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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

West (Bank) Side Story

Almost 14 years ago, a musician friend of mine called to ask if he could crash at my Brooklyn apartment that coming Sunday night. It seems he had an afternoon date with a girl in Manhattan, but he needed to pop into his grandmother’s Brooklyn apartment first thing Monday morning to help her with some things.

Of course I said yes.

Sunday evening found the two of us sitting in my place, with him going on and on about what a great girl he had gone out with… and what a great time he had had… and how pretty she was… and how nice… and how I needed to go out with her.

Um…excuse me?

I’m no idiot, I asked the obvious question: “If she’s so great… pretty… nice… whatever...why the hell aren’t you going out with her again?”

He went on to give me some song and dance about how all he could think about during the whole date was how perfect she’d be for me.

Yeah, right.

Guys think about a lot of stuff on dates. But I can honestly say that I never - not even once - thought about one of my friends while on a date. I wouldn’t even let him finish with his story after that one. I mean, c’mon… guys lie to each all the time (especially about dates), but this had clearly crossed a red line. And if he was telling the truth, it meant he had spent his entire Sunday afternoon in Central Park thinking about nothing else except which one of his friends he could inflict this girl on.

Either way, I couldn’t think of one compelling reason to say yes.

After about an hour of watching TV and eating ‘guy food’, curiosity got the better of me and I asked him what the girl’s name was.

I’d never heard of her, so that was that. I told him that after 14 blind dates, I was retiring. End of story.

A week went by, and I’d completely put the whole thing out of my mind when the phone rang. It was an old girlfriend (most of my old girlfriends had a habit of morphing into friends after we stopped dating) who I hadn’t seen in several months.

The conversation went something like this:

Old Girlfriend: Hi David, are you busy?
Me: Not really, what’s up?
OGF: Can you come over to my apartment?
M: Sure, what’s up… you need help moving something (not an unreasonable assumption)?
OGF: No, I want you to meet my roommate.
M: [suddenly on guard] Uh…No thanks, I appreciate the gesture, but I’m not doing blind dates anymore. Thanks anyway…. It was really sweet of you to…
OGF: Will you stop talking for a second… I never said anything about dating her…you’re going to marry this girl. So come over and meet her!
M: [silence}
OGF: David?
M: Yeah, I’m here. You know that’s not funny. [long pause] What’s her name?
OGF: [says same name that I’d heard the previous week]
M: I’ll be over in an hour (I lived in Brooklyn and they lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan).

When I got to the apartment, my old girlfriend met me at the door and invited me in.

There were actually 4 women living in the apartment at the time, but to clear up any confusion, she gestured with her eyes towards ‘the roommate’ and made the introduction.

I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but one thing was immediately clear to me. This roommate was an unwilling participant in this little game. I mean, when you’re expecting to be introduced to a guy and you have an entire hour (maybe more, since the call had originated in this apartment) to prepare, you probably clean yourself up a little bit, right?

Nope.

This young lady was dressed in a ratty denim skirt… an old faded work shirt… her uncombed blond hair was tied up in a bandana… she didn’t have on a lick of make-up… and on top of all that, she was studiously ignoring me while she busily went about doing just about everything except talking to me.

I was intrigued.

After an excruciatingly uncomfortable half hour of chitchat I started hinting that I had to get back to Brooklyn, and my old girlfriend nearly hip-checked this poor girl into walking me to the door.

I must have mumbled something about ‘nice meeting you’… and ‘maybe you’d like to get together some time’, because by the time I was out the door, we had made a date to go out.

Our first date was brunch on the beach in Connecticut (it was January!!!) On the way home in my car... with the heater blowing full blast... she put her feet up on my dahsboard.

I was smitten.

Three months after we first met we were lounging on the balcony of my suite at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach (I was the bandleader at the hotel for Passover) watching the stars rise over the ocean when I heard someone who sounded just like me, popping the question!

Although there was initially some doubt as to whether she had heard me correctly… and had in fact understood the question… she ultimately said yes.

A little over six months later we were married… and exactly thirteen years after that, I feel like I’ve won lotto as we've finally made it to Israel with our three wonderful kids.

Happy anniversary Zahava. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the story turns out!

Postscript: That old girlfriend and her husband live within walking distance of our home here in Efrat… and their oldest daughter and Ariella are inseparable friends.

Posted by David Bogner on September 22, 2004 | Permalink

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Tracked on Sep 25, 2004 1:03:05 AM

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Mazal Tov to the girl who has a pretty flute and a sharp mind and to the guy who was smart enough to marry her.

I love you both.

Marjorie

Posted by: marjorie | Sep 22, 2004 2:20:17 AM

Happy anniversary to you too, honey! I have very much enjoyed "writing our story" together and hope that the chapters which follow will be as wonderful as the ones already written.

An aside to family and friends who are scratching their heads and muttering "September 15th was LAST week!" – the Hebrew date of our anniversary is the 7th of Tishrei (today). The common date fell out erev (the eve of) Rosh Hashana, making our day a flurry of preparation for the holiday....

For those curious, we will be spending our evening tonight at back to school night, kvelling (we hope!) over the big kids' progress in school this year.... As potentially unromantic as that sounds – I think it is actually a neat way to mark the milestone – we can measure our growth as a married couple through the progress of our beautiful (poo, poo, poo) and talented (poo, poo, poo) kids....Kind of a neat way of saying, "Hey! Look what we did with our time together!"....

Posted by: zahava | Sep 22, 2004 8:52:25 AM

My specs got all misted up reading that, silly me.

A very happy anniversary. I think you are serious contenders for the position of Nicest Couple of the Blogsphere (MidEast Region).

Posted by: Imshin | Sep 22, 2004 10:07:43 AM

Hap...-- no, I'll gladly return David's comment to me of August 16th:

"Really!?!"

----------
Happy Anniversary and thanks for sticking the "Matchmaker" song to my head!

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Sep 22, 2004 12:38:48 PM

*sigh*
Dreamy.
Makes me a bit jealous too....
And here I thought stories like this only happened in novels.
(and WOW your friends were right on the money! they must be very pleased with themselves. lol)

Posted by: celestial blue | Sep 22, 2004 1:12:20 PM

Happy Anniversary you crazy kids.

Posted by: Lisa | Sep 22, 2004 1:55:19 PM

You two inspire me. Happy anniversary!

Posted by: Noa | Sep 22, 2004 2:50:04 PM

*sniffle* Happy Anniversary to both of you, and many more.

Posted by: Tanya | Sep 22, 2004 5:02:09 PM

Marjorie... Just think, you knew us when...!

Imshin... Very sweet of you to say... but I sincerely hope that in the years to come, you, Bish, Zahava and I will get to know one another well enough to dispel that silly notion. :-)

Mademoiselle a... It could be worse! A blogger I read yesterday mentioned the song 'Kung Fu Fighting' and it has been bouncing around in my head mercilessly ever since.

Celestial...Every relationship is just like one from a novel. The secret is making sure you are not in the 'horror' or 'Sci-Fi' section of the book store! And, yes... our friends were (and still are) quite pleased with themselves.

Lisa... Thanks, we'll try to be home by 10:00PM :-)

Noa... I read about your 'sad toe nails' while I was putting the finishing touches on today's post... and out of concern for your feelings I almost decided not to publish it. But then I realized that you are exactly the person I wanted to inspire! I promise you that there is a prince out there looking for you! And now that you are done kissing frogs, hopefully this will have inspired you to go out and find him!

Red Sugar... Thanks for the good wishes... here's a tissue.

Posted by: David | Sep 22, 2004 5:03:38 PM

David,

Sounds to me like you did win the lotto! High fives to you, and Happy Anniversary.

-Jim

Posted by: Jim | Sep 22, 2004 6:02:53 PM

Kung foo - yes, depends on one's likes. I definitely prefer Jackie Chang over ze Streisand sirene. I've been playing that Mrs Doubtfire scene in loops the whole afternoon. I'm supposed to deliver a dead serious concert layout tomorrow, haha! Ah sigh...

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Sep 22, 2004 7:50:09 PM

Mazel Tov.... Happy Anniversary

what a terrific story.

Posted by: oceanguy | Sep 22, 2004 8:22:37 PM

I love "how we met" stories! Congrats - Happy Anniversary!!

Posted by: Beth | Sep 22, 2004 8:51:54 PM

What a sweet story! Mazal Tov to you both.

Posted by: jennifer | Sep 22, 2004 10:48:04 PM

Happy Anniversary and Mazal Tov! What a great story. So thankful to have you guys as friends! Here's to many more! Sendin' Love...

Posted by: sarahb | Sep 22, 2004 11:36:11 PM

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story, David. It's enough to give a jaded ol' spinster like me a wee bit of hope.

Happy anniversary, David and Zahava! Mazal Tov!

Posted by: Carol | Sep 23, 2004 3:04:41 AM

Mazal Tov!

Posted by: Dave | Sep 23, 2004 9:02:46 AM

Thank you one and all for your good wishes. I can't take credit for the story... life, fate, G-d, chance, luck, joss, karma and anything else you choose to credit are really what I have to thank for my current state of relative bliss. I simply shared the series of lucky events.

Jim... thanks [big hug, but lots of back-slapping to keep it hetero]. Seriously, though... should I have been getting high fives for getting through 13 years of marriage? I'll feel like such a dork if I missed out on that one. :-)

Carol... I think if you check the dictionary, 'spinster' is usually a term reserved for elderly unmarried women - not young, bright hotties like yourself (yes, I will get an odd look from my wife for saying that). I was 29 when I met my wife... and was one of the last of my friends to get married. I mean no disrespect to any of my old girlfriends, but THANK G-D I held out for the right girl!!! Sometimes the sweetest fruit is what's left on the tree at the end of the season.

Posted by: David | Sep 23, 2004 10:27:37 AM

*blush* Thank you! And thank you again for such a great entry. It still makes me smile.

Posted by: Carol | Sep 23, 2004 8:43:01 PM

What a great story. Happy anniversary to you both, may there be many many more.

Posted by: Kay McCulloch | Sep 25, 2004 11:06:57 AM

Wow,
What a great story! Mazel tov to both of you.
Ill see you soon when I make aliyah, myself.

-Levy

Posted by: Levy | Sep 27, 2004 4:16:48 PM

awwwwwwwwwww

Posted by: Faye | Sep 28, 2004 1:06:35 AM

Nice story David. As a matter of fact, I met westbankpapa very briefly when he took out one of my apartment mates. She was smitten with him - he wasn't. About a year later we were set up, and after the first date I knew we would marry. It took a number of months to remember that he was the guy that took out my friend.

Posted by: westbankmama | Sep 14, 2006 9:18:49 AM

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