Friday, November 10, 2006

Let me tell you a story...

Let me tell you about Wendy.

We met at Providence College; she was a freshman, and I was a sophomore. I came from the Big Smoke (or close enough not to matter for Westerners), and Wendy was from a cattle ranch on the outskirts of Pinaymootang First Nation, far enough north in Manitoba that Winnipeg seemed to be the "balmy south".

My family hails from Scotland; Wendy's is Russian Mennonite. And as this photo clearly documents, it was unquestionably the 80's.
Beauty & the Beast?

It wasn't exactly love-at-first-sight. Granted, many of the guys at our school noticed Wendy right away, because she is beautiful. And her personality was warm, outgoing, and she didn't have the "church lady" attitude that some of her contemporaries at Bible College tended towards. I found her to be a breath of fresh air.

But we weren't attracted to each other, at least not in a "prospective boyfriend/girlfriend" kind of way. We hung out with the same friends, went to a few concerts as a group, and sometimes the two of us went for coffee at Le Routier in nearby St. Pierre-Jolys. We discovered that we could talk for hours -- and often did at Le Routier -- and became great friends.

Ironically, I was out for coffee with a different Wendy one night, and she was asking the timeless questions about how to decide if a certain guy was "the right one" for her or not. She asked me at one point what I looked for in a girl, and when I told her a few things, she asked me if I'd ever met anyone like what I was looking for.

Apparently, that sent me off on a long, long tale of this amazing young woman at college named Wendy, and when I finally paused for breath, she simply stated, "Wow, she sounds incredible. Why don't you ask her out?"

It was one of those revelatory moments where your only reaction is to quote St. Homer of Simpson: "DOH!"

It still took me four days to get up enough nerve to actually ask her out (I really valued our friendship and didn't want to screw it up), and she said "yes", twenty-three years ago today. It's been an incredible journey ever since.

And twenty-three years later, Wendy and I still go out for coffee and talk for hours.