The only reason I'm married is because, 10 years ago today, my wife promised her workmate to give her number to any a-hole who asked.
Jo Ann was getting over a bad breakup and hadn't been on the market for years. But Jen proved persuasive. (She was a lawyer.) She suggested a swanky hotel bar and wouldn't take no for an answer.
That morning, I woke up just knowing I would meet someone. It's a feeling that only occurred once before, and the memory of Heather from Dallas meant that I wasn't about to blow it off.
I scoured my black book for potential wingmen. (Yes, black book. This was 10 years ago.) But one by one, my friends attempted to obstruct fate: Sorry, I'm doing laundry ... Sorry, I'm reading a book ... Sorry, I never liked you.
So I headed to the bar myself. Why not? James Bond didn't need a wingman. He sat down, ordered a martini, and Pussy Galore fell into his lap.
Almost immediately after finding my stool, I spotted Jo Ann's almond eyes and realized how not James Bond I was. Feeling about as comfortable as the middle-school new kid searching for a lunch table of strangers to sit with, I blurted the first terrible line that scurried into my head: "My friend just blew me off, so will you be my new friend?"
Immediately, my future wife saw through this perjury. "What's his name?" she asked. "Let's call him." I pretended my phone was dead. She offered hers. Our entire relationship is built on a lie.
You probably think the story ends there and isn't so bad. What you don't know is that this exchange left me so confidence-deprived, I actually switched, mid-hit, from Jo Ann to her workmate. Jen also seemed into me, too -- in less of a fact-finding way -- and came with the added benefit of a fivehead (a little more than a forehead), which meant that I was playing more in my league.
After I got Jen's phone number, she excused herself and left Jo Ann sitting there, staring, no doubt incredulous at what an a-hole I was. And that's when I asked for Jo Ann's number, too. I told her I liked her more but only went for Jen because my confidence was shaken.
Like I said, any a-hole who asked.
I really don't deserve to be married right now. But I'd like to thank my wife, and Jen, for 10 incredible and unlikely years. And I'd also like wonder aloud how we can ever to tell this story to our daughter.
How did you meet your a-hole?