It was all because of a blizzard. Well, sort of. I wanted to go to Minnesota to see the boyfriend I’d broken up with five months before while we were in Europe. We had bought Eurail passes and had made our way across the continent, sleeping on trains, in tents, and youth hostels, even though we were in our late twenties or early thirties. We made it to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Spain, and Italy.
After his cow farmer dad died in October and he appeared on my Omaha doorstep on his way back home for the funeral, we kind of made up. He was moving back to care for his invalid mom, but I had a teaching contract that kept me in Nebraska.
He said he needed a helpmate. I guess it was his way of making a marriage proposal. After all the crap that went down in Paris, I was unsure.
After the August break-up, I noticed a Friday night regular at my cocktail- waitress-moonlighting job at Brother’s Lounge. He was tall, dark, and handsome but reluctant to ask me out. Finally, one night when I was enjoying a male stripper that someone had hired for her table, he came over and asked me if I liked what I was seeing.
Duh! I was distracted, so it was not the best time for him to make his move.
A couple weeks later, his friend asked me if I’d go out with his buddy as he sat there and didn’t ask me himself.
I said maybe. Why couldn’t he ask me out without help?
It turned out his father had just died, too.
Meanwhile, the boyfriend-turned Minnesota cow farmer was calling and writing. I took my time, trying to decide what to do.
The tall dark handsome guy from my bar job asked me out for New Year’s. The cow farmer asked me to visit over Christmas break after I spent the holidays in Iowa with my family. I had to make a choice, Omaha or Minnesota.
I wanted to drive north the four hours to Lake City, but a blizzard was coming, and I had a 4 cylinder Chevy sedan. SUV’s hadn’t been invented yet.
The roads were clear back to Nebraska, so I chose door # 2. I went out with the Friday night regular. We dressed up and had a good first date. Then we had a second date, and a third, and a fourth. He turned out to be my future husband and the father of our three children, all because of an unfavorable weather report going north.
I went west literally and figuratively. We ended up in San Diego and then the Bay Area. He climbed the corporate ladder until I hardly saw him at all. Although he’s no longer my spouse, he got me to California. He helped me make three great kids.
It’s funny how one little decision can send your life on a completely different trajectory.
That, and owning a cheap car.