luck's all in how you look at it
pick up time at the elementary school is always an adventure as parents push and shove their SUVs and minis through the parking lot in hopes that today - success! - they get to be first in line. a little hint? don't acknowledge the person trying to edge their way into line ahead of you. yeah...you taste that? that's the taste of victory, baby!
surviving today was a coup for me. prime parking secured, i hopped out and fell in step with another victorious parent, a man also briskly walking with shoulders hunched up as the rain began to fall with more force. i gave him the polite 'nice day, huh?' smile and he offered the same to me.
then, at what appeared to be the same time judging by the looks that had to have flashed across our faces, we realized we were more than two people who'd gotten lucky in the school parking lot.
we were two individuals who'd gotten lucky in my bedroom in a former apartment in a former town in a former life.
hello, fate. nice of you to drop by.
as my mind rushed through the array of 'well, what do you say in this situation' choices, he offered up a very simple 'hello,' my name following easily behind the greeting.
immediately i was taken back to how we met years ago. a brief exchange among friends that resulted in an exchange of telephone numbers ('we're meant to be,' we laughed upon discovering the numbers differed by only one numeral). we had easy conversation. he'd show up quietly where i worked to surprise me. charm me with compliments about my eyes and gifts of baby roses left by my apartment door on my birthday.
it took forever for him to work up the nerve to kiss me. i'd nearly given up hope when, as i prepared to leave his apartment one evening as the sunday night tv movie credits rolled ('ghost' if you're curious), he reached for my arm and pulled me back.
did my toes curl? did i suggest staying to "watch" the news?
ummm....not really. but i didn't give up on him.
within days, we settled in at my apartment and the night progressed like a very formulated plan. fabulous dinner, silly laughter. awkward kissing on the couch. when i asked if he wanted to go to bed, we went without a lot of words.
and it was nice. like vanilla ice cream is nice...if vanilla ice cream is all you have in the freezer. i'm a girl who likes, let's say, super double chocolate candy bar supreme with caramel sauce and a cherry on top. and ok, if you insist, whipped cream.
lots of chances were had. different things tried. i offered up many ways to find me charming aside from my eyes. yes, we got lucky and then some, but we didn't melt the ice cream.
eventually, we realized that the closest we'd be to each other was only the fact that our telephone numbers were one numeral off. the relationship faded on it's own, no hard feelings, no assumed broken hearts. he moved out of town and i eventually did, as well.
i just never realized we moved to the same town. that all these years later this is where we'd meet again. the elementary school parking lot. in two kickass parking spaces.
after our hello's and brief, semi-interested 'how are you?' responses, i slowed my step a bit and let him get ahead of me. by then, our respective children were bounding out and it was time to make the mad rush out of the parking lot. i couldn't help but think 'still vanilla...' as we waved politely goodbye, knowing that the chance of bumping into each other again is great.
and that was followed by the brief thought that i did get lucky.