Marrying the woman I met on the 22-Fillmore

Rider Eric W. shares his story of why he’s extremely thankful to Muni for being an excellent matchmaker.

It’s spring 2001. It just rained like hell the night before and I’m late for work.. as usual. I grab the 1-California from Nob Hill to Fillmore, where I catch the 22 to the Marina.. that’s where I’m working; just behind the Marina Safeway. The busses are filled with cranky, wet, smelly people. I’ve just finished a slew of relationships, and have finally reached the conclusion that I’m just not the type to have a “steady.”

I’m a musician and an audio engineer. My work, my life, my schedule (for christ’s sake!) is loopy. I am what I am, and it just doesn’t seem to jive with anybody else. It took a while, but I’m just now feeling OK with it. You know the feeling… SO!

I’m standing on Fillmore at Sac, surrounded by numerous Chinese shoppers on their way back to the Richmond (I say that because I’m over 6 feet…. let’s just say that I’m sticking out) when the 22 arrives… finally. I get on… finally… and see the most amazingly beautiful woman ever… in… my… life!

Well, did I forget to mention how late I was? No shower, no coffee… not my best impression. All the lilliputians enter into the bus, there are seats in the back, but, I decide to stand next to her. I’m not thinking clearly yet… so I got nothin’. Big zero. I’m standing there on the lurch-and-puke that is the 1-California, and the woman sitting next to Her gets off…. then – she looks up at me and moves to the inside chair… holy #h&*! What to do?!?!

So I sit next to her… “sit next to her idiot!” I tell myself. Well, I don’t want to seem like a fool so I hold my paper out in front of me (turns out that it was upside down). I can’t stop staring at her hands.. they are long and sleek, so beautiful.. plus I can’t just stare directly at her, that would be rude.

No, I haven’t said a word yet.

So the bus goes down the hill and prepares to turn right onto Union, SHE shuffles her stuff and I think she’s going to get off at the corner, so I stand up all gentleman-y (I’m getting stupider and stupider) and she gets off the bus.

NOW…. in my head is a conversation, more of a scolding really, “you idiot! You didn’t even say hello! Say something! Who cares if she laughs at you, at least you’ll be able to look yourself in the mirror and know that you tried!” Good point. Of course by now she’s left the bus.
So I stay standing, watching her. Yea… here’s my plan…. see which store she goes into, then come back over lunch and “just” happen to go into the same store… brilliant! (Idiot)

But then something happens. As the bus is progressing along Union she looks back at me… and sees me staring at her…. then I see her laugh to herself! She saw me! She wasn’t creeped out! Holy s#*t! OK OK. Here’s my plan. I sometimes get off at the corner, by the Coffee Roastery, and get coffee… ahhhh coffee.. did I mention? Hadn’t had any yet. SO! I’ll get off and get coffee, then just “happen” to come out at just the time she walks by and…. Perfect plan. (Idiot)

Well, others seem to have not had their daily dose yet. The line is too long… this is taking too long! I’m looking out the window to she if she’s coming, then she comes into the Roastery! Damn! Now what?! (Idiot)

So my new plan (Idiot) is to take a long time putting cream into my coffee aaaaannnnd… she gets hers and is there at the cream and sugar station in a flash. (Damn!)

So in my head is a conversation… “Just say something you moron! What’s the worst that could happen? Your life already sucks!” Good point.
So in my best cool-as-Steve McQueen-manner I say “Hello. I saw you on the bus, and I don’t usually do things like this, but I just thought… would you like to have coffee some time?”

Yes.
We are both standing there.
With coffee in our hands.
That was my best line.
(Idiot!)

Luckily for me, she thought I was funny and charming enough to give me her phone number…. (oh wait it gets better) BUT… I had just purchased a brand new Palm pilot. The first generation. Didn’t know how to use it yet. Had no pen or pencil. Yea…. (Idiot!) She uses a pen of her own and writes her number down on a napkin (God I feel like a moron right now) and agrees.

Well, do I wait the requisite 3 days (or whatever the f#c&), no! I had concert tickets for that weekend, (don’t remember what show). So I call her that evening… and the next day…. and the next day…. and the next day… (Idiot!) I say to myself I’ll try one more time, if she doesn’t return my call, at least I’ll be able to look myself in the mirror and know that I tried.

—–MORE TO THE STORY—–

Well, we finally connected and eventually got married! But here’s the funny. The day in the Roastery. She had just gotten a new cell phone. Didn’t know how to retrieve messages. Actually, didn’t even know that there were messages to be retrieved, as she hadn’t read the manual. So, one of my calls woke her up one afternoon and sent her on a frenzy to find the manual. New technology is not always the answer, as it turns out. Anyway… she is wonderful, and found my clumsiness charming enough to give me a chance and now we are going on 9 years…. I never thought I’d say this, but, thank you Muni.

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