1989 was not shaping up to be a good year for me. I had broken up with a girlfriend six months before, and the current object of my desire had politely but firmly rejected me. I moped around the house (I was renting a room in the house my friend Rick and his wife had recently purchased.), not really sure what I would do next. In an attempt to snap me out of it, Rick said “That woman you were chasing would have killed you with her triathlons and partying. You’d be happier if you found someone who shared your interests. Someone like Diane.”
I had met Diane in 1985; we played the same live roleplaying games at science fiction conventions. (If you didn’t know I was a geek before, you certainly know now.) She lived in Brooklyn, but whenever she came to Boston she’d host a get-together for the gaming crowd. She was studying law along with her boyfriend, who was at the same school. She’d call every now and then to let us know when she’d be visiting, of just to get updates on the Boston crew.
She was nice, she was smart, she was cute — but she had a boyfriend and she lived in NYC. Neither of us seemed to be single at the same time, so it never occurred to me to pursue her.
Not long after Rick’s “like Diane” comment, she called. Her now ex-boyfriend had just invited her to his wedding. (He had dumped her after the NY bar exam, while I was engaged to She Who Must Not Be Named.) She was furious — he was getting married less than a year after the breakup. “If I go to the wedding, it looks like I’m condoning it, but if I don’t go it will look like I can’t handle it.” she explained.
“I’ll go with you,” I offered. “I’ve role-played stranger parts; how hard could it be to pretend to be your new boyfriend? We can play it any way you want.”
“You’d do that?” she asked. “I’ll have to think about it.”
She called a week later: “I’ve decided not to go to the wedding. But I’ve been thinking about the ‘boyfriend’ part of your offer. Can we get together and talk?” I was heading to my parents’ place that weekend for Easter, so I suggested we meet in Milford (where Diane was living with her mom) that Friday evening.
We had dinner at a seafood place by the water, afterward we walked on the beach and talked for a few hours. I was smitten. Just before boarding the last train, I kissed her. When I got home I told my parents “I think I just met the woman I’m going to marry.” I just knew.
That was our first — and only — date. We spent all of our free time together after that, with Diane racking up 36,000 miles on hew new car with the drive to and from Boston every other weekend. I became a regular on the Boston-to-New Haven Amtrak run. A year later, she moved to Boston to live with me, and we’ve been together ever since.
On Christmas morning 1992, standing on the same spot on the beach where we had our first kiss, I asked her to marry me. Even though we celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary last October, March 25 holds special place in my memory as the happiest day of my life.