07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Grand Romantic Gesture: A True Story

I took a deep breath once I made it to the airport terminal, having just finished spending Thanksgiving weekend in Fort Worth with my family and my brother's in-laws. It was time to get back to college, back to my part-time job, back to normal.

As I walked over to the payphones to call my friend who was supposed to pick me up in Sacramento, I noticed a cute guy standing near the airline desk. Our eyes met. He stood over a foot taller than me, wore a short-sleeved button-down plaid shirt, dark denim jeans and black boots. His hair was fashioned in a light pompadour (that is the style John Travolta wore in Grease), and he had thick sideburns. I've always been a sucker for rockabilly.

But after admiring the guy for his sense of style, I continued to make my call. No use in getting caught staring. My friend didn't answer, so I left a message with the time I was supposed to arrive.
Then, of course, the airline started lining passengers up. As I waited for my group to be called, I noticed the cute guy again, as he waited only a couple people ahead of me. In the recesses of my mind, I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny if we were assigned to sit next to each other?"

Sure enough, we were. It was kismet. He had graduated with a BA in Political Science, one of the two degrees I was going for at the time. He lived in Sacramento, I lived in Davis (only twenty minutes away). We laughed at the same jokes, he got a kick out of all of my Saturday Night Live references, and I thought he was absolutely funny.

By the end of our three and a half hour flight, I'd come to one conclusion: I wouldn't give him my number unless he asked for it. I'd been through enough boys to realize I needed one with gumption. But once we got to the end of the Sacramento Airport terminal, he didn't ask. We parted ways congenially.

I ended up finding out that my friend couldn't pick me up, so I decided to take the bus that ran directly between my college campus and the airport. As I busied myself with the bus schedule, my cute guy walks up.

"Just wanted to make sure you got home ok," he started, explaining his sudden appearance. "My ride won't be here for another hour, so I thought I'd check up on you."

That made me smile, but not enough to outwardly give him my number. I was determined not to be the instigator between the two of us. I knew I wanted a guy with backbone enough to ask for my digits.

We waited for my bus together, chatting away, finding out more things we had in common. By the time my ride squeeled to a halt in front of us, he still hadn't asked. So I did the next best thing.
I told him the days of the week I worked and gave him the name of the laundromat.

Glancing at him through the window as the bus pulled away, I was suspended between regret and hope. A week later, I was found. To this day, the most romantic gesture a guy has ever made--was finding the laundromat, and remembering what night I'd be there.

Let's just say he got my number.

Do you have any storybook meetings like mine? Oh, do share!


Judith Ashley said...

What I like about your story, Courtney, is how clear you were on how you wanted to start this relationship and how strong/determined you remained even though the attraction was there. In the end, it paid off. Did you find that experience helped you keep that determination (to not give out your phone number to be the initiator) in the future?

Diana Mcc. said...

What a lovely story! I want the rest of the story! LOL Happy writing!

Paty Jager said...

Courtney great story! My husband and I met kind of like that. Only it was at an under twenty-one club.

Bron said...

Hi Courtney - lovely story.

I have a lovely story like that from my University days. I noticed a VERY cute guy looking at me one day from across the library. Then, over the coming days, I noticed he seemed to pop up wherever I turned. I was determined not to acknowledge him until he had the courage to talk to me.

One day in the Cafe he dropped a 50 cent coin and it rolled right across the floor and settled under my chair. Back in 1982, 50 cents to a poor student was a lot of money, so I watched him turn red, and try to decide if he'd come and get it. He did and finally he spoke to me and I asked him to join me.

We dated for over four years until he was tragically killed while skiing.

It’s stories like yours that make me remember him and smile.

B. A. Binns said...

Sounds like a cute story, Courtney. The fates were aligned. Nice to see he couldn't get you out of his head. I probably would have given him my number, just to help things along, but that's me, never quite trusting in serendipity.