Tuesday, July 22, 2003
How I met my wife over the newspaper's Jumble wordgame:
It was a dark and stormy night. July 5th, 1976 - the day after the large bicentennial celebrations in the City. I was standing in the subway newspaper kiosk, dripping puddles from my raincoat and galoshes, reading the business section of the NYTimes, waiting for the 9:53 to Hampton Heights, watching Uncle Sam revellers slosh drunkenly across the platform. It was then that I first noticed her. A vision of loveliness, innocent and untouched by the grime of the city, well-groomed amidst all of the after-party junk still floating through the atmosphere down there; relatively dry, too, having spent her entire day underground courageously helping poor parochial school children find their way through the city's maddening labyrinths of mass transportation, back to their schools of learning and pin-the-tail-on-the-new-kid. I caught her eye - gently catching it before it hit the ground, a lovely glass bauble with a dazzling twinkle that charms my heart to this day. And as I handed it back to her, our hands touched...
She smiled. I melted. She re-coagulated me, and thanked me profusely for retrieving her eye. I told her she was welcome, on the condition of joining for dinner at my favorite little bistro. We walked, hopped, skipped and jumped up the subway stairs, to the delight of most of the City's citizens, and to the obviuos disgruntlement of a few lawyers and busybodies. Making our way across the street, we slipped into the Nipponese Pig Sty - a nationwide chain, the first BBQ and Sushi bars to hit the states. And sliding into "my table," the waitress took our drink orders. Iced tea for her, a flat Coke for me (sodas don't keep well around raw fish and mustard-based sauce for some reason). And I pulled out my paper.
She noticed that I had been looking at the comics section, and that my Jumble puzzle was unfinished. She smiled a curious smile, as if to say from deep within her heart, "My gracious, you're an idiot - anyone could get that word." But she didn't say that - only, "Here, let me help you with that." And delicately reaching across the table, she took the wayward pen from my hand and filled in the blanks - C-H-E-E-S-Y.
The rest, as they say, is history.