T-shirt # 295 - Simple Elements ... Hard to Understand
"Il n'y a qu'un bonheur dans la vie, c'est d'aimer et d'être aimé."
- George Sand
(There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.)
Five years ago today, my wife Liesel and I went on our first date. I wish to share the story of our meeting, re-meeting, and falling in love.
I shared about marrying my wife in T-shirt #279, in which I reproduced our wedding ceremony script and included some choice pictures from our wedding. At that time, I wanted to relate the story of how we met, re-met, started dating, and fell in love, but the post had already grown quite long, so I decided to save that story for today, the anniversary of our first date.
Liesel developed quite a crush on me and kept an eye out for what I was doing in the years that followed. Now, Liesel does not believe the next part, but it's true. I had a little bit of a crush on her, too. I remember feeling the same thing I felt when I re-met her as when I met her originally. I thought to myself: "she's perfect for me. How come John got to meet her and date her first? Why couldn't I meet her first?" Unlike Liesel, my crush was less memorable. I did not remember her name. But from time to time over the years, I would wonder what happened to John's hot Hawaiian girlfriend who seemed so perfect for me. Heck, for years, I wondered what happened to John Kasdorf as we had lost touch.
|text reads: sun, moon, earth, water, mountain|
man & woman
Simple elements... hard to understand
Liesel reminded me of a hug we exchanged during one of these Cafes. I did not remember it until she recalled it for me, but I did recall it once she described it. I remembered where in the hall it took place and had a sense of what she was wearing, though I am not sure I could describe it. I felt her energy, which was a strong feeling and felt a connection with her. I also believe that may have been the moment that I thought most strongly how perfect for me she was and how disappointed I was that she was "off-limits" as she was dating and living with my friend John. In discussions about our history, we may have figured out which night this hug took place. I believe it happened after my break-up with my then girlfriend, at a time when I was either no longer host of the Cafe or in my last hosting, when I had written a story called "600 Cows" about a couple getting a divorce, drawing on my experiences with my recent break-up. I was a bit drunk that night, which may have heightened all my emotions. Whether the hug with Liesel took place that night or not, she had her crush from back then, and I had my feeling that she was perfect for me, though I forgot her name and only thought of her from time to time as that woman who seemed so perfect for me who was lost in time.
Fast forward 18 years. December third 2008. I am in Sawall health food store, and I am wearing my suit. I had just helped Chris Dilley give a presentation to the Kiwanis to raise awareness about the good work of the People's Food Co-Op. I was on the board at the time, and I was helping to gain more owners as part of our ownership drive to lead up to the PFC's expansion. I had met my friend Ryan Walters after the Kiwanis thing, and we were enroute to his place to hang out and talk comics. I had planned to change out of my suit there as I had a PFC meeting to attend in a few hours. But first, we stopped at Sawall because he worked there and needed his pay check, and I needed to buy a few things.
As I saw her shopping, I thought the exact thing I had thought when I met her all those years ago during the Cafe hostings: "She's perfect for me. Why can't I be dating her or someone like her?" Kicking myself all the time in the store, I bought my purchases and was waiting for Walters when she bought her purchases and prepared to leave. I was kicking myself because I knew she was about to walk out the door, and I would never see her again. I wanted to go up to her and say "Excuse me, you are absolutely perfect for me. I can tell. I have a feeling that we will be madly in love and I would like to take you out to dinner." But how do you tell someone something like that? I knew I wouldn't even have the courage to speak to her let alone try to make the kind of contact that would be useful (like an exchange of emails or phone numbers or even NAMES).
|another picture of Liesel|
and her kids circa 2008
|this is Liesel with her mom|
|Liesel and Piper - 1998?|
With Facebook contact initiated, flirting began. The courtship began. But there was a snag. She WAS dating John Kasdorf, again. Ten days later, I attended a KAPOW event, John's improv group: Some Kind of Pretty Woman at the Whole Art Theater. Liesel said she would attend as well but could not go out after. I had several other friends in the audience, one of whom knew what was going on with Liesel. I showed up with her and a crew of her friends because I did not want to walk in and sit alone. The other was just someone I had not seen in some time, who actually was brought on stage for the improv. Aftewards, the other friends bailed, and I was left chatting with Liesel and John. Liesel agreed to go out, but she had to take her daughter home first and make sure Ivan was all right. We all agreed to meet at the London Grille. John made it clear that when Liesel showed up that she would want to sit next to him, which did not happen. However, despite a nice time of drinking and laughing and conversation with a bunch of folks from the improv group, it was clear that Liesel and John were "together." I felt like a third wheel when they invited me to go with them as they moved the party to Sushiya, which stayed open later than the Grille. I excused myself and went home. Oddly, as I walked back to my car, I saw my friend Chris Dilley in Old Burdicks. I was feeling dejected and low. Once again, years later, this woman who was perfect for me in every way (I was more convinced of this than ever) was dating someone else, and it was THE SAME GUY.
To say that the date went fabulously would be an understatement. I had fantasized that I might kiss her that evening, knowing that first dates did not usually go this way. I will not disclose all the details of that first night, but let's just say that my fantasies were more than realized. She was no longer dating John Kasdorf. She was free. We had a wonderful time.
I was completely and madly in love with her from the very start, really from the time I first set eyes on her. Liesel doesn't believe me, but it's true. I tried to safeguard my heart at first. I confessed to love much later only because I was afraid of being hurt. Though in this story "much later" is only ELEVEN days after that first date.
On March 11th, we decide to get married. On April 4th, I ask her to marry me, officially proposing. On October 3rd, 2009, we get married.
Now, I cannot imagine my life without her. Liesel is the love of my life and confirms every day that she is and always has been (and always will be) the perfect person for me to spend the rest of my life with.
I chose this shirt for today because I wanted something that would embody our spiritual connection. From the start, we felt a spiritual bond with each other, which is something we shared about at our wedding. It has to do with AKA CORDS, which is a concept of HUNA mysticism (see link).
If anything has changed, it is only that I love Liesel even more today than I did at first sight or when we got married.
Our spiritual connection has grown and strengthened, cultivating a deeper and richer experience with each passing day.
AND not only is John Kasdorf still a friend of ours, each of us, but he played drums in our wedding! Thanks John!
Here's a very select and small gallery of photos, mostly from 2009.
|Liesel and I on St. Patrick's Day 2009|
|Liesel and I at her step-dad's wedding 2009|
|Liesel and I on Halloween 2009|
|Liesel and I at a wedding Dec. 2012|
|Liesel and I outside|
- chris tower - first published - 1401.10 - 17:34
final publication - 1401.12 - 11:59