My task was to fill a nightclub with people. There was a hotshot DJ coming into town and the owners of the club wanted that place packed. So I called all of my party people, told them they were on the list, and asked them to bring their friends. At the time, I was operating on no-nights of sleep for the past 2 nights, because of a rigorous party-throwing schedule. But, I was resolved to get through the night and had an unlimited tab at the bar for Red Bulls. Not the healthiest of lifestyles, but legal. And sustainable because I was in my 20′s.
My friend Martin walked in and I spied him from the DJ booth. Behind him walked sauntered strutted in a boy I’d never seen. He was strikingly beautiful, and clearly trouble – CAPITAL “T” Trouble. I watched him for about 1/2 hour from my perch, with Red Bull after Red Bull piling up in front of me. Martin made his way up to me and I immediately asked him who his friend was. He told me he’d bring him up to introduce him. Soon super-swaggar man was in front of me and told me his name. For the next two weeks, I called him Hanson, because that’s what I heard over the mmmm-ssssss-mmmmmmm-sssssss of the banging House Music. Turns out when he finally corrected me, the name was A-N-S-O-N.
I had to write Hanson/Anson off that night because Martin-the-big-mouth had told him I was into him. It was clear that Anson was feeling confident about his chances with me, and that just couldn’t be. So when I left the club that night, it was with a somewhat extinguished flame for that guy – but not entirely.
Backing up a little, I have to also explain that I was on a self-imposed dating hiatus. My goal was to go one year with no relationship no nothing because I was re-examining how and why I seemed to be collecting endings of relationships that were not so happy. About 2 years before the night I spied Anson, I had gotten out of a seven-year very dysfunctional relationship and moved to….lovely Seoul, Korea! I went a little cuckoo with my new-found freedom and was slightly boy crazy. I had a great time meeting boys from all around the world until I met one who really and truly knocked my socks off but then he got deported back to Canada, and so I was outta there. Onto…..lovely Nagano, Japan! Where I met a sweetheart of a Japanese guy who just couldn’t have been more kind, and who followed me back to the US. Our relationship didn’t translate. When he finally left (breaking up gracefully and effectively with the handicap of a very significant language barrier is so much harder than you would think), anyway, when he finally left I put the one-year hiatus into place. Dunzo! It lasted six months.
I ran into Anson two days after our first encounter at the club. We happened to be attending the same BBQ my friend Leroy was throwing. Anson was funny and goofy and not too-cool-for-school which I loved, and he adored me. He asked me out, I said yes, we had our first date a few days later, and two weeks later he was assuring me that we’d be married within the year. The dating hiatus was over, and I did know – this guy, as complicated as his life was – and as complicated as my life was – this guy was a whole new story for me. Anson and I were married within the year.
We got married on the North Carolina shore – the same beach my family vacationed on every summer of my childhood. The ceremony included just our family and very closest friends. It was a beautiful day, relaxed and happy. That was on June 16, 2000. Which just happens to be ten years ago, today.
Had I known how hard marriage was, had I known how complicated it is to put two lives together, had I known how many compromises would be made, had I known how many times I would scream in frustration – I would have jumped in again, with both feet. My life with Anson is hard sometimes, so happy sometimes, tiring sometimes, and is something I would not trade for any other life in any other time or place.