From Dipshidiots to Valentines

Cirque du Today22 Comments

It just so happened that my first-ever date with my husband Todd fell on Valentine’s Day. It was 2002, and we’d just looked at our little single people calendars and chosen a Thursday, not thinking of the date’s significance. It was a lunch date, because I hadn’t made up my mind yet about him, and I wouldn’t want to waste a prime Thursday night (Girls Night Out) on a man who might turn out to be yet another Dipshidiot. This was only three months after I broke up with the biggest Dipshidiot in my life’s repertoire, and my heart was still smoking from spending 18 months on his hellish rotisserie. (In a nutshell, he was a cheating, drug-addicted mortician. I’ll spare you the gory details). I’d met Todd shortly after breaking up with this Flatulating Buttface, and I really had no interest in selling my soul to another male for as long as I lived.

I was at a bar one Tuesday night with some co-workers, and a girl approached me in the line to the bathrooms, asking if I wanted to meet some of her guy friends. I hesitated, trying to find a polite way to say, “Not no, but HELL NO,” and to fill that awkward silence, she started talking. And talking. And talking.  I found I actually enjoyed listening to her, so I didn’t interrupt. I did eventually walk over to meet her friends, of which Todd was one, but hers was the phone number I walked away with that night. She (Christina) became a friend and introduced me to a huge group of single, successful women, most of whom were not in the habit of wasting time with the kind of Dillweeds I’d fooled around with most of my adult life.

Fast-forward three more months of casually running into Todd at mutual outings involving my new girlfriends and their single guy friends, and Todd all of a sudden started sending me emails. (Yes, emails, not texts. This was back in the era of flip phones). His messages began with random Confucius one-liners. “Man who farts in church sits in own pew,” was one. Another? “Man who walks through airport turnstile sideways is going to Bangkok.” He gambled, instinctively, I guess, that the way to win my heart was to write to me in a totally irreverent and perverted fashion. SCORE. After a few weeks of this interesting Confucius bombing (combined with a little conversation here and there), I agreed to go on a date with him. The way he asked was endearing.

“I think there’s something happening between us. Can we go out sometime?”

I’d never experienced such unbridled honestly. Seriously. I’d been accustomed to the game-players and the shit-talkers for sooo long, and I thought to myself: here’s someone my mother would be proud of. Here’s someone my therapist thinks I should be dating. So I accepted a lunch date. On a Thursday. Which brings us up to speed.

We agreed to meet at a popular, quaint, village-type row of restaurants that was close enough to where we each worked. I got there early, as I am the Time Nazi (after suffering a childhood of tardiness to school, church, doctors’ appointments or any other function demanding heart-pounding, sweaty punctuality). I paced around in front of the agreed-upon restaurant, observing the passersby, especially a lot of men hurriedly rushing past me with bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolates. It suddenly occurred to me:  Huh. Oh, yeah. That’s right. It IS Valentine’s Day. What if this guy wants to woo me to death with flowers, a card, a box of chocolates? Oh, I don’t think I can handle that. I mean, yes, it would be nice. But I don’t think I’m ready for nice. I think I would kick nice in the balls, actually. Because I am still so pissed at the male gender and dealing with my weird transition between gravitating towards Dipshidiots and gravitating towards Nice Guys, that this will probably push me over the Not Happening Edge.   I am perspiring after this inner monologue, jerking around looking for my date spasmodically around every corner, like I’m looking for Jason in Friday the Umpteenth, until I see him. No flowers, no apparent card, just a goofy grin on his face. And what do I say?

“Ummm, hellllloooo? WHERE are my flowers? My card? Tell me you at least got me a card.” He looked so frightened and chagrined and uncomfortable, I had to end it quickly. I burst out in hysterical laughter, even splicing in some attractive snorts here and there. That was his induction to Mean, Weird, Scary Ashley World.  And he married me anyway.

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From Dipshidiots to Valentines

22 Comments on “From Dipshidiots to Valentines”

  1. Bethy G

    You crack me up!!! Great read, once again! Happy Valentines Day AND Anniversary in the first date sense. 🙂

  2. Uncle Wiggly

    How did I miss this? Tres romantique! Still hooting over Flatulating Buttface. Your writing is so rich and funny and full of juicy details and observations. There’s a gem or two in nearly every flavor-packed sentence. Todd’s invitational line is pure gold – have to tuck that one away. A very neat couple – your kids will love these later on. Thanks again for your bright offerings to your adoring accolytes!

    1. Ashley

      I wondered where you were on that one, Uncle W. You’re too good to me! Thanks for being such a rich commenter and loyal reader. 😀

  3. Lisa Newlin

    Holy crap! How did it “just so happen” that your first date was on Valentine’s Day?! I despise that day and I’m in a loving relationship! I’m glad it worked out for you. And at least he got a dose of your humor early so he knew what he was getting into. It sounds like he jumped in head first.

    And you look EXACTLY the same as you did on your wedding day. You’re like a goddamned Benjamin Button of aging.

    1. Ashley

      HA! Please! Benjamin Button? Thanks, sista, but I don’t feel that way – I appreciate the compliment and will take it! I know, that was weird that it “just so happened,” but it really did. When you’re single and not used to being wooed on Valentine’s Day, it just doesn’t occur to you I guess. I think we scheduled it, like 2 weeks out or something! 😉 Thanks so much for reading, my funny friend!

  4. Deb Basha

    Love the story, your writing style and you.By the way, Valentine’s Day is my birthday~ HA! Do you read Jane Heller?! She is my favorite author…Your styles are similar. I suggest Infernal Affairs, first.

    1. Ashley

      Hey Debbie! No I’ve never read Jane Heller…I will check her out. Thanks so much for the sweet words, and I think Valentine’s Day is a fantastic birth date. 🙂

    1. Ashley

      Oh jeez, how did I miss this comment? 🙁 My poor blog is so sad these days! I have so many ideas and no time to write! But thanks for hanging in there with me, friend. xoxox

    1. Ashley

      You are so sweet to me! Thank you, girl. No book yet. I can’t finish one if I don’t start one, that’s what I keep saying to myself. Thanks for the encouragement! xoxo

  5. Kate Coveny Hood

    Ah yes – I remember the profound consternation over being 2 minutes late to your LTYM audition. Or maybe you were on time and trying to be early? I don’t remember but I’m SOOOOO glad you made it and I got to meet you and read your fantastic writing.

    1. Ashley

      Oh believe me, I was trying to be early to my LTYM audition – way early. And I almost ditched it entirely rather than tell you guys I was going to be late, but I’m so glad I put away my neuroticism for 5 minutes and sucked up my lateness, because what followed was the experience of a lifetime. Thanks so much for reading, friend – you honor me. xoxo

  6. Christina

    Just now getting to read this… funny stuff .. Your writing always has me in stitches! Happy to have talked your ear off in the bathroom line but happier that you all married & brought three great kids into he mix! Continue doing what you’re doing- good stuff! ?❤️

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