Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

My Funny Valentine Working Off-Duty: A Story of True Love


I stood behind the single counter in the small trendy shop where I was working to help pay my way through graduate school.  I had to struggle not to giggle because I had come to work straight from my very first professional cocktail party where I had indulged in just a little too much wine.  My first and only cocktail dress hung upstairs where I had hastened to change to slacks before the store owners left for the evening.

Through the window, I spotted the off-duty metropolitan police officer who was working security for the shops, not knowing he had already spotted me.  Suddenly my urge to giggle was almost overwhelming, although I thought the situation was dangerous.  After all, I had driven to work on ice in my slightly impaired condition, and I knew I had done a bad thing.  Could he cite me?  I tried to look friendly but noncommittal.

He was giving candy to two children who were traveling in the wake of a purposeful-looking woman.  Later, he would tell me she had warned her children that they had better behave or the policeman would take them to jail.  He didn’t.  He smiled as he squatted down (with difficulty because he was wearing so much paraphernalia on his duty belt) and held out the candy.  The children took it, grinning because they understood he had contradicted their mother.  He was that kind of police officer.

When he came into the shop, I understood he was there to flirt with me.  If I hadn’t been a bit tipsy, I might have given more thought as to whether I wanted to open the door to a relationship.  But I was more worried about appearing to be under the influence than I was about wandering into an affair.  I smiled–without giggling.  He offered candy to me.  I smiled again.  “You’re giving me candy?” I asked.  “What do I do if a police officer gets fresh, call a crook?”

He laughed.  He had the kind of wonderful easy humor and seductive baritone speaking voice I found so attractive.  And he was cute, too–blue eyes, dark curly hair, almost dimples.  Really cute.  He asked me out and I agreed, although he couldn’t be seen doing as much as holding hands while he was in uniform.  I secretly wished he had seen me in my cocktail dress.  Eventually, he did.

True love–there’s nothing more powerful if we’re to believe The Princess Bride.  In the case of my husband and me, we didn’t do much to deserve it.  In fact, the only thing we had in common when we met was a fierce determination to avoid entanglements and start using whomever we met from the opposite sex for our nefarious purposes.  Life had disappointed us, and we were going to become evil.  Like two slightly burned marshmallows, we stuck together.  Even at the church before our wedding, each of us was wondering how to quietly sneak away.  Today, we tell one another that perhaps we had ancestors or spirit guides smirking as they nudged us into each other’s lives.  It worked.  Thirty-eight year later, we’re still giggling.

One comment on “My Funny Valentine Working Off-Duty: A Story of True Love

  1. Travis
    February 9, 2014

    A wonderful tale of how your incredible journey began.

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