I originally typed in, “Ho I Met My Husband” and quite honestly I sometimes (I just spelled sumtimes, so gather what you will from this ongoing statement) think my typos are my brain’s way of communicating the truth of the matter.
I was working at a bank, that shall remain nameless, and I had just been promoted to New Accounts. This pretty much entailed me running over to the account floor from my teller station when the call came that they were too busy. My new promotion came with a tidy no-raise.
One fateful day in September of 1998, I received a call from, hmmm, let’s call her Carla (which ironically might be her actual name as I have long forgotten it but that sounds familiar), that she was swamped and needed someone to help her in New Accounts. I, being that someone.
Let’s get to what I was wearing, since that is the most important not-important part. I always tried to wear a pencil skirt to my work. The skirt was to be as tight and short as I could get away with. Of course. I was twenty one and wanted to exude some sort of professionalism. It just was not the sort of profession I probably thought I was showcasing. That day I was wearing my favorite lime green suit. It was actually citron and it had a permanent pen line right across the butt that I had never been able to get out. However, I refused to stop wearing it. I just assumed no one would notice.
I sat down at my least favorite desk. It was right in the middle of the floor and could be seen from all angles. To this day, I prefer to sit in corners, my back to a wall, so I can face out and see what is coming at me. My exposed back, having nothing whatsoever to do with a black line across it, made me feel frazzled and exposed. Plus, I felt a heavy burden in New Accounts. I, myself, did not bank with this particular bank. I was burdened with some of their practices. I felt by opening an account there for someone else, I was partaking in their sins. It made me feel bad.
I gathered my necessary items and nervously stood up. There was a line of people waiting. I went to the board where the first name was written and I called that person’s name. The first part of the name was a name that I had loved in high school. I once had a crush on a boy strictly because he had this name. It would be a name that I am glad I pronounced correctly, because it is one that I now say every day.
The young guy grinned at me when I called his name and followed me to the desk.
I remember asking him if I had pronounced his name right and him telling me that I had. It would be the first thing I would ever say to my husband.
He sat down across from me and we began the procedure of opening his account. I would later learn that two days before he came to that bank he had moved to that town. The day before he had sat in that chair, he had been in a car accident in front of the bank, the bank where I worked, and while he had waited for the police to come to the scene of the accident, he would decide that he would come back the next day and open an account at that bank. And I would later learn that when he came home from the bank the day I had opened his account, he would exclaim to his visiting relatives that THE HOTTEST GIRL (yes, I am using all caps here. No apologies) had just opened his account.
But sitting across from him in that chair I knew none of his past or his future.
I studied him as I asked him the routine questions.
He was wearing a faded green thermal henley shirt rolled up at the sleeves. His hair was brown and his eyes matched the green of his shirt. It would not surprise me when later in the year, I would stand in his green bedroom and learn that the color that he wore and decorated with was his favorite and always would be. He had perfectly full lips which would one day kiss me in such a manner that I would crave them forever. He had his shirt tucked in and his pants were rolled. I remember them as being terribly unfashionably pegged, but my husband reiterates time and again that they were just rolled. And so we will give him the memory credit here. His shoes were Vans. There was something rugged about the way he was dressed. An air about him that spoke of the outdoors. He was different from the typical California guys that I had grown up with. I now know that this is because he was from Oregon. An Oregon boy who would never quite get used to California and would always long for the land he once knew. But at this moment, the moment we are meeting him, he is simply dressed like a boy from Oregon. We do not yet know his heart. We do not yet know the struggles of his soul.
I remember holding my breath as I waited for the screen to tell me if we could proceed with the opening of the account. So many young people I had previously seen come in had been denied this step. It was always embarrassing for both me and that person.
He was approved.
I then asked him his occupation. His age. His marital status. His address. His previous address. His phone number. His debt. His income. All routine questions from the bank. Not routine questions that you get to ask a suitor.
Seriously girls, if only all women had access to the kind of information I had access to before I started dating my husband…
He answered all of the questions. I remember being impressed with his career because he was so young. I had never met anyone his age that was so confident, secure, and sure of themselves before. It was dissettling. So, of course, I assumed he was lying. It is sad that that seemed more logical to me than the idea that a young man could have his life so well organized and together. He wanted direct deposit and I signed him up for an account that would be free with direct deposit. But being new at New Accounts, I also remember blasely thinking, “We’ll see if this actually works.” It wouldn’t. A month later I would see him at a pool hall where he would approach me and tell me that he had been wrongly charged and get my phone number.
But at that moment, what I told him was, “let me know if you get charged and I will take care of it.” Of course, I didn’t mean it. He smirked at me and I remember feeling irritated and displaced that a guy with his pants
pegged rolled would be so cocky. Especially one who was so obviously lying. It would only be later that I would learn, this boy never lies… Except about eating candy bars.
Then he did the unthinkable.
My heart sank when the cute, but cocky, twenty five year old guy across from me did not want the free checks. The free checks that were free and practical and a good financial choice. For some reason, I felt very strongly about those free checks.
What checks did he want?
He wanted… Looney Toons.
Looney Toons… Playing sports.
I do not remember the rest of the conversation. I remember ordering his checks and being unsure if the order went through. But I was not too concerned. At that point, the guy had lost some of his appeal with his check making decision.
He stood up to leave and he grinned at me. I remember my heart racing in my chest and being annoyed with myself because I could not understand why I was feeling this way towards a dishonest boy with
pegged rolled jeans and looney toon checks.
I watched him walk out of the bank. I watched him walk through the parking lot. I watched him stand next to a beat up old van and I assumed wrongly that he had gotten into it. I assumed wrongly about a lot of things that day. I turned to call another customer. I thought about the boy with the green eyes for the remainder of the day.
Less than six months later that boy and I would share the same last name.
But that is a story for another day.
I will tell you, that boy turned into a man who only orders the free checks.
His marital status has changed.
He now does drive a beat up old van.
But his pants are no longer pegged.