How A Head Cold Got Me Married — Short Version

Now that I’m settled, I must reflect on my past as a happy-go-lucky single. How can I forget the many times I’ve misled myself into a man’s loving arms, and how much I loved every minute of it?

Why, I squirm as if caught in a velvet trap…well, I could, but my second husband is standing right behind me and might ask me what I’m sitting on.

I loved my first husband, a wonderfully funny Jew whose parents had fled the Holocaust as kids. After a dozen roller-coaster relationships before my first real commitment, he was the only man I ever truly loved (Remigio, don’t look over my shoulder!)

Anyway, several years and sanity-defying relationships later, I landed in a seat in front of Him 2 in a Certified Nurse Aide class, next to a perking coffee pot.

My first husband thought he lucked out marrying his attendant. Gary was dying. I fell in love with his stubborn courage. He was the first person who ever needed me. After he died, I had a tragically brief affair. If I write about everything that happened, it’ll make an excellent trashy novel.

But Remigio stopped my new single life cold by kicking the back of my chair—HARD! He distracted me from talking to a middle-aged black lady, catching me in the middle of sniffling at her. I had a head cold.

I had been “taking it out” on Grace, who was overweight, casting her sidelong glances and sniffing loudly, while considering fetching her a cup of coffee. The pot was brewing close to me. It would’ve been hard for her to squeeze between the plastic seats. I began getting her coffee.

Sometimes I added creamer. I stirred it with the plastic stir sticks. She would ask me to add a sugar packet, please. But our relationship was rudely interrupted by the entrance of Remigio’s foot through the back of my plastic chair.

Turning around after the “kick-off,” I faced a flatly Philippino cold stare. The face, however, reminded me of a Middle-Eastern teacher I’d noticed at Ohio University, back in the 1970s.

I gulped, “So how’re you doing?” My Mom told me to be friendly to handsome strangers. And then Remigio smiled back. We got married, and near Christmas day three years later we were blessed by our Princess Angela, nut-brown as her Daddy and sporting my chipmunk cheekbones.

I guess I’d suggest more single ladies try sniffling at people to see whose attention they attract. If so, it helps if you fetch cups of coffee. It soothes people’s tired, ruffled feathers.

Be sure and add cream and sugar.

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