I thought you and your colleagues might be amused — and even find something useful — in a little chronology of our experience. I may have sent you some of this before, but I’m old and feeble-minded, so bear with me, please.
First, though, to be clear:
I adore this woman.
I had a wonderful woman for 45 years, so felt that I had already hit the jackpot in life.
I have now hit the jackpot twice . I have no idea why God was nice to an old sinner like me, but go figure!
Anyway, the chronology.
Our first date, lunch, was on June 1, 2014. Very pleasant, but I didn’t think we were that compatible, and I had to travel back East during the week to dedicate a memorial to my late wife at the school where she taught anyway. But I thought we might share some pleasant time together as we had some common interests. So we arranged to meet again for lunch the next weekend in Berkeley. About midway through the week my stomach started rumbling and told me that I needed to reconsider and get to know this lady a bit better before making any final decision. On our date in Berkeley, I was a complete klutz (details mercilessly omitted). But Roberta didn’t seem to mind. This was a very endearing quality, as klutziness and nerdiness are a good part of my personna. However, I was still uncertain. At this point, Roberta went away for a couple of weeks on a cruise to Alaska with her family, and I thought she might very well meet the man of her dreams then. She didn’t, and during the interim, my stomach kept talking to me. Before she left, I had asked her if there was something that she would like to do, and she said she had always wanted to go on the Napa wine train and I told her to call me when she got back if she were still available and we could try it. She was and she did and we went.
Here’s where it gets a bit steamy though. We didn’t want to worry about driving after the wine train, so I wanted to arrange a stay at a hotel in Napa. Being a suitably conservative old guy, I gave Roberta the option of one room or two, fully expecting (and being perfectly fine with) the latter. Wrong! “Why pay for 2 rooms?” she said. Be still my heart! I was wholly unprepared for this.
But certainly not unwilling. At this point, good taste and consideration of the sensibilities of you younger folks enters the picture and bids me to forgo details. But suffice it to say that we had a wonderful time together (and not only on the train ride) and my brain realized that my tummy had it right after all. Roberta moved in with me July 1 — we old folks don’t have time to dilly dally around — and we haven’t looked back. Our subsequent year together has only confirmed the wisdom of our choice. And yours.
But get this … while all this was happening, my kids (who live nearby) were away on their annual trip to Japan visiting my daughter-in-law’s family. I had not mentioned to them before they left that I was going to try to meet someone, partially because I didn’t want to worry them and partially because I wasn’t sure I would actually be able to go through with it. And certainly, nothing much could happen before they got back, right?! So here we were, together, and I had to tell my kids that, ahem, while they were gone, their old Dad/Granddad had joined a matchmaking service, found someone and fell in love, and that she had already moved in with me! Talk about high anxiety! But my kids are great, and after they got over the initial shock, have been wonderful and supportive, despite what must have been some tough feelings for them.
We can tell you more when we meet, but the one thing that I have learned from all of this is that I do not know myself — I would never have predicted that I could behave this way, and that Roberta and I could be so happy together based on any list I could make about me or the woman of my dreams. So I don’t know how you guys manage to figure out what might work when the people who you’re trying to match can’t figure it out. But, as Colonel Pickering said to Prof. Higgins (google on My Fair Lady), “You did it” — and we are truly grateful, because it surely wouldn’t have happened without you. (And if it was just dumb luck, don’t admit it.)
Bert and Roberta