Freudian Slips: Love an Intersection, Marriage a Union

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 02, 2005

Love an Intersection, Marriage a Union

The Moshulu at Penns Landing, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

I met her in 1984. We shared an office together working at a private mental health agency. In a harsh manner of speaking, we worked for peanuts while treating nuts. It didn't take a college graduate to figure out from the laughter that we got along famously at work.
She was living with her boyfriend. I had a steady girlfriend.
There existed maybe six feet of desk separation and just as much kindling crammed into the same private office. I listened to her phone conversations. She listened to mine. We had no secrets. We had no privacy. We became friends. Neither of us dared to cross professional boundaries. It seemed a wise decision at the time.
Two years later, she announced that she accepted a government job. Before she jumped ship, she dutifully instructed me how to go about getting a similar job. Five months later, I wound up working at the same institution. I owed a debt of thanks to her for my promotion. We worked in different departments so we saw each other only for the occasional work meeting or casual conversation.
I married. Ironically, her own sister cut my hair on the day of my wedding. The woman that I speak of married not too far behind me. As a matter of fact, we both married the significant other we dated when we first met. Life is often the domino of habit. We worked together for a couple more years before she went to work elsewhere. Time did not stand still.
I had a baby girl. She had a baby girl the following year.
I resigned from my job to take another. Coincidentally, I wound up working on the same campus as her although neither of us knew it right away. By the time our paths crossed again, our families had grown.
I had another child. She had another child. We shared baby pictures and stories.
Shortly thereafter, the doors of my job closed and I took reassignment as a social worker in the community. She stayed put at her job and climbed a career ladder. We kind of lost touch for a period of time.
I divorced. She followed suit in a divorce.
I floundered in and out of relationships. Feeling a little bit lost while driving to a Single Parents Society dance, my attention took my gaze to a familiar sight. A wedding caterer now occupied the very office that I once shared with this woman so long ago. A special occasion balloon store was stationed next door. The same flower shop remained across the street. Flowers, balloons, and a wedding caterer had blossomed from this intersection. A bride to be was the only ingredient needed for the union. I got to thinking of this woman to the point that the dance no longer mattered. Only she mattered and this was a dance I didn't want to sit out any longer. I recalled our common denominators of work and family. The chemistry. Her friendliness. Her pep. The same foxy hourglass figure as the day when I first met her.
On the following Monday, I tracked her down at the office where I last knew she worked. Her voice coming over the telephone receiver allayed my fears. I found her. She gave me her home phone number. Our lives had paralleled for two decades and I refused to waste anymore time. In a brazen move, I asked her out before I even knew if she was dating someone else. She not only accepted my invitation but admitted to having a romantic curiosity about me. We courted for three years. I proposed. We married in 2001. She married right beside me this time. Call me a traditionalist. Her sister cut my hair before the wedding.
Diane, I consider today more our anniversary because it is the day you became mine and I became yours. It is the anniversary of our first date, a union meant to be as early as 1984 and as late as 1998. It is the day our history started to write on the same page and not in separate journals and photo albums. Happy anniversary, darling.

Our relationship is an unlikely love story. Pessimists might point out the following facts:
1) The agency where we first worked filed for bankruptcy.
2) The restaurant of our first date shortly thereafter went out of business.
3) The Penns Landing pier where I proposed collapsed and fell into the Delaware River.
After all, irony is not only the cornerstone of Freudian Slips but it is also the fabric of who I am. Sometimes it just takes patience and persistence for the stars to finally line up. Coincidence is as much destiny as it is happenstance. By being a captain of your own ship, you can catch the fish you set out to. The heart is a hunter. I have beaten the odds all of my life including getting our wedding kiss on national television.

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

J & D,

Oh, what a story! Ahhaaaa.
Zelda

9:18 AM  
Blogger Lost said...

Amazing the way life works isn't it? A very sweet story! Happy Anniversary (kinda).

9:56 AM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

Ahhh happy (pseudo)anniversary you crazy kids...

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, Of all the blogs entries you've written this is by far my favorite. I will never forget that night, which was the start of my happily ever after. Love, Di

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admit it! You're just a sentimentalist at heart. Wonderful, "How I met my mate story." Keep up the in depth writing. It only gets better and better, your love for D and your writing. ET

6:41 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

Zelda,
Not just Ahhaaaa but Ooooh too.

Lost,
You snagged me working an extra anniversary present.

Pax,
Crazy like a fox.

Di,
I think I'll retire early to bed tonight. Wink. Wink.

ET,
It is more fun to root for the underdog in love and writing.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of underdog, I must do an update on your blog about the speaking dog. Because of my age, and the possibility that my memory may have gaps in it, I had to check with your brother to verify my recollection of the episode. I have good news and bad news....the good news is that there is nothing wrong with my memory.......the bad news is that you were more inebriated that you recall. It was not Anthony, but John who pretended that Daisy (dog's name) was having a conversation with you. Love, ET

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary. Such a nice sweet story. Emily

3:51 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

ET,
In regards to the Doctor Doolittle story, new inofrmation confirms that the situation was graver than I thought.

Emily,
Afleet a foot I wasn't.

5:06 PM  
Blogger justrose said...

amazing and beautiful. thanks for sharing.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

justrose,
You could have probably wrote this story better.

10:01 PM  

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