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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cheat Night - the BRIDGED version of the Bill and Ange Story


I just submitted an essay to a magazine about when one seemingly random decision changed my life.  It was reasonably entertaining so I’m going to cheat tonight and copy and paste it in here.  

It’s the true story of how Bill and I met.  Not the WHOLE true story, but the main gist.  For those of you who know the WHOLE STORY you’ll have to allow me certain creative license.  This story is all completely true but there are some things I’ve left out for brevity (and simplicity) sake.  Enjoy…

This could change everything.  I was suddenly paralyzed by fear.  My breath caught in my throat.  As the water from my feeble shower head dribbled down on me I was awash in doubt.  Could it really change everything?  I tried to shake it off.  Ridiculous.  It’s just a job interview.  I finished soaping up.  I had them all the time.  I liked my current job, loved it in fact but it didn’t have benefits.  Or paid vacation.  Or weekends off.  Or evenings.   Or steady hours.  Or a boss with all her marbles.  So for the last six months I’d been searching and applying for jobs I thought I might be interested in.  

On a whim I’d applied to a large multinational company, figuring I wouldn’t get in and it would be good practice for me.  The interview was kind of funny.  I was so nervous – but luckily for me when I’m nervous I get chatty.  Most people find it charming.  The chair one of the guys (who would be my supervisor) was sitting in squeaked EVERY TIME HE MOVED.  Each time he shifted his weight in the chair it sounded like he was tooting.  “And so Angela tell us about one thing you would change about yourself if you could.”  SQEEAAAK.  Focus Angela, he’s not actually farting.  Do.  Not.  Laugh.  Anyway, I got this question bagged.  “Well I wish I wasn’t so perfectionistic.  Life would be much easier.”  Pause.  Smile in a depreciating manner.  Nods all around.  Score.  (And incidentally totally, TOTALLY not true.)  Don’t judge me.  I have bad teeth.  I needed the benefits.  It was this or a mouth full of holes where my teeth should have been.

Long story short, I got in.  Within two years I was rocking it at this new company and although I hated the job (ugh, customer SERVICE.  By PHONE.)  Nothing more needs to be said.  But, I was finally getting steady paychecks, and an opportunity for promotion and travel.  And benefits!  I could get my eyes checked; I wouldn’t lose (any more) TEETH!  SCHEDULED VACATION!  For the first time ever I could schedule vacation!  I wouldn’t have to save up money first so I could take two days off and then not be able to afford to go anywhere…  Not that I’m too good for a stay-cation.  There’s nothing wrong with staying in your jammies and watching Lord of the Rings from start to finish.  Again.  But, it was nice to be able to afford to go somewhere…you know…not just in my head.

And then Temi my pod-mate asked me to join him on the company soccer team.  They were a girl short and they needed two in order to play.  He cajoled, he encouraged, he pushed and he nudged and after he shot down all my excuses I finally joined them.  I ripped my quad muscle the first time out.  And I didn’t have any gut feelings, any fear.  I didn’t have any indication at all that this one decision, seemingly innocuous, would change my life forever.  But it did.  Somewhere between the ripped quad muscle and the broken left ulna bone I caught the eye of the goalie on the opposing team.  And not just because I’m a walking accident waiting to happen – he thought I was quite cute, despite the frequent trips to emergency.  He suspected I may be worth the trouble.  (I am).  Mostly. 

If you can believe it we got married three years ago and had our first baby girl 16 months ago.  We’re sitting here on the couch, right now, watching the Saints get beat by the Buccaneers.  Ellie, our daughter, is asleep in the next room.  When I think about what might have happened (or not happened) if I hadn’t joined the company soccer team that night…I don’t even want to think about it.  There’d be no Ellie.  There’d be no me.  I’m a different person because of the experiences I had with that cute goalie.  I got lost on a Paris subway.  I watched the sun set behind an ACTUAL CASTLE in Prague.  I drove in a convertible on a highway in Las Vegas.  (Ah, that was actually too hot…not all it’s cracked up to be.)

Right after we got back from our Honeymoon (In JAPAN!  WHAT!?)  Our company told us we’re moving to Virginia (we were in New Brunswick, Canada).  We lived in Alexandria VA for two years and just when I got used to the inner loop and the mixing bowl (I called it the spaghetti bowl) they shipped us off to Houston.  Well, Conroe.  

I’m an American resident now.  I can’t believe I have a zip code instead of a postal code.  I’m amazed at the turns my life has taken, spun from that one decision I almost didn’t make about going out after work to play some soccer.  

My husband Bill was born in Kobe, Japan, me in New Brunswick, Canada.  I am in awe at the workings of a universe that could ever have us meet, (how does that HAPPEN!?) fall in love, and end up in Texas together.   I hope we have five more kids.  I hope I get to live in Japan and Prague and India (for a bit).  Life is an adventure, a whirling, swirling, chaotic, completely unpredictable dervish.  All I can do is hold on and try not to break any more ulna bones.  Either way, I LOVE IT.