Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Post Office Day

This is how I met my wife, a story I've told many times but never committed to paper (or pixels).

During the fall and winter of 1998/99, I worked at an entertainment store as the book department manager. I'll stop short of calling it an actual bookstore, but with the closing of Borders, Hastings is now the biggest store which sells books in Lawrence. Spend one holiday shopping season in retail and you'll want to run away--far away. Sometime in mid-November, we hired seasonal employees to help with the crush of customers.

No, Aimee wasn't a seasonal hire, but her roommate Steve was. He thought I was cute. And nice. And gay...

After sorting out a few personal details (like the fact I wasn't playing for Steve's team, a matter I tried to explain with the best tact I could muster at twenty-three), he decided (reluctantly--still holding out hope, I guess) he should introduce me to Aimee. Several friends of Steve & Aimee's concurred, including a college buddy who was visiting from Chicago one fateful Tuesday in December.

I'd  moved to Lawrence that summer to be with another woman... one who promptly kicked me to the curb for a short* guy with a beard who looked a little like her father**. That, I suppose, could make another interesting tale. Since the messy breakup, I'd kept odd hours. Let's blame it on a wonky retail work schedule, okay? Wonky enough I found myself at the Vermont Street post office at eleven P.M. on Tuesday, December 8th, 1998. What kind of a weirdo goes to the post at night?

Me. I still do it from time to time.

After slipping my package in the appropriate slot, I stepped out of the building for my car, and who should be passing on the street but Steve. And who was in his passenger seat? Aimee.They'd just returned to Lawrence after dropping that mutual friend from Chicago at Kansas City International Airport, the only "international" airport I've ever known with no direct international flights.

My first impression of my future wife? She was short***. Very short despite standing nearly 5'10". See, Steve drove a red Honda Civic hatchback, the kind they haven't made for years. Aimee coached basketball for Free State High School in those days, and, wearing sweats and a hat, didn't want to be seen so she scrunched down in the seat. Steve pulled over--much to Aimee's horror--and invited me to a holiday party at their place that weekend.

Ever since that day, Aimee and I celebrated the second Tuesday in December as National Post Office Day, they day she tried not to be seen and I imagined she was about 5'2".

Ever since that day, Tuesdays have been a special day. Have a good one.

* Okay, when you're 6'3" (like I am), most people are "shorter" than you. This is not a dig.
** Well, more like her dad than I do, anyway. Sorry if my talons are too sharp. Feeling a little "raw" right now.
*** See, there I go again. 6'3" man. 6'3".


ktreff said...

Thanks, A, for telling this story. I wanted to ask, but honestly, I felt foolish for not knowing. Keep 'em coming.

ktreff said...

Thanks, A, for telling this story. I wanted to ask, but honestly, I felt foolish for not knowing. Keep 'em coming.

Sarah Hein said...

I love that you wrote that one! I've been thinking about it (and about 20 other Z stories I'll be emailing you). And yes, you got it right - I heartily concurred that an introduction should happen! You have all been in my thoughts and prayers.
"The Chicago Buddy"

Barry Napier said...

Awesome story. And, I see, another great reason to celebrate December 8th (it's also my birthday).

Daniel Powell said...

It's always a delightful surprise to hear how important paths intersect.

Thanks for sharing the story, Aaron.

I'm almost to "Ngiri's Catch" in Historical Lovecraft!

Robert said...

Very sweet story. Thanks for sharing.

Katey said...

Love it. Thanks for that, Aaron. <3

(The talons aren't too sharp, they're perfect!)

speedy said...

Great story Mr. Polson

Cate Gardner said...

Awww, what a lovely story.