I belonged to Toastmasters, a organization for people who enjoy or who want to practice public speaking. Our chapter was a singles Toastmasters, and I was its president. My first impression of my husband when he walked into the meeting was that he was “solid,” and “dependable,” but also “dangerous.” I should explain that he struck me not as a bad-ass, but most definitely macho, the kind of man who knew how to defend himself in a physical altercation, a man who did not suffer fools gladly, who would tolerate no bullshit.
I liked that he was an LA city firefighter, that showed stability to me.
Over the course of a couple of months, we got to know each other. After the Toastmaster meetings, the group would convene at a local restaurant for a snack. I sensed he “liked” me. (One clue: he nearly body slammed a fellow Toastmaster when she tried to take the seat next to me).
My ten-year high school reunion was coming up and I was determined that I would not attend the reunion alone. Although I was dating (I’d joined a video dating service), I didn’t want to ask any of those men to what was, for me, a personal event. So I asked my husband.
He said yes, but suggested we go out on a date first. We went to dinner at a Greek restaurant, and afterwards, he held my hand. It felt very comfortable. The reunion was our second date.
My husband at this point had delivered two speeches to our club: his “icebreaker” talked about his experiences in Vietnam. and the second one discussed the importance of smoke detectors. Now that we were officially dating he announced to me, “I joined Toastmasters to meet chicks. I’ve done that, so I’m not going to give anymore speeches.”
Today, July 10, is our 20th wedding anniversary.
We have so many family birthdays in July, the month is like a mini Christmas (i.e. expensive), so we have eschewed exchanging presents for our anniversary; our celebrations in years’ past has been limited to dinner at family style restaurants.
But for our 20th, we decided to do something special. We’re new to the area so we have decided to spend several days at a fancy hotel, eat at some fancy restaurants, and explore the big city.
My initial impressions of him? They all turned out to be true. (And those are our real hands in the photo, taken 20 years ago).