03 August 2010

Our Lady of the First Date (thanks to my soul mate)

Today is August 3rd - the anniversary of Jack's and my first date, 25 years ago! I wonder how many people really do find their soul mate in life? Both Jack and I feel so lucky that we found each other, and recognize that it was pure coincidence that our paths intersected, a quarter of a century ago. On the other hand, don't we often meet people with whom we have a lot in common when we are pursuing our passions? Is coincidence really all that random?

Through a series of events, starting with my having lived in France, and including my in-depth interest in French food, I was invited, in 1985, to help open and manage a new cafe in Cambridge, MA. My passions having led me to this place in my life, it was only natural, in some ways, that I would meet like-minded people there. Jack became a regular customer at that cafe, and we discussed food almost every day (chocolates in particular), as well as dogs  (labs in particular). When a coworker, who just happened to have the same name AND birthday as me (how amazing is that?!) told me that Jack had a crush on me, I knew immediately that he was the man for me. I hadn't really thought about it before then, as I had assumed he was unavailable. That's not to say I didn't already think he was totally adorable!

Our first date was in the evening - we went to dinner at a seafood restaurant, and I didn't even tell Jack that I am not terrifically fond of saltwater fish. The fact that Jack picked me up in his shiny, black Porsche 911, with salt water on his shorts and sand in his shoes, did nothing to diminish my impression that this guy was going to be
F-U-N. We laughed and talked for hours, and I even ended showing Jack my whole life history, via my photo album. He still avows that he wasn't bored.

That day, Jack had been in Maine, visiting his son - now OUR son, Giles - at camp, and had stopped at an antique shop on his way back and purchased this bust - who knows why it struck his fancy, but it did!
At the end of our first date, Jack opened the trunk of his car, and showed me this gal. What did I think of her? I thought she was great! I mean, so old and European looking...and yet just a little kitchy at the same time. How many people are daring enough to display a plaster copy of this famous Italian bust of the goddess, Diana?

We put Diana in Jack's house, and since then, she has traveled with us to our house in Hingham, and now to Brewster. I have recently rechristened her "our lady of the first date". She has occasionally been decorated for different seasonal moods. Here she is in our old living room bay window, surrounded by lovely, tall orchids.

And here she is today, in our new house, surrounded by hydrangeas, black-eyed Susans and greenery from our Cape Cod garden.
She represents a continuity in our lives, and every time I look at her - without exception - I am reminded of our first date. So many wonderful life events have occurred since that first date. We both still love the same things and have similar dreams. Life has definitely shown us a few bumps in the road, but I have to say, Jack is still F-U-N to be with, and I'm pretty certain I am, as well - at least that's what he says, so I'm going with it.

So here's to 25 years together, to "our lady of the first date" and most especially to Jack, my soul mate!
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