I’m going to tell you the story of how your mother and I met. Begrudge me a little here and don’t try to make too many fake barfing sounds, because I know you won’t care about the romance of how we met. That’s not my intention. Knowing how I met your mother isn’t the most important thing to learn here. It’s WHY I met her that’s the important takeaway.
Trace it back to October 31, 2009. Lots of things were going down. I was finishing up graduate school and getting ready to move with a buddy to Koreatown in order to save money. The economy was in the tank and I was eating lots of popcorn and ramen to save money. And a whole lot of partying was going on that I wasn’t going on with because the economy was in the tank, I was finishing up grad school, and I was trying to save money.
I worked that day. At the time, I was at a group home for boys and we took them Trick-or-Treating around the neighborhood. One of my boys, who was in high school by the way, got yelled at by the guy who plays Roy from The Office for trying to scare a little girl in a tiara. That was the highlight of the evening and I was content to let that be that. Let the clock run out, literally. Go home and go to bed.
Then I got a text from a friend. “Hey…want to come to a small get together at our place? We’re watching Halloween movies.”
I said yes even though I had every reasonable excuse, and truthfully, the desire, to say no. I said yes, and without knowing it or even thinking it was a possibility, the universe shined on me in ways I’m STILL trying to wrap my head around.
When I arrived, everyone was in the middle of watching It’s Alive, a hilariously cheesy scarybutnotreally movie about a killer baby. I felt tired, a little awkward because I wasn’t wearing any sort of costume, and kind of grumpy like how you get when you just need some nachos or something. I didn’t want to be there. Then, I heard a voice from across the room, I saw a smile, and all of a sudden I did. I did want to stay here very much, because I had found her.
Literally. Your mother, who I was dressed as Waldo.
“Hello, I’m Mike,” I say, adding on in my head: You’re kind of awesome.
“Hello, I’m Michelle.” I bet you never saw this coming.
Did either of us?
The thing about never seeing a relationship coming is that you can’t really prepare for it. That’s life, Blue. If everything only happened when we were absolutely the most prepared to handle it, most people would wear diapers the rest of their lives, pooping all over themselves, convinced they weren’t ready to take the Browns to the Super Bowl. There are millions of excuses not to do things. Many of them are perfectly reasonable and valid. For example, the night I met your mother, Blue, I was in no way, shape or form ready to meet the love of my life. I was tired, sweaty and grumpy, and had every reason to just go home and sleep.
Absolutely none of that mattered in the long run, and I can tell you something, Blue. I’ve never had any regrets in my life from saying yes to something. Sure, I’ve had some pain come my way because of it, but never regret.
I won’t gush over how awestruck I was by your mother’s face that night. That would be like trying to explain a Monet painting to a blind person. You’re not ready for that, Blue. Not until you meet the girl who’s going to inspire that same feeling in you. Remember, though. The how is not important. It’s the why.
I met your mother because I simply said yes. Do the same for yourself.