Thursday, May 21, 2009

Music, Changes, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind

TGIF!!! And it's a long holiday weekend for us - YAY! Where to begin - oh wait, the title says Music, so I'll start there. Today is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day - and being both a lover of music and a firm believer in exposing kids to the study of music, I've bought a few over the course of my lifetime. I've admitted in an earlier post that I was formally trained to play the accordian as a child, but I'm also self taught in the keyboard and chord organ as well as being able to pluck out some simple tunes on a guitar. My kids all were "encouraged" to take band for at least a year at some point in their studies, and we survived the recorder years and actually, all three opted to learn percussion instruments, although my oldest was the only one who truly loved playing... and still does. Although, in addition to drums and the rest of the gamut of percussion instruments, he is also self taught on the keyboard and has even spent some of his spare time doing a bit of high school band coaching and music writing. My husband plays guitar, as did my late husband. And I must admit that I'm glad that a couple of my grandchildren are already showing some interest in music - so the tradition continues! I'd love to know what musical instruments you play - so if you're musically inclined, leave me a comment and share your talents!

I guess "changes" is next on the list. I really haven't had much response to my poll, which I must admit I'm a bit disappointed about. It's hard to make a good analysis of a situation without data! If it's just that you'd like to see something I didn't cover in the choices, please comment or drop me a note and I'll be happy to take your suggestions into consideration. I need to cut back just a bit on the amount of time I'm devoting to this blog, so while I will still be doing daily updates to my "Today is" and of course, my daily spotlight feature, I will probably only be doing main article posts every other day, or alternatively shortening them a few days a week, so I can devote a bit more time to my creative efforts and boosting my shop sales. I do love blogging and promoting my fellow Etsians, but I'm realizing I need to watch my ROI too (return on investment - in this case, my time!) I will definitely promise that I will do my very best to keep this blog fun and informative and a place you like to stop by and visit!

On to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", which of course is a reference to a movie by the same name and which, in UFO-logy terms means face to face contact with a life form totally different from your own- I'll explain with this story...

Once upon a time, 5 years ago to be exact, there was a young...ummm... no... middle aged (more woman who had been widowed a few years earlier. Being one of those people who just enjoys having someone to share life with, she had been dating a bit, but was quickly becoming disillusioned by the men she was meeting. She had dated a teacher for a bit, but got tired of being treated like his student (he was just a tad condescending), the actual date that never happened because she didn't pass the telephone interview simply because there was a family emergency call that she had to interrupt the phone call for. There was a repairman and a systems engineer who were still in love with their ex-wives, a professor of literature, a truck driver, and of course a few others, but they were all ultimately frogs and she was waiting (somewhat despondently) for a prince. She always ended up politely telling them to buzz off, but she never really gave up hope that her knight in shining armor was still out there somewhere.

Since this was the 21st century, and computer dating had brought a wonderful man into her life once before, she decided one night to give it a last shot. As she read through personal ad and profile after personal ad and profile, she quickly narrowed the list down (she's actually very good at seeing through most BS). Soon, she had decided that she would send a few e-mails out introducing herself and including her profile. But who did she really want to send them to? There was one profile that she kept coming back to - they seemed to have a lot in common - cooking, dogs, love of science and science fiction, a desire to learn and experience... but man, he lived in an area that had a bit of a reputation for it's residents being snooty - could he be that way too, despite the wondeful smile and devilish gleam in his eye in the picture that accompanied his profile? She figured she'd never find out unless she gave it a shot... so she sent off a few e-mails, wondering if anyone would reply. One did.

Over the next couple weeks, they exchanged e-mails and instant messages, and played 20 questions as a way of getting to know each other, despite the fact that he was, admittedly, not looking to settle down again after a nasty divorce. He admitted that he was a bit unique and downright different in many ways and wanted to spend time just having fun being different. So she resigned herself to the fact that while she really liked this man, it would probably be never more than a friendship... but hey, friendship is a good thing! Over the next few weeks they would send silly e-mails, laugh at each other's daily foibles, and generally have fun online and on the phone, but she figured that since she was looking for a long term "relationship" and he wasn't, that this would be as far as it would go.

He, on the other hand, had decided that he had other things in mind, unbeknownst to her. One Friday evening, he called her out of the blue and asked her out for breakfast the next day. While she had long since decided that her quest for love would have to take her in a different direction, she agreed to meet him anyway.

The next morning she arrived at the IHOP - an innocuous enough place for a first face to face meeting. She knew it was him as soon as she saw him standing there with his gorgeous salt and pepper hair and beard and that wonderful smile, but he looked a bit shy and self conscious - not at all like the man with all the silly jokes and thought provoking conversation starters that she had gotten to know over those past few weeks.

They greeted each other a bit nervously and sat down to breakfast. The conversation never stopped - they laughed, they shared life stories, she had a wonderful time, but.... she knew from past discussions that they were looking for different things in a relationship. Surprisingly, after breakfast was over, he asked her if she'd like to go over to the mall and walk and talk a bit. She accepted his invitation and they spent the next couple hours window shopping and chatting and just enjoying each other's company. Stopping for a cold drink at the food court, they would have looked like any other couple spending time at the mall together... so they were both surprised when a complete stranger walked up to her and asked if she could give "your big old teddy bear looking husband" a hug... she had assumed the couple were married! Nodding effusively, if for no other reason than to see how he would handle himself in the situation, the woman told the stranger to go for it, much to the consternation and slight embarrassment of the "teddy bear". Needless to say, that may have been their first "date", but it was not their last.

Not that there weren't some stumbling blocks along the way - namely their dogs. She had a female terrier mix and he had a pure bred Tibetan male... would they like each other as much as their owners did? The first meeting between these two pups was almost a deal breaker. He was playful and nosey, she wanted nothing to do with him... but their owners were willing to try to find a way to get the two pooches together somehow. Lots of research later, they tried a different method of getting them together and it worked! The last remaining physical barrier to a relationship was solved. The dogs liked each other (at least most of the time!)

By this time the woman was pretty frustrated in one way, and happier than she had been in along time in another way. If only he wanted to settle down again, she would muse to herself. Then a crisis hit, her daughter having to be hospitalized...and he was there for her through the whole ordeal, offering her friendship, compassion, and anything else he could to make the situation easier. And she realized that she had found her knight in shining armor... and somewhere along the way, he realized that maybe, just maybe he was ready to settle down again.

One day, a few months later and quite unexpectedly, he asked her to marry him... and she said yes... because she had since realized that she loved him. When she accepted, his little boy side came out and he immediate beamed and he said he wanted to buy her a beautiful engagement ring as a symbol of everything she meant to him. His neighborhood lifestyle showed thru just a bit as he begged her to pick out something around two carats. Now, bear in mind, the largest diamond this woman had ever worn was just over a third of a carat, so of course she finally managed to talk him down to a single carat, and he countered with a single carat main stone. LOL, he got his way because the set ended up being 2 carats total. (and she thought she had won that discussion... sheesh) She's still nervous about wearing that much diamond to this day!

Not surprisingly to anyone that knew them, they decided on an alternative wedding, initially trying to decide between a medieval wedding ceremony and a ceremony on the deck of the Enterprise (of Star Trek Fame). Star Trek won, and a year and a half later, as family and friends (dressed as aliens and Star Fleet officers) looked on, the marriage of a Klingon to a Ramuran took place with a Star Fleet commander performing the ceremony. (But that's a whole 'nother blog post!)

It's been 5 years since that fateful first breakfast and my close encounter of the third kind with my wonderful (now) husband, and I look forward to many, many more years of love and fun and learning and exploring - and our own special brand of insanity.

A big thank you to the following shops for providing the illustrations for my article and especially my little love epic!

BRING IN THE BAND Music Themed Pewter Charm Bracelet - (my shop!) Mysticwynd
STUDY IN AQUA - (my shop!) Mysticwynd
I'm not Cinderella, matted-framed illustration, wall hanging shadow box - claudiabegins
Bzzz Off All Natural Insect Repellant - teddystartedit
Born To Be Different - Original Acrylic Painting On Canvas - Tekzuki
Belleza (Beauty) - SteveJaviel
Bear BooBoo Buddie Ice Cube Holder - pkoriginals
Dog wisdom card-Mutt - iheartdogsstudio
Goofy II - studio1212
Sir Render The Brave and Noble One Sock Monkey Knight In Armour - bluesaphire
Carrot Top - curlyfrysc
Alternative Wedding Ceremony Vows - WeddingSkulls
Love Wall Sticker Decal - MonkeyThreads


Pam said...

What a wonderful story. I am very happy for you and your husband. To find that kind of love, especially the second time around, is so rare. I wish you both many more years to enjoy each other.

I am happy I could supply your teddy bear illustration.

Teddy Started It said...

Such a cute way to tell a nice story. Glad he's not 'buggin' you;)

CurlyfrySC's Collage said...

Such an adorable story! Thanks for sharing my carrots.

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