Some background to the story: when I was in graduate school, I met my first husband. He was an Eagle Scout and enjoyed camping, so he volunteered as an assistant scoutmaster with a scout troop near the university we attended. Our first real date was to a covered dish dinner award ceremony (Court of Honor) for scouts achieving merit badges. I don’t remember any of the scouts I met that night, but keep in mind, there were a lot of them there.
Next background bit: ten years later, my husband and I were invited to a party for the troop’s 50 year anniversary. By then we had a two and a half year old son. Our marriage was getting a little rocky, given that he had a hair trigger temper, but I was in it until death do us part, and not looking for anything more than a few minutes conversation with the cute young man with curly brown hair standing next to me at the refreshment table. In fact, by a day or so later I had forgotten him.
By four years later, it had become apparent that the death that was going to part my husband and me was likely to be untimely, likely to be violent, and likely to be mine. I tossed him out of the house and filed for divorce. Eventually I joined a singles group that, among other activities, held a weekly volleyball game. One night, I looked across the volleyball net and saw a cute younger man with slightly splayed feet, a feature that for some reason I found totally adorable. I also thought he looked ten years younger than me, and figured he wouldn’t be interested.
It turned out he was interested, and only six years younger than me. After a few weeks of volleyball, he asked me out for dinner. We talked the usual getting acquainted chit-chat people do on first dates, and I learned he was a) from New Orleans and b) an Eagle Scout. “Where in New Orleans?” I asked, suspecting I knew. “Uptown.” “What troop were you in?” I wasn’t surprised to hear the answer. “Did you know (ex’s name)?” “Yes, he was one of our assistant scoutmasters.” “He’s also my ex-husband.”
By this time I decided if I had spent my first date with my ex-husband watching this kid get his Eagle Scout award, there wasn’t going to be a second date for the two of us. In his zeal to prove to me it wasn’t so, the next week the cute young man showed me the dated certificate that came with his Eagle, and along with it he had a program from the 50 year anniversary party.
Oh, my gosh! The curly haired young man (now less curly haired, and starting to gray) from the party!
Eight weeks later we were engaged, and slightly less than a year from our meeting at the volleyball game (the meeting I refer to as “the one that took”), we were married. Twenty-seven years later, we are still married. I fondly imagine Fate pushing us together two or three times, saying, “Will you idiots just get it, already? I have other business to attend to.”
And it took 2 or 3 tries, but we finally got it.