A First Date

I had just graduated from college and was elated about starting the next chapter of my life which was to teach at the University of Paris starting in the fall.  I came home to Seattle for the summer to work and save money for Paris.  My best friend from high school had also returned home for the summer, and towards the end of June she decided to throw a dinner party at her parents’ house.  I was standing in the kitchen holding the beet salad I had just made when in walked this really tall, really skinny guy with the most amazing curly hair and light blue eyes I had ever seen.  I was wearing a shimmery, satiny red skirt.  He was wearing jeans and a big Irish wool sweater and holding a red dictionary.  I remember looking up at him and awkwardly mumbled something about my beet salad.  He smiled at me with those blue eyes and said he loved beets.  As the night went on there were wall sits and lots of dancing and laughing, and maybe some tequila, but mostly the party fell into the background because it felt like we were the only people there.

He called me the next day and the day after that, and the day after that and we were inseparable.  On July 4th 1998, two weeks after meeting each other for the first time, under a tree in his backyard, I said “I’m moving to Paris next month, do you want to come with me?”.  He said yes.
We backpacked around Spain for a month and then found an apartment and settled down in Paris for the year.  I taught English and he was a part-time nanny, part-time English tutor, part-time ghost writer.  We loved living in Paris and to this day it was one of the most magical years of our lives.  We made our way back to San Francisco and 10 years after meeting each other we finally got married under the willow tree at my parent’s house in Seattle.  At the wedding my best friend made this toast: “Melissa and Tom, thank you for making me in believe in love at first sight”.
Sixteen years after meeting each other we are back in Seattle raising two beautiful boys, dreaming of our next trip to Paris.  I still have the red skirt, and the dictionary.

Melissa via: Tumbler & Instagram

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