I met my husband at an indie rock show in Brooklyn. I almost didn’t go, all of my friends bailed, I had a headache, I’d already taken out my contacts and put on my glasses, usually sure signs that slipping on my PJs and breaking out my book was just around the corner. But my little brother had told me about this band, they were playing just two subway stops away, so I dragged on my bulky winter coat and forced myself out of the house, stopping to check my reflection only to make sure that I was indeed fully dressed.
I got there early, I’m early for everything. One other girl was already waiting. We chit-chatted because it would have been more awkward not to say anything. I don’t have any recollection what she said except she was from New Jersey and she really liked the band. I thought she was weird. Other people started showing up. I scanned the collected group dispassionately. I was most concerned with going inside before I got so bored of waiting with this weird girl that my headache turned into a bad mood. Then T-shirt guy came up to us and started talking. Great. Now he and my new friend from New Jersey were buddies and I was standing close enough to them that I had to contribute to this conversation. God damn it, why did I have to play chaperone to these weirdos who meet at shows and then become friends on Myspace or whatever? I hate not being able to relate to my own species. ‘Stop it,’ I told myself, ‘don’t scowl, act like one of those normal people that’s allowed to leave their house unattended!’ The doors opened. I was just about to be relieved, but I’d forgotten that as one of the first people in I was facing an empty room.
Though I’d decided not to drink so as not to interfere with the Advil I took before leaving the house, I immediately went downstairs to the ATM for money so that I could buy a beer. T-Shirt was pocketing his money and heading back up as I approached the machine. I got my money and went back as well. Jersey-freak had skittered away somewhere, not old enough to drink; T-Shirt was at the bar. Do I conspicuously sit as far away as possible at this empty bar? ‘Quick,’ I thought,’ what would a normal, not hating all of humanity and loathing social contact type person do?’ I left one bar stool between us. ‘Why don’t I just be a friendly person, I’m bored, the band will take forever and if I don’t talk I will drink WAY too fast.’ So I said hi again, introduced myself, chattered away about something, he chatted back but broke off his participation now and again to look over my shoulder. He finally hopped up having spotted the person he was looking for. By then the room had a crowd, his seat was quickly filled. ‘What a relief,’ I thought, finally safe with my drink and the dim light, the anonymity, and eventually the music.
I ran into T-Shirt throughout the show. I stood outside with him between sets as he smoked. The conversation was pleasant enough that I wasn’t too annoyed that the cigarette caused us to miss half a song. We exchanged phone numbers, at which point I had to confess that I’d paid no attention to his name. He told me it was Aaron (*facepalm, so simple!), made it worse by remembering my name, Analía (A nawhata? Who the hell remembers a name like that?), and proceeded to add insult to injury by getting the spelling either right or really close. I chuckled sarcastically to myself, ‘yeah, this is going well.’
Apparently it did go well because he actually called me.
A couple of weeks later we went on a date that essentially lasted all day, and a year later he married me. So here’s to letting go of expectations and plans and just letting life happen to you, headache or no. Happy anniversary, Aaron.