The Story of Us: What I didn’t mention

What I didn’t mention was my state of affairs when I stumbled upon Mr. Thor, and how hard I tried to NOT fall for him.

How I literally cried and prayed to God to remove this man from my life.

Imagine it: I had just moved to New York (NOT the city. Not even close.) from Nashville, TN. In Nashville, I had a decent, if uninspiring, office job. I had enough extra money to go to several concerts and go out to dinner often. I lived in a great apartment in the city. With my own bathroom.

In NewYork, I had nothing. I was staying out in the true boonies with an old friend who already had a house established, so all I brought in was my bed and a teeny desk.

I had a job making barely over minimum wage. Which meant I had no money. In fact, I had rapidly growing credit card debt due to my underemployment. My bank account was negative, often.

In Nashville, there was a lot of talk about getting yourself “prepared” for your spouse. Men need to get better jobs, get their style together, and buy homes and nicer cars. Women need to lose weight and get their finances in order, as well as work on honing their feminine traits. At least, that’s how interpreted the messages I was seeing around me.

Taking all of this into account as I was slinging coffee and dirty magazines with a -$67.00 bank account balance and living largely off candy bars and muffins and free coffee, I came to one conclusion: I was NOT ready. I was my heaviest in several years. My clothes had holes and stains. My debt was skyrocketing.

I considered my great-aunt Ellen. She never married and lived a wonderful and inspiring life. She has a school named after her. I set my sights on lifelong spinsterhood. I declared my singlehood and decided that I was not going to take on one more crush.

And, besides. The guy liked death metal. Automatic out!

But, almost the moment I decided this, Mr. Thor and I got much closer. I cried, I prayed, I thought about other things, I begged and begged God to remove this man from my line of sight so that I could stop thinking about him. “If you get me a better job, I will move on and prepare for my husband” sounds like some bargaining I might have tried at the time.

But the rejection letters just kept coming, and Mr. Thor never went away.

As a matter of fact, without Mr. Thor I probably wouldn’t be out of credit card debt. I wouldn’t be 50 pounds down in my weight loss journey.

The thing about me not being ready? Neither was he. We met each other during rough, tough times. We grew together. We held hands and talked. We held each other up and took turns encouraging each other. We have become the very best of friends, and I don’t know if that could have happened if things didn’t pan out exactly the way they did.

My mom likes to say something to me, because I always worry about what I’m doing, what decisions I’m making, how successful I am:

“Trust the plan.” 

Although I will probably never stop obsessing over my choices, I know she’s right. Things always work out, even when they dont (that’s my saying.). It’s part of the plan. It makes us who and how we are.


The Story of Us: Part 6

Well, I found out through the Mrs. Thor facebook page that my cute little play on suspense wasn’t sitting too well with at least one person. For that reason, I am hammering out Part 6 without delay.

Having just sent the man of my dreams a somewhat confessatory e-mail, and not really knowing for sure what I would hear back in reply, I did what any mature, self-possessed 30-year-old woman would do: I hid under the covers. I went back to bed to keep myself from hitting the refresh button on my gmail for three hours.

When I woke up, it was after 11 pm. Sure enough, there was an e-mail from Mr. Thor.

I was nervous, but only a little bit. I trusted him enough that I knew this: even a letdown would be fine. He would not let me fall, he would not insult me, and he would not be mean about anything in the least if he didn’t feel the same way about me.

In the e-mail, he said that he was surprised that people at work had noticed something between us. He said that it had been most of his life since a girl came along that he felt a connection with. He said that, if he made a list of all the characteristics he was looking for in a woman – he would get me. He said that he never had so much fun being around a girl, and that he could write a list of 100 things that he loved about me. He then proceeded to send me a mini-list that included “She is smart in a megazabillion ways” and “She is one of the most compassionate people I have ever known” – And then he estimated that it would probably take him 1000 years to find someone like me on eHarmony.

If you know me, you know how much this all meant. He liked me back. Actually, it seemed that he loved me back! I loved him before I knew what had hit me, and here it was, all coming out. He loved me, and I knew it.

Also, if you know me, you know that I need structure, and rules, and I need things categorized.

So, I sent my own mini list back… And then I asked, “What do we do? Are we supposed to be boyfriend and girlfriend?”

And he replied: “You can call it whatever you want – “going out” or “boyfriend and girlfriend” etc. but I have been wishing for something like this for years and years, all the while being extremely doubtful I would find it…Now that I know what I want it just seems like it’s so rare to find, like where would I find it if not for you?”

That e-mail was sent at 2:04 AM on February 5, 2008.

I had a boyfriend. A real boyfriend, who really appreciated key things about me. Someone who thought I was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Someone with a heart of gold, who shared his feelings and appreciated me for exactly who I was.

I didn’t really sleep that night.

The Story of Us: Part 5

So, by the end of Part 4, I was pretty, kinda, mostly sure that Mr. Thor liked me at least a little bit. This was the middle of January. When we both worked at The Dirty Store, I usually worked until 4. He usually worked until 9.

Did I mention the part where I had never had a boyfriend before? Because I had never had a boyfriend before Mr. Thor (other than the handful in 6th grade, but, c’mon.) and I had no idea how we were going to get from where we were to where we should be.

So, I loitered. I stayed after work and kept Mr. Thor company while he wiped up coffee spills and lottery ticket shavings and sold dirty magazines and cigarettes. We talked, and talked, and talked some more. And when we got home, we e-mailed. We were in communication, a lot. We e-mailed on our days off, on our days on. We talked about our families, about our coworkers, about our interests and fears.

In our e-mails, we talked about how lucky we felt to know each other. I called him my favorite.

And then, something happened to me one Saturday. February 2, 2008. A realization hit me: if things didn’t move forward, they would move nowhere. And Mr. Thor would fade off the end of the page into the pile of other guys I have liked too much to be just friends.

Except… wait. Panic! I felt total panic at the thought of losing him. That afternoon, I took his picture. That night, I stayed overnight with my friend Jax – we were planning to watch the Giants play the Patriots in the Superbowl. Tom Petty was playing the halftime show. Mr. Thor and I were both rooting for the Giants, because the Patriots had, up til the Superbowl, had a perfect season and we were going to be rooting for the underdogs, who also happened to be “his” team.

(shut up, I know, I know! I got into football for a guy and I actually love it!)

The Giants upset the Patriots in that game, and Mr. Thor and I sent a flurry of e-mails back and forth throughout the game.

The next day, we kept the string going. I had a job interview and he sent me an encouraging e-mail.

Then, we got into a conversation about work, and how he thought our manager had busted us for having so much fun, because we hardly seemed to work together anymore.

And then, I wrote:

“i think you’re right, PJ has busted us.

well, that, and it might have something to do with the fact that she thinks you have a crush on me. she informed me of her conclusion last week sometime by saying: “Mr. Thor has a crush on you.”

i said, “he does?”

she said, “you didn’t notice?”

(i have no clue about these kind of things.)

she is actually the second person at work to bring this to my attention.

what say you to these allegations? do you have a crush on me?

i hope so,

I totally put it all out there!

The only problem with my timing was that Mr. Thor was at work when I sent that e-mail.

…for another 2 hours.

The Story of Us: Part 4

So, at the end of Part 3, we were left with our heroine in a car on a cold night with a handsome man. They looked into each others’ eyes… they embraced… she gave him… her e-mail address.

I think that night was some time in December.  After that night, there were no e-mails from Mr. Thor. Nothing at all, except the occasional shift together at work.

Mr. Thor and I worked with relatively few people at the Dirty Store – maybe 5 other people? So there were many, many opportunities for our co-workers to observe as our friendship developed. Two people told me that Mr. Thor had a crush on me, and I pulled off what I thought were the best performances of my life as I scoffed them away. “What? no… we’re just friends!”

I was smitten with this man. Totally undone. I could talk to him about things I could never talk to men about before. I could be completely honest with him. He listened to my stories and remembered the cast of characters. He was interesting, intelligent, clever, funny, and kind. He had a heart of gold.

And then, on January 14, 2008, I received an e-mail with the following subject line: “The Day You Never Thought Would Come!”

It was from him. Finally. Almost a month later.

He had a day off, and he was telling me all about what he did.

Read a book, sat outside, enjoyed the sun.

He sent me a link to a cool NASA website.

And then he said this.

“I’ll see you sometime this week I hope. By the time you read this you should be at
home and done with work, so enjoy your evening, have fun!

Hugs and Kisses,

Mr. Thor”



I am as clueless as they come. Before Mr. Thor, I had never really even had one boyfriend. But, even I. Even I, who thought no guy would like her, ever, who thought love was for other people – even I realized that straight dudes do NOT SIGN E-MAILS LIKE THAT. Not if they are just writing to a co-worker/friend type person.

I forwarded this e-mail to my best friend from high school and said, “I’m gonna date him.”

And then I did. The end.

Just kidding. It’s a little bit more interesting than that.

The Story of Us: Blooper reel

I should mention that our journey from co-workers at “the dirty store” to Mr. and Mrs. Thor wasn’t all smooth sailing.

When I first moved back to New York, I was staying with an old friend – a friend I’d known since high school. A friend who tended to act impulsively at times.

I think that this friend (can we call him Jimmy? Let’s call him Jimmy.) got sick of hearing about my crush on Mr. Thor, and one day Jimmy stopped in the Dirty Store and invited Mr. Thor over to the house for dinner, and Mr. Thor accepted. I was horrified, terrified, and delighted. I lived with a gay man, a lesbian, and three Chihuahuas. Nothing to be nervous about at all, right? I knew very little about Mr. Thor at the time, and I certainly didn’t know enough about him to know where he stood on the important issues, such as: Chihuahuas – are they born that way or do they choose to be all weird and trembly?

The day of the dinner finally came. Dinner went smoothly. All of the people around the dinner table seemed to really be enjoying themselves. The one and only “person” who seemed to feel awkward was Jimmy’s Chihuahua puppy, NoNa. She shook whenever she looked at Mr. Thor, and she growled and hunched down low whenever he spoke. Jimmy held NoNa in his lap as we all sat around the cleared-off table and talked and laughed.

And then Jimmy did something that I still don’t understand. In an effort to help NoNa “get over” her fear of Mr. Thor, he kind of tossed her across the table in Mr. Thor’s direction. Unfortunately, in mid-air, she realized where she was headed, and rather than land on Mr. Thor, she kind of stopped her own flight and landed on the table. But then, the table was kind of slippery, and she, as I put it, “Bambied out.” Her legs went out and she went down. And this dog was officially in a full-on panic.

Mr. Thor took pity on the pathetic creature before him and he picked up NoNa with the goal of setting her on the floor. She did not, I repeat, she did NOT approve. She contorted, she snarled, she snapped, and Mr. Thor only got her to about a foot from the floor before she just shot out of his arms and sprinted out of sight.

And then we all smelled it. It smelled like poop. Fresh poop. Everyone started looking on the floor for the offending pile, but not me. I already knew what had happened. I looked at the object of my as-yet-unrequited love and saw, almost as in slow motion, that his khakis were covered in what looked like little droplets. Like someone had flicked water on him, almost.

I had to tell him. “That smell is coming from…you. She expressed her anal glands on you.” I pointed at the drops on his pants, and I braced myself. I just knew he was going to cuss out the “stupid bleeping dog” and go off on a tirade, and then everything would be over.

Mr. Thor just kind of shrugged. “Well, that’s understandable. She felt threatened. Anyway, they’re just pants.”

That is the precise moment I knew I would marry Mr. Thor.

The Story of Us: Part 3

This is the third part of a series called The Story of Us. Follow the link to find all of the posts in the series.

So, last time I left you in my story, I was about to become seriously, depressingly, heart-and-bank-breakingly underemployed. But it was only going to last for a couple of weeks.

Ten Months. Ten months is how long I had to work at just above minimum wage and not make my bills.

The first week that I started at the news stand, Mr. Thor trained me one night.

He was training me how to close the store, and we almost didn’t get out on time – because we talked so much. We talked about astronomy, computer programming, grilled cheese, and everything in between. I never once felt nervous or judged, I never second guessed any word that came out of my mouth.

That night, I google stalked Mr. Thor and realized that he had graduated from Cornell with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

He was a real dork. Brilliant! Not just one of those guys I always seemed to meet in Ithaca who seemed freakishly intelligent but have approximately 5 minutes of intelligent conversation saved up. I swore that very night that Mr. Thor would remain in my life. This guy was seriously cool. Great to talk to. Funny and kind. I desperately wanted, no – needed, to be this man’s friend.

Over the next few weeks, I realized what a nerd Mr. Thor truly was. He walked 20 minutes across town to work, and he carried a duffel bag filled with books and notebooks so that he could read and take notes during the lulls in the night shift. He read books on physics and language and astronomy. He ate PB&Js and drank coffee.

Over the course of November and December, Mr. Thor and I started to develop what felt like a real friendship. We talked about movies and books and asked each other how our days off were going. We went out to coffee. He came over for dinner. Near the middle of December, we went to a concert together.

By the way, I consider the concert our first official date – he paid and I left my glasses in the car and was blind all evening so that my brown eyes could steal his heart.

The night of the concert, I drove him home. We had just enjoyed the type of wonderfully weird evening that only Ithaca can provide. As I idled on the street outside his house while we said goodbye, I had no idea that something magical was about to happen – something that would change the course of my life forever.

Right after he hugged me? Mr. Thor asked me for my e-mail address.

The Story of Us: Part 2

Find Part 1 here. This is part of a series called The Story of Us.

I think that the story of us actually needs a bit of  a lead-in – just a sliver of the story of me and how I came into the picture.

Although I have spent most of my life in New York state, I did call Nashville my home for a few brief and amazing years. I went to concerts, parties, more concerts, more parties, still more parties, more concerts… I was surrounded by music and fun people. I thought I was home for good.

And then I started to miss my family.

I sat alone on Thanksgiving morning 2005 and cried while I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and ate a Nutri-grain bar.  Although I loved Nashville, I decided that day that I had to move home.

About a year and a half later, I got laid off. I was not upset to receive the news – this was my chance and I was going home! In August of 2007, I moved in with a friend who lived in the hills outside of Ithaca. I had started putting out resumes and had secured a couple of promising phone interviews before I moved back. I assumed that, although I had a paltry severance package (6 weeks of pay), that momentum would keep right on rolling until it developed into a full-time job, and I would be working again in NO time.

Six weeks came and went.

In October, I still didn’t have a job.

My paltry severance package was running out and, at this point, the only communication I was receiving from potential employers was coming fast and furious in the form of boilerplate rejection letters wishing me the best of luck with my continued job search.

Then, one day, my phone rang. It was not a call to tell me how great my resume was and that I would be interviewing at Cornell the next week. It was PJ, the manager at a local magazine and tobacco store in Ithaca. I used to work at another branch of that magazine store – it was my first job right out of high school. PJ wanted to know why I hadn’t called her yet. I had completely forgotten that I reconnected with her when I was in Nashville – just in case nothing else came along.  Well, what luck. Nothing else had come along, and she had a full-time position open.

You can imagine that I was thrilled at the possibility of going back there. Thrilled at the prospect of slinging “dirty” magazines, tobacco, lotto, and coffee. Overjoyed at making close to minimum wage.

Still, low income was better for me than no income, and I took that job. My first day was in late October, 2007. It was temporary, you know?

Maybe a few weeks or a month. Just until I found another job.

The Story of Us: Part 1

I went to a cousin’s wedding last weekend. I sat with another cousin (I have several cousins, believe me. I have been to 5 cousin weddings in the past couple of years. Plus, my own wedding, which I will count, since I am a cousin.) and she was asking me about the story of me and Mr. Thor.  You see, we didn’t have a cousin wedding, where cousins could sit with other cousins and talk about still more cousins. We – SHH! – we eloped.

And it was awesome.

You may think that now, every awesome wedding I attend makes me regret not having a wedding. For example, at my most recent cousin’s wedding, the bridal party entered the reception to Star Wars music, and the groomsmen had light sabres.

But, see, I wouldn’t have thought of that. So there is no need for me to feel bad because I didn’t have a wedding. Instead, I feel good. Good about the man I married, good about the day I got married, and good about the dinner I ate that night. It was so fun, and so low-key, and so US – and isn’t that what the wedding is actually about, anyway?

So, some people don’t know the story of how two socially awkward weirdos who have never dated or been in relationships before met each other and fell in love and got married 4 or so years later.  We don’t have a particularly riveting story, but it’s ours… and I really, really like it.

So, I think that’s how I will start filling up my blog this November. I will write about the story of us.