Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Annie Veri Sorry

My wife and I met in Pensacola when I was stationed there as an Instructor at the Naval Technical Training Center.

At the time I was the king of really, really lousy relationships. Really.

Think I’m kidding?

In no particular order, I’d been involved with a self-destructive alcoholic, an self-destructive obsessive compulsive, a self-destructive hypochondriac, a pathological liar, and a faithless bitch who managed to get herself pregnant while engaged to me all the while loudly claiming that she was still a virgin (just for the record the father wasn’t me, it was half the Marine barracks, a couple of Seabees, and a Tijuana horse act). Those were the highlights. I wasn’t any better at the casual date – in fact my so-calling ‘dating’ life was an ongoing comedy of errors that resembled a Ben Stiller movie, i.e. not funny and more than a little mean, just for meanness sake. My dating life could be best summed up by that sound the Titanic made as it slowly and inexorably ground down the side of the iceberg, ripping open its guts in a scree of tearing metal, freezing water, and impending doom. Hell, I once went out with a girl who, during dinner, mentioned that she had to be home by 8:00PM so she could get ready for her real date - see that guy couldn’t pay for dinner but he was really hot, so this way she got a good dinner with me, and got to go clubbing with a really hot guy later. And she was the kind of girl who couldn’t figure out why I might be insulted when she dropped that little gem of gold digging logic in the middle of the main course. As I recall, she ended up taking a taxi home.

Remember that Zevon song? Lawyers, Guns, and Money? Like that, only without the joy.

By the time I met the woman who would become my wife, I had basically sworn off relationships of any kind, forever. No dating. No nothing. Kiss my ass.

Bitter? You have no idea.

But I had a friend, a woman I worked with as a volunteer on the weekends at the USO, who just would not leave me alone. She swore she knew a girl who was perfect for me. She pestered me for weeks about it. She kept on about it every single time I saw her, like one of those little yappy dogs. Yap yap yap. It was driving me insane.

A blind date? With my track record? Sure, what could possibly go wrong?

Tell me about her, I said. Well, replied my friend, she’s really nice! Nice? Uh no thanks. Idi Amin in drag, no doubt. Nice girls are the absolute worst.

But my friend just wouldn’t leave me the hell alone and finally I gave in and agreed to call the girl. I fully expected it to be a disaster of about 9.98 on the shitty-date-O-meter. She’d be crazy (because, as you know, all woman are psycho), she’d have hygiene issues and terminal BO, or talk to invisible friends, or bring along her husband who was out on parole, or be a Soviet spy, or some goddamned thing.

The only reason I agreed to the date was so I could get it over with and so I could say, “See? I told you so, now shut up. No really, shut up or I will hit you in the head with a shovel and feed your body to the alligators. Shut up.”

Things didn’t work out exactly as I expected.

It was literally love at first sight. I kid you not. She was the most amazing woman I’d ever met.

And she liked me.

As of today, we’ve been married 18 years.

I’m taking the day off. See you tomorrow.


  1. Happy Anniversary, you guys!! :)

    Wow ::sniff::

    Have an awesome day/week/month/next 50 years!

  2. That has got to be one of the best "how I met my spouse" stories I've heard yet. Congratulations, and happy anniversary!

  3. Congratulations and many more happy years to you both!

  4. Happy Anniversary and best wishes for 50 more just as wonderful!

  5. Congrats! And you'll have to explain the great title. :)

  6. The post title comes from a Becker episode.

    It's the anniversary of Dr. John Becker and Margaret (Becker's nurse) meeting and starting Becker's practice. Linda thinks he's forgotten and tries to remind him without actually saying it. She tells this long rambling story about her friend Happy Annie, who ends up being very sorry for something she forgot - which leads Linda to refer to her friend as Happy Annie Very Sorry. Hint Hint.

    Becker, one of our favorite shows. I miss it.

    1. Thank you Jim (almost 12 years later)! I COULD NOT remember what show that line came from and googling only bought up this article which I did not read :-), and had initially skipped over. Fortunately your comment here solved the mystery that's been bugging me for a couple of days now. And yes, Becker was a great show!

  7. Wow, if you've gotta be wrong, that's the way to do it! Congratulations!

  8. Happy Anniversary! (Wow. That story almost gives me hope. Almost.)

  9. Happy anniversary. :)

    So has the friend stopped with the "I told you so" yet? ;)

  10. Happy Anniversary, Mr. and Mrs. Stonekettle Station.

  11. Happy anniversary and congratulations to both of you. :)

  12. Happy Anniversary! Just had our 11th and hope things are still happy on our 18th.

  13. Happy Anniversary my brother, I new there was a reason I called you and Becky the other day from Lowes.

  14. Happy Anniversary!

    (I had something snarky to add, but I held back as a little gift to you.)

  15. Unlike Nathan I'm going Snarky here...
    "She was the most amazing woman I’d ever met.

    And she liked me."

    She is the most amazing woman. and back then many of us had trouble liking Jim, Even Jim. I witnessed one of the lead in psychos and I will tell you he is not exaggerating.

    When I met "the love of his life" you could tell they were gonna be together until for the rest of their lives and it still does today. There are many "perfect couples" that you hear about or know but these two have it hands down!

    Congratulations to my friends. I am glad to have been at your wedding, seen you as young parents, had the good fortune hosting you in Hawaii, very lucky to have had you around in San Diego and to have spent time with you at SKS. Always the best guys.

    Not very Beastly though was that.

  16. Aw. How sweet.

    Happy Anniversary!!

  17. A belated happy anniversary, Jim and Becky!

    Turns out, you beat us by less than 3 weeks...

  18. Happy Anniversary to Mrs. Wright and Mr. Wright! How very appropriate.

    Yeah, I know it's not really Mr. Wright, it's CWO (ret), but still, the Mr. Right reference was the right way to go, even for a left-winger like yourself. :)

    Jim, I've had disfunctional relationships by the score, but it sounds like you might have taken that cake from me. It's really great to hear that even with that kind of background you can still find the right special one, and hang on together thereafter. Good wishes in big bunches to you both!

  19. That's just about the best story ever.

    Happy belated anniversary to the Wrights!

  20. I really need to carry that story around in my pocket to show to my friends and/or family who give me the stink eye when I speak pessimistically about my future lovelife.

  21. I missed it. Well, let me be first to wish you and Mrs. Wright a happy 19th anniversary. :-)

  22. Just catching up on your blog. Belated Congrats!


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