As I sit to write this it is about six weeks before my dear husband and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. I’m convinced that our meeting was an act of divine intervention; our story is simply too amazing to have happened any other way.
I was a widow living in a small second-floor apartment in, what is thought of by many townspeople, as our town’s version of the projects. By that I mean: A low-income housing area that is often on the local police's "radar” thanks to a higher crime rate than the rest of our sleepy riverfront hamlet. I was working in the Deli department of a big box store that everyone seems to have a love/hate relationship with. The kind of place you wish you could ignore, but are forced to use because no other store in town can match their prices.
Some eighteen months earlier I had on a whim joined several single websites. After meeting a long line of unusual, odd or just plain crazy men. I realized the cost of these websites just did not add up to the promises they made and I stopped renewing my subscriptions as they came due. I did, however, continue to keep my profile posted on Yahoo Personals simply because it was still a free site. It had been such a long time since I had actually heard from anyone from there I had almost forgotten I was still a member on that Black Friday in November of 2006.
I was shocked when I returned home from work to find a message in my e-mail from someone called Frank 99. What a lovely message it was too. Frank explained in his message that from his experience you could take all the profiles of the women in his age group and shuffle them up like a deck of cards and hand them back and they would all still (pretty much) fit the person they were handed too. He found mine, however, to be unique and interesting. He also admitted to having to do a Google search on some of the women I had named because they were unfamiliar to him. Frank said he had written just to complement me on my originality.
I will let you decide for yourself. Here is a copy of my profile.
I see myself as a chameleon made up of tiny bits of Annie Oakley, Margaret Houlihan, and Julia Sugarbaker, with a sprinkling of Harriet Olson, and a whole lot of Jessica Fletcher. If I were a smell I would have to be the scent of lilacs on a summer breeze seconds before a slow rain. If I had to be a sound I would be the clanging of the last bell of the school day. At another time in history, this gal would have without question donned a prairie bonnet, and walked from Missouri to Montana behind a Conestoga wagon, because she trusted her husband's decisions for their family. If you and I were the sole survivors of a plane crash on a remote mountaintop, this gal could amputate your leg with a pocketknife to free you from the wreckage, build a travois and attempt to haul your butt off the mountain in a blizzard, if that was the only option for saving both our lives. For friendship (or love) I would sit beside your hospital bed till the end; drive half way across the state to deliver a spare key, in the middle of the night; or tape every book in the library. To win a wager I might make the climb to the top of a water tower but it would require being unconscious to get me back down. Mice have me climbing on tables and horror movies keep me awake for days. Overall, I would have to say that I tend to be the last person anyone thinks about, until something goes amiss, and then I become the first person everyone wants to find.
I think the above is a fair description of how I see myself. Now whether others agree with it or not is a different matter entirely, and to be completely honest I doubt many do. The bold truth is that at the time this profile was written there had only been one person on this earth who truly knew the real me, and even after thirty-one years together I was never certain he actually understood me. I do know that my dear Frank 99 does understand me. But frankly, I have been too afraid to ask him how accurate he finds this profile now that we have a whole decade behind us.