My first real job after High School was selling driving lessons at a driving school in Madison. Every day it was my job to take the bank deposit to the bank in the Hilldale Shopping Center. It was a highlight of my day because the staff was friendly and fun.
One day, I was reading the classified ads and saw an ad for a teller position at the bank. It sounded right up my alley, so I excitedly applied. After jumping through some hoops, (my boss at the driving school was not happy with my leaving), I started working at the bank.
The woman who trained tellers was one of my favorites at the bank. She was smart, friendly, and always looked great. She took me under her wing and with her training, I picked up the job quickly.
We became friends and after several weeks, she invited my then-husband and me over for dinner. Their apartment was modern and put together like something out of a decorating magazine. I wasn’t surprised. Her husband was friendly yet quiet. They had a little boy who looked like a mini-me of her husband. He had the same smile and the same twinkle in his eyes.
Neither of our marriages lasted. Mine lasted 2 ½ years. She and her husband separated after 4 or 5 years. When we got together as couples, I had a nice friendship with both of them. Over the next many years, we kept in touch.
In 1985, I received a call from my friend’s now ex-husband asking if we could meet for lunch. I was working in a bank in the Napa Valley. He was a senior lender in a San Francisco Bank. As is often the case with old friendships, we had no trouble picking up where we had left off.
After seeing each other for lunch about once a month for 5 months, he called and asked me to dinner. I said no. He said why? I explained that I didn’t date the ex-husbands of my good friends. I was still in regular touch with his wife and enjoyed her friendship.
Later that day, the phone rang on my desk. It was my good friend, his ex-wife, from Madison. I said, “He didn’t.” She said, “He did.” She went on to say “You two have been friends forever. You had nothing to do with either of our breakups. He’s lonely. You’re lonely. Have dinner with him.”
I did and the rest is history.
Last year we celebrated thirty-six wonderful years together. Had fate not gotten in the way, there would have been many more.
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