5 Years Ago

Five years ago today, on a scorching DC night I went to a bar to meet a friend. ALA was being held in DC and I had spent the day conferencing and had already been to one librarian happy hour. It was relatively late – around 11 PM, but I was younger then and the bar was across the street from my apartment, so I figured what the heck. I’d have one drink and then head on home to get some sleep.

I was chatting with my friend, drinking a vodka-cranberry, when this very cute girl walked into the bar. I noticed her. Of course. I had no plans to talk to her. I’m just not good at chatting up strangers. But then – miracle of miracles – she had gone to grad school with my friend. She came over to say hi. I tried not to make a complete fool of myself. She wandered off to talk to other friends. I was interviewed by a NY Times reporter about the hipness of librarians (Random!). I figured that was it. I had missed my shot at the cute girl because I was such a wimp.

But she came back! And when my friend went to the bathroom, she took over her seat and didn’t leave. We just kept talking. She bought me a drink. I tried to flirt a little. We shut down the bar. I had never before, and have never since, shut down a bar.

Outside the bar, we kept talking. Her friend, the DJ, was packing up. The girl said, so what now? And I thought, now we kiss. And for the first time in my life, I made the first move. It was worth it.

A few days later she flew home to Reno. I didn’t even wait a month before flying out to visit (for 9 days!) By December, she had found a job in DC and moved into my studio apartment. Three months after that we bought a house. And then, almost three years after that night at the bar, reader, I married her. At the beginning everything happened so fast that it seems almost crazy that it has now been FIVE years. Five amazingly happy years in which I have been luckier than I could have ever imagined. All from stopping by a bar on a hot summer night.

jami and me

5 Years Ago

TBR: The Meaning of Wife

I first read about The Meaning of Wife: A Provocative Look at Women and Marriage in the Twenty-First Century by Anne Kingston, in the comments of my favorite “wedding” blog: A Practical Wedding. I’m starting to do more reading about marriage and weddings as ours approaches and I was intrigued by the book.

This was the first book I finished for my new To Be Read Challenge, and I was disappointed I didn’t like it more. Kingston looks at the portrayal of wives in modern day Western society, but I felt like that some of her discussions on inequities applied equally to unmarried women (the chapter on abused wives for instance, could have applied to any woman in an abusive relationship). The chapter I liked most was “The Unwife” which dealt with how society treated unmarried women and the tendency to view these women as pre-wives, women whose marital status would eventually change. I think this is definitely something worth exploring further – why we treat women in particular as if a relationship is the ultimate goal.

I think some of the book also did not resonate with me because although I am getting married this year, there will be two wives in our marriage and no husbands, so discussions of the gender dynamics in marriage, while interesting and deserving of exploration don’t really reflect the thinking that I am doing in my life about what it means to become a wife.

TBR: The Meaning of Wife