10,592 DAYS AGO...

A love story with numbers. Another Mini List Personal History™ for my own remembering.
  1. 10,829 days ago I started a new newspaper job and first laid eyes on a graphic artist who worked there. Let's call her K.
    I thought: Yes. I like her smile. I like her eyes. I like her haircut. I like her attitude. I really like her attitude. I will like working with her, I think. I will get to know her. (About a week later, hanging out with my then girlfriend, for whom I'd moved to San Diego from Northern California four months earlier, I started [silently, subconsciously, back of mind] comparing her to K. It wasn't favorable for then-girlfriend.)
  2. 10,808 days ago I started going to lunch with K nearly every work day. Sometimes other co-workers would go with; sometimes it would just be the two of us. We walked and talked and laughed.
    Sometimes we'd walk south down 4th Avenue, cross over I-5 and get cheap Chinese or Mexican cafeteria food in the basement of downtown office buildings; sometimes we'd walk north towards Hillcrest where she lived with her boyfriend and stop in convenience stores for Diet Dr Pepper and newfangled Cool Ranch Doritos and then go east a few blocks and sit in Balboa Park and talk. And laugh. And watch the old people lawn bowling. And complain about our boyfriends/girlfriends and really connect.
  3. 10,775 days ago I broke up with my then girlfriend. 😊
    It's not you, it's me. I do like you, but I've met someone I could maybe possibly someday love... and even though she has a boyfriend, a serious boyfriend, not everything is cookies and roses over there. I don't know what's going to happen, but I like her and it's not fair to you or to me for me to keep seeing you. I'm just going to be a friend to her first and foremost (and, maybe hopefully, forever). [I didn't say these things; I'm not cruel. But I did think them.]
  4. 10,748 days ago I invited K to the annual 'first beach party of the year' my roommate Maddog and his buddies threw every spring down at Mission Bay.
    I told K to bring her boyfriend; she said she'd come; she didn't show up. I found out later they'd had an argument about it. Maybe, even, about me? I started to think maybe she liked me too. But I didn't let on: friends first.
  5. 10,724 days ago I got my friend to install for free the car stereo K got from her parents for her birthday. Later that night, a group of six of us went together to see the 1987 film version of Dragnet.
    Her boyfriend didn't like this, at all, and I learned this when K called me in tears at midnight; I offered her a safe place on our couch until things cooled down. She came over and we stayed up all night talking. I really liked her independence and her sense of humor, even in dark days.
  6. 10,722 days ago we went to her apartment and moved all of her stuff into our house.
    Temporarily, until she could find a new place to live. She broke up with boyfriend. We are both 25 and old enough to know what's going on and about to be mutually madly in love. Our old lives will slip gloriously away. (Note: She never looked for another apartment.)
  7. 10,715 days ago we were first captured together on film in a rose garden in Balboa Park.
    A poorly framed timer-taken proto-selfie.
  8. 10,682 days ago we drove across the deserts from San Diego to Santa Fe and back again in under 52 hours.
    She wanted me to meet her parents, who happened to be visiting there from Denver. That's 1654 miles and 30 hours of drive time. We slept in her Toyota and on the lawn of the roundhouse state Capitol in Santa Fe — no money for a motel. It was the weekend of the famed 'Harmonic Convergence' and we heard the Eagles sing about standing on a corner in Winslow Arizona on the radio at 2:30 in the morning as we drove I-40 through Winslow Arizona. Destiny.
  9. 10,670 days ago we were sitting in a corner of Balboa Park near the lawn bowling courts and we asked each other if we wanted to get married. "So... do you wanna?" I said. "Sure," she said. "Do you?" "Yep."
    (We both said yes. 😬)
  10. 10,662 days ago we put on layaway the lowest cost pair of gold wedding rings we could find: total cost of both was $400, and we could barely afford the $100 a month payments.
    We both still wear them. (Someday I'm going to buy her a proper engagement ring. Someday. Right now we're still busy paying off our share of our kids' college loans. 🙄)
  11. 10,658 days ago we went on our first "official" date, to a Suzanne Vega concert at a place up on El Cajon Blvd.
    About two months after we started living together, we finally went out. First, we ate at a hole in the wall Mexican food place nearby. I had enchiladas, she had chilies rellenos. (I only know this because it's often still our standard order...). Then we saw her favorite folkie.
  12. 10,634 days ago we were captured on film together a second time.
    We'd driven 7 hours north for the weekend so she could meet my parents. Then seven hours back to San Diego the next day.
  13. 10,606 days ago we quit our jobs, left California on the day after Halloween and moved to Colorado.
    New life, new place.
  14. 10,591 days ago we delivered a cake for an outdoor wedding ceremony, which was to take place on a deck with this view.
    Then, overnight, 16 inches of snow fell. Colorado.
  15. 10,592 days ago we got married in a golf course bar in a blizzard.
    The next day I started a new newspaper job. Someday we'll go on a proper honeymoon. Someday. (That's eight months after I first saw her, four months after we started living together, and 29 years ago today for those without arithmetic.)
  16. 854 days ago my nephew got married: UNDER THE OAKS OF OJAI
  17. 257 days ago we had breakfast: BUTTERING THE TOAST
  18. 55 days ago we drove around Wyoming.
    A modern day true selfie. (Or is an us-ie? A we-ie?) 42 THINGS I SAW DURING A WEEK-LONG ROAD-TRIP AROUND WYOMING
  19. E + K
    10,592 days: A good start.