This man was unlucky in love until Ms. Right stepped out of a dream and into his life.
- Posted on Feb 14, 2012
Blind dates were not my thing. But here I was scanning a Chinese bistro for the blond woman named Tera. Maybe I should just bolt before I throw up, I thought. I took a big gulp of lemon water instead.
A woman entered the restaurant. A blond. I sank down into my booth. She was pretty, but I didn’t feel any big “connection” to her. Surely a blind date should provoke some kind of instant spark of possibility.
No fireworks, I thought as she walked straight for my table. This will be a short date. I started to get up. “You must be…”
The woman walked right on past to another table. She wasn’t here for me at all. I collapsed back into my booth. Was there anything more stressful than a blind date?
I would never have agreed to this if it wasn’t for the relentless doings of three middle-aged women. The first was my mom’s best friend, Judy. Judy had been saved by God from near death, and ever since then she’d relied on him for everything.
“Guess what Judy told me?” Mom said to me one day. “She saw your future wife in a dream. She said she’s in good physical condition, has two children, a boy and girl, blond hair and is a police officer.”
Mom ticked off the odd list of characteristics like they were items on a menu. God had ordered it, so I would get it.
“Don’t you have anything better to do than make up perfect wives for me?” I said. “I don’t know any blond lady cops. Do you?”
“Judy’s been right before,” Mom said. “You never know. Your soul mate could be closer than you think.”
“Maybe I should go out for a quick walk,” I said. “My future wife is probably right down the block.”
I couldn’t afford to believe in romantic fantasies. I’d already been burned by love once. When I got married I thought it would be forever. Instead I’d gotten divorced and moved back in with Mom to figure out what to do next.
My work at a prison facility became my priority. Dating was the last thing on my mind. But it was too late to tell Mom that—she had become relentless woman number two, constantly on the lookout for my future wife.
I took another sip of my lemon water and checked my watch. Tera wasn’t late yet, but part of me was hoping she wouldn’t show up at all. I glanced up at the door just as another blond woman walked in—Tera, I knew it. I knew this was her as sure as if I’d known her all my life.
“Wow!” I whispered. She was breathtaking, dressed to perfection. It was as if she moved in slow motion. As she walked toward me I felt like I’d fallen into a chick flick. Talk about fireworks. I could barely breathe.
Stop it, Michael! I told myself. Don’t get your hopes up. This was just how I’d gotten hurt before, believing in romance that lasted forever. Things didn’t happen that way in real life. Whatever Judy and Mom thought, a guy didn’t just walk out of his house and find the love of his life waiting down the block.
“Hi,” I said as Tera came to the table. “Nice to meet you finally.”
“Nice to meet you too,” she said.
As Tera got settled I silently thanked Tera’s mother, relentless woman number three. Julie worked with me at the prison, and she was always telling me I’d be the perfect man for her daughter. “Why don’t you call her?” she said at least once a week. “You’re perfect for each other.”
She tatalked about her daughter so much I couldn’t help but be curious. “So what does Tera do?” I asked Julie one day as we walked through the medical hall.
“People never believe it when I tell them,” she said. “She’s a cop.”
I nearly tripped in surprise. “A cop?” Okay, I thought, score one for Judy and her big dream. “Does Tera have children, by any chance?” I asked.
“My two grand babies!” said Julie. “Well, they’re not babies anymore. But they’ll always be babies to me. A boy and a girl.”
I was trying to be skeptical here, but I couldn’t help myself: “What color is Tera’s hair?”
If Julie thought it was an odd question she didn’t show it. “Her hair is a dark blond.”
Back at my desk I told myself not to get carried away. I’d leave that to Mom and Judy. But still, with that kind of coincidence, how could I not at least call Tera?
I stared at my Chinese restaurant menu, unable to focus on anything as long as Tera was sitting across from me. Desperately I tried to think of something to say, but my mind was a blank. This must be the worst blind date ever, I thought. For her.
“It’s a lot easier getting to talk to you in person,” Tera said. “Without my awful cell phone.”
The first time I called Tera we barely said two words before the connection died. I called her back and the same thing happened. I was almost ready to give up, taking it for a sign. Finally we managed to talk just long enough to arrange a date.
Now she can finally hear me and I can’t speak, I thought. Tera chatted away as if she didn’t notice. Finally I just gave up and enjoyed the sound of her voice. She was smart and funny. What could she see in me?
When the date was over I was sure she wasn’t interested. I might have never called her again if it wasn’t for those three relentless women ready to pester me about it.
So I asked Tera out again. It was getting hard to keep those old romantic tendencies in check: the girl who took my breath away agreed to a second date. But could I actually risk believing that this was the girl God meant for me? I needed one more sign.
“Pick me up at my house this time,” said Tera as we arranged our next date. “We can drive to the movies together. Where do you live; I’ll give you directions to my place.”
I told Tera my address. “You’re kidding!” she said, laughing.
“Do you know the neighborhood?” I asked.
“I live right down the block!”
Turns out those three relentless women had planned my life pretty well. Eight months later they would be helping us plan a wedding.
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