November brings to mind so many things that are good for the soul: colorful leaves swirling in the wind, warm pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, and gathering with friends and family to give thanks.
For me, November also means love.
When I was a freshman in college, I planned to major in journalism so I thought it would be a good idea to join the student-run TV station. At the first meeting, I, being new and shy, sat in the back of a packed room. The male and female students running the meeting were doing fine, though I noticed that whenever anyone had a question that required anything beyond the most basic information, the leaders would look to another student sitting in the front row and say, “Bill, how does that work?” and “Bill, could you take that one?” I could only see the back of Bill’s head and his gray, wool jacket but I thought, “This is the guy in the know. This is the guy I want to teach me how to use the camera gear.” At the end of the meeting, when everyone stood up and I, finally, got to see Bill’s face, my heart skipped a beat. Bill was a hottie! A few weeks down the line and a few meetings later, I gathered up all of my 18 years of courage to ask Bill (who was a senior, though I didn’t know it at the time) if he would show me how to use the camera gear so I could start reporting for the student TV station. Bill agreed.
To this day, I have only a vague recollection of our teaching session. I only know he was there and I was there and I wanted him to like me so very much. I do remember that at one point, he startled me with a mini quiz. Bill asked me, “What three colors does the camera capture?” I had no clue, because I hadn’t really been paying attention, however, looking down I noticed that the JVC camera had three dots next to its logo so I spit out their colors, “Red, blue, and green?” Bill smiled. I was right. As we were about to part that day, Bill asked me if I wanted to have lunch that next week! I floated three feet off the ground for the next seven days.
Our first date was November 25th, the day before Thanksgiving. I was a commuter student and Bill took me off campus (very chic!) to have lunch at Skipper’s Fish & Chips. I was so nervous I could barely eat, but once we began to talk I relaxed. We spent the next three hours sharing details about our families, our schoolwork, our hopes, our dreams—I’d never spent that much time talking about myself with anyone. As I discovered more about this smart, talented, funny, kind man, I started to fall in love. Whenever I think of Bill and that first date, I think of what Steve Martin so eloquently said in L.A. Story: “Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful and most wonderful. And yet again, wonderful.”
|Bill and me at our college dance|
That afternoon, when my dad came to pick me up from school, I introduced the two most important men in my life to one another. They were, and are, so much alike. Both are bright, witty, caring, soft-spoken men (My dad, who is shy and not the easiest person to get to know, and Bill became great friends. Even now, Bill is the only person I can leave in a room with my dad and know that when I return they will still be deep in conversation).
I guess it comes as no surprise that I married Bill. Each year, we celebrate our wedding anniversary on September 7th. We celebrate our first date anniversary on November 25th. Somewhere along the line it became tradition for Bill to bring me flowers on the 25th of every month. He says it’s to always keep that first date fresh in my mind. Not that he needs to. I have never forgotten one minute of that enchanted day. But don’t tell him that. I like the flowers. And the romance. And taking time out of our busy lives to remember the day our most wonderful journey together began.