The Contra Costa Times is hosting a contest titled “How We Met” for the upcoming Valentine’s day holiday. The story of how my wife and I met is actually kinda sweet and funny, so we, of course, entered. You can view our entry on the CoCo Times site here. You can also *ahem* vote us as “Best” near the bottom of the picture, if you are so inclined (behold the power of RobZazueta.com, perhaps?).
For the caption, I was only given 1000 characters, but was asked to send a 500-word story of how we met. Here that story, in all its 499 word glory:
I responded to Danielle’s ad on Match.com in 1999 (before it was cool!) Her mother read my email over her shoulder and convinced her that she had to contact me because I was just so funny. Reluctantly, she called my number. One phone call turned into nightly, hours-long phone calls for two weeks. One night, she told me she was driving from Richmond to Lancaster to see friends for the July Fourth weekend. I convinced her that my apartment in Menlo Park was located between Richmond and Lancaster and, therefore, on her way, and invited her out for dinner. Though it was a good 20 miles out of her way and required her to cross a bridge, she agreed.
I was young and had a good job as a computer programmer, but cared little about my appearance or the car I drove. My hair was shaggy and, being extremely nervous, I chose to wear my favorite recycled cotton sweat shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans, which did not match her date-ready casual attire. We took my car – a 1985 Mercury Topaz whose ragged cloth ceiling lining draped over our heads – to a local mexican restaurant where I engaged her in nervous chit-chat, punctuated by embarrassed apologies after I accidentally (I swear!) brushed against her breast.
The plan was to have dinner, then send her off to Lancaster. As the hour grew late, she began to yawn. I jokingly suggested she stay at my place that night – I’d take the couch, of course. Determining I was not a homicidal maniac, she agreed. Back at my apartment, I turned on a movie I knew she’d love – Kevin Smith’s “Clerks”. On the couch, she laid her feet in my lap and, after several nervous false starts, I gently massaged them until she fell asleep – a good 20 minutes into the movie. When it ended, I gently woke her and told her to take the bed, I’d stay on the couch. She insisted she was fine where she was, so I got her a blanket and pillow and left her for the night.
She told me she had to leave by 10am, so I woke up three hours before, snuck out into the kitchen and, as quietly as I could, made waffles for breakfast. She woke up immediately, but pretended to continue sleeping while I worked. When the waffles were ready, I woke her up and we ate breakfast, then sent her on her way with a polite hug.
When she got home, her mother was dying to hear how the meeting went. “Well,” she said, “He needs a haircut, he wore this ugly, recycled shirt, he drives a bucket, has a weird taste in movies and was so nervous I thought he was going to have a stroke. But he’s so sweet, he made me breakfast before I left. I think he’s a keeper.”
We’ve now been very happily married for four years. And her mother still takes the credit.
All together now: Awwwwwww!