me hundreds of screening questions in order to figure out whether there were any big “red flags” such as excessive use of drugs and alcohol. When his questions got too personal, I fixed him with a chilly British stare saying
“That is mine to know and yours to find out”
However, our first real date did not go so well. I had chosen a tennis game on public courts, which I saw as a pretty safe activity. He arrived at my front door with tennis clothes on a hanger, and when I opened the door said
“Where is my closet?”
I gave him a long stare before responding
“You can change in the blue room”.
He told me later that he feared that this might have been his first and last date with me. I was further taken aback later that afternoon when he shouted across the tennis court and asked if I was not wearing a bra and was just intentionally trying to distract him from his game!
Herman told me that if I was serious about getting married again, that I should give him a chance to prove that he was a worthy suitor. When he suggested we have a 90-day trial “exclusive”. I was skeptical. There was no instant chemistry on my end, and I could barely comprehend sometimes what he said with his thick Worcester accent. And yet there was something appealing about this man. He was starting to make me laugh.
And so we embarked on our 90-day exclusive, with Mr. Monday checking in each month to see how it was going and whether he had a chance.
Making Me Laugh
Herman was smart enough to figure out that making me laugh was the fastest way to capturing my heart. His sense of humor was totally irreverent. For instance, we discussed over dinner early in our relationship what I should call him. His real name was Herman but everyone called him Butch, which he preferred.
“I cannot call you Butch. I cannot imagine introducing a “Butch” to my friends and my British family.” I said primly.
“So what am I going to call you” I continued, slightly irritated and sipping in a ladylike fashion on my water glass.
Herman took it in his stride, leaning forward over the dinner table and whispered in hushed tones.
“Just call me – BIG PECKER!”
At that point, I choked on my water and blew it out onto the tablecloth. It was my first lesson that it was tough to get the upper hand with this man. But I did call him Herman and got my revenge when I told that story 4 years later to the assembled crowd the day we got married.
And he made me, his prim and proper British wife, laugh every day of our marriage. Be very careful ladies who are still dating – a man who makes you laugh might steal your heart when you least expect it.