Harold was friends with Jack. Jack worked with Mary. Jack thought Harold and Mary should meet.
“Come to the company luncheon with me,” Jack said. “And it you don’t like Mary, you can meet Alice.”
Harold went online and checked out the two women’s Facebook pages. He liked Mary’s page more than Alice’s page. But Mary sat with her sister at the luncheon, and Harold got stuck next to Alice. So he played the shy card. Alice flirted and Harold held back.
Then Mary got up and headed for the restroom. Harold saw his chance. When she came out of the bathroom, Harold introduced himself.
“I believe we have a mutual friend,” he said.
“You can get my number from Jack,” Mary said as she gave him a sidelong glance and turned to head back to the table.
Harold texted her. She texted back. It went on for weeks. He kept asking for a date. She kept pushing back. After a month she finally agreed.
Harold drove to San Francisco to pick her up. She would have to buzz him in the door. But then an older Chinese lady let him in. He went into the lobby. She stepped off the elevator and their eyes locked.
She suggested Original Joe’s in Little Italy (North Beach).
Harold had had his heart stomped on just a few months before. He had no expectations for the date. He didn’t care too much. He spent the whole date being himself, not trying to impress. His new motto was love it or leave it. He’d already told her in texts about his hair plugs, his time in the army, and college. He did remember to chew with his mouth closed.
Harold got up to use the bathroom. She changed sides of the booth so that when he came back, he would be sitting next to her.
Harold wasn’t good at picking up cues from women. When he sat down, she scooted closer to him.
They ended the meal with Italian doughnuts and ice cream with Espresso poured over it. He paid for dinner.
They went on to a bar for more drinks. He held her hand since they were passing strip clubs. At Spec’s Bar he told her all of his weird stuff. Then they walked back to Stockton and Chestnut where his car was parked.
“So, what do you think?” he asked casually. “Should we go out again?”
She kissed him for fifteen mintues. Then they got in the car and kissed for15 more. He drove her back to her place. They made out at every single stoplight.
On the second date, Harold introduced her to his dad.
On Valentine’s Day, Harold showed up at her office in full camo with flowers, chocolates and a little stuffed monkey. Mary’s female office mates approved.
Then the pandemic kicked in in March. Some of her family members were sick. They didn’t see each other for 4 weeks.
“To heck with this,” Harold said.
He went to the city and picked her up for the weekend. He kept it up for the next year and a half. Then she moved in with him. He proposed on Christmas Eve.
They are getting married in September. Her colors are royal blue and sunflowers. She is from Odessa, Ukraine (but when she left at age five, it was still the Soviet Union).
Congrats, Harold and Mary!