Bumpy Beginnings Can Finish Smoothly

Posted by Lou Imbriano

I met my wife, Patricia, at Boston College under less than typical circumstances. She was in “The Rat”, the commuter cafeteria in Lyons Hall, and happened to be sitting in my usual spot. I came in after class like a bull in a china shop, full of bravado, and questioned if she realized she was in my seat, fully expecting her to get up (yes, I am aware that was not the most gentlemanly behavior). After a few volleys back and forth with the young lady in “my” chair showing no sign of leaving, I reached down, grabbed her shoe, flung it across The Rat, and watched it slide to the other end of the room. No doubt, you are now thinking that the caf isn’t “the rat”, but that Lou certainly is; I wouldn’t argue that position.

The twist to this first meeting is that Patricia never budged. She sat there making a definitive statement that not only was she not moving, but also that I was going to retrieve her shoe. It was at that moment I knew she was going to be my wife. No exaggeration; in a blink, I knew she and I would be the real deal. She just didn’t know it yet. Obviously, my initial course of action wasn’t going to get the job done, so it was time to shift my strategy.

I walked to the end of The Rat, picked up this beautiful young Irish lass’ shoe, carried it back, and returned it to her foot. She proceeded to chat with the crew of folks I hung out with, and totally ignored both me and my actions. When she was ready, she departed, then looked back at me and said, “Now you can have your seat.” Whoa! Out-swaggered and full-on head over heals for this Sally-come-lately. I was definitely struck and pierced quite surgically by the girl they called Tricia.

The next time I saw her, I struck up a conversation and she made some witty remark to cut me down. I would quote it but I was too wrapped up in her beauty to register the cutting blow. Fortunately, I was never at a loss for words and quickly commended her for how she had handled me and explained that I was just playing and was not really a jerk. To which, and I remember this clearly, she retorted, “Oh, don’t pretend; you are definitely a jerk.” Ha, talk about complete and utter precision. I guess if the shoe fits… Thankfully, I was too stupid to know I had no chance with her. In fact, it just became clearer that she was the one for me.

Months passed, and we genuinely became great friends. I may have been a jerk, but I am a charming little devil when I want to be. Patricia and I became very close friends and discussed every imaginable topic. I know that I scared her a bit because of my bold, honest, and blunt approach to things. Nevertheless, she got to know more about me than most, and evidently saw something that she liked, or maybe it was just that I could effortlessly make her laugh till she cried.

Of course, it is more detailed than how I retell it now, but our friendship led to romance, then engagement, marriage, two beautiful children and over 27 years of happiness to date. Throughout all these years together, Patricia has always had my back, looked out for my best interests, never questioned my career decisions, supported every risk, and been a loyal friend and partner in life. There’s a common expression, “Behind every successful man is a great woman.” That cliché doesn’t do justice to the giving, selfless, and loving manner in which Patricia has supported me over the years.

I don’t necessarily have my typical lesson in this post. I just thought it would be fun to embarrass Patricia with this gushing blog post and thank her for giving this bull in a china shop a second look and for letting him follow her home from school one day. Thank you for being you P, I love you.

To the skeptics among you: rest assured that I am not looking for anything, nor have I screwed up recently. So enjoy it for what it is ~ bold honesty from a former jerk.