Dating each other while separated
Soon enough, years of under-employment gave way to hyperactive work schedules that made child-rearing complicated and difficult. I tell whoever wants to know about the missed flight and the borrowed paper and the phone call at the radio station.Our origin story, compelling as it was, couldn't sustain us, especially when our experiences with our own families haunted us. I can't fall asleep without tucking one foot into the crook of his leg and feeling his hand on the small of my back. It's lovely to revisit, but the power of that story has faded.I borrowed his paper, a USA Today; we started talking and discovered that after our first leg, we were heading to the same city on different planes. We were living in San Francisco then, and the weekend of Memorial Day, I drove down to Los Angeles with our almost 4-year-old daughter. The two months before I'd had bout after bout of bronchitis.He tried to chat me up mid-air, but the flight attendant made him go back to his seat when turbulence hit. Still, he tracked me down to the radio station where I worked and we moved in together five months later. My doctor kept searching for a physical reason why I couldn't shake it, eventually asking, "Is there something going on that's causing a lot of stress?My father, I am told, pursued my mother after glimpsing her at a party, intrigued by the "aloof" girl who seemed immune to his charms.He won her over with a rose he'd fashioned out of paper, presenting it to her in the middle of a screening of Gone With the Wind.He was used to barely being parented and grew up feeling like a bother; I was forever in audition mode, worried about being found unworthy. It's just one day in a 20-year-long marriage, a photo tucked in a box full of them: the time I stayed up waiting for him to get back from a business trip so he could come home to a hug; the afternoon we dropped our daughter off at college and the long drive home; last weekend when we argued about whose turn it was to scrub the shower; this morning when he shook me gently awake, kissed me on the forehead, and told me to have a nice day.As for my husband and I, we met at an airport in the Philippines in January of 1994.
As for my father, he left my mother when she was pregnant, never to be seen again.
I've only met him once, at 19; he found me and invited me to visit for a glorious-but-confusing few days, but dropped out of my life again soon after. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "Everybody's youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness.” And in our early days, my husband and I were mad, mad, mad — for each other and for love. A surprise pregnancy came two months after marriage.