Once upon a time, there was a little girl who went to graduate school. Unfortunately, this meant moving to a place from which she could see the end of the earth. Now the end of the earth was a bit scary, but so long as she didn’t go too close, she knew she would be safe.
On a cold winter’s night, around the time she first moved to her new land, a friend invited her to visit a group of players. The players were developing new material to present to the court, and they just didn’t have time for new members. They were terribly distracted when our heroine and her friend came in, and she felt a bit out of place. She actually fit right in with her purple hair and combat boots, but I don’t think she realized that right away.
At any rate, I thought she was fantastic. She was creative and spunky and just a bit sassy. She was cute as a bug. At one point, while refilling her coffee cup, I caught her eye. She smiled, I winked back, and I think that is about the time I fell off the most wonderful cliff I never knew I was on. Head over heels as it were. Totally smitten.
Of course, the only thing to do was to ask her out.
“Would you like to grab a cup of coffee?” I asked.
“Not now,” she said. “I have to go to class and to work tomorrow.”
“Okay,” I said. “How about another time?”
“We’ll see,” she said.
And I could hardly get her to talk to me for the next seven months.
“Well crap,” I said to myself and to my mother. “I think the girl is really cute, and there’s the matter of the cliff, and I’d really like to go out with her, but she said ‘no.'”
“Ask her again anyway,” said my mother.
“We’ll see,” I said.
Fast forward a few days. Not weeks. Days. My mother decided to come visit the players and to help distribute refreshments at a performance. I couldn’t help noticing that she was a bit smug for the entire evening, but I was too busy to really pay much attention. She spent a lot of time with the girl, who had also come to distribute refreshments. I noticed them chatting and becoming friendly, but I didn’t think too much about it. Sometimes, I can be incredibly dense.
By and by, the show ended. All the patrons left. The performers prepared to leave. Finally only my mother, the girl, and I were left. I wondered if the girl had car trouble or some other problem, but she said that all was well. She was just waiting for a friend. I decided that there was nothing to lose and that I should ask her out one more time.
“A group of us are going for a late night breakfast after the show,” I said. “Would you like to come?”
“I would,” she said, “but I’ve already promised to go out with my friend this evening.” Did I detect just a glimmer of regret? I certainly felt sad.
“Another evening, then,” I said, and turned to my mother. “How about you Mom? Would you like to go with us?”
“Mom?!” said the girl with suddenly beautifully bright and flashing eyes. She turned to my mother. “You’re ‘Mom’?” she asked.
And suddenly everything clicked. My mother’s smugness. Mary Anne’s surprise. All the chumming around that I’d noticed all evening.
“Mother,” I said, “what have you done?”
“What you should’ve a long time ago,” she answered. “I’ve asked her out. Now you kids go have fun.”
And we did. We’ve been having fun ever since. A couple of years later, I did ask her to marry me. Without my mother’s help, although it did involve a speeding car and a frightening accident. But that’s another story.
By the way, she said “Yes.” It was the best thing I’ve ever done.