Thursday, December 9, 2010

When Vinny Met The Diva

There are a lot of things in life I can say "I just know" to. Like, whenever I tell Mrs. C that someone in work or school flirted with me, I just know she'll ask when would be a good time for her to pay a visit (being about 1/3 Venezuelan - don't hold me to the math - her first instinct whenever her territory is encroached upon is to "cut-a-bitch"). Again, whenever I talk to Big Momma C, I just know the conversation will eventually go to the grandbabies - or lack thereof that we've provided so far (one of my younger sisters has already provided three but me being her first born and only son makes her especially eager). Also, I just know that, nine out of ten times, whenever I leave for work the stray dog that sleeps in front of the apartment building we live in will embarrassingly follow me for half a block jumping and playing and making sure everyone knows it's me she's following.

WARNING! The following is a sappy, sentimental tale of a boy meeting his first love which may-or-may-not result in a boredom induced coma:

Fourteen years ago I was a teenager working in the upstairs office of a local fabric store. I was a gopher/messenger and would usually be out delivering and collecting things for the office. Often when things were slow upstairs I was asked to go down into the store itself to lend the girls a hand. In retail, I noticed several girls come and go. Some were attractive some weren't. Some were "DAMN!!!" fine. You know, the kind that leave you having to wipe the drool off the side of your mouth when they walked by. Being a teenager, of course I objectified women sexually (one day I hope to eventually figure out how not to). But, I digress. There were some that were friendly and talkative and some I became friends with. But, since I was shy and awkward (and clueless) none of these friendships became anything more than that.

Until one day, when I had just returned from one of my gopher runs I stood one of the street entrances just for a few seconds, looking in. It was September. The Christmas season was about to begin and soon there would be barely any room in the store to stand with all the women - with tired and frustrated husbands in tow - looking to buy new fabric for their traditional Christmas curtains and table cloths. Then, something zipped passed me and quickly disappeared into the lobby which lead to the upstairs offices and storerooms. I only saw her for a second. She was petite, even shorter than I was and really damn cute. One of the porters assigned to help the salesgirls with the heavy lifting was close by and I did something I never did before: I asked about her.

"That's the new girl. She started today." was his reply. He didn't know her name. All he knew was that she worked the same table as K. (K was the only male sales clerk and the store's resident drag queen. K would proudly show the guys and girls photos of himself decked off in evening gown and wig. He wasn't too convincing, though. I think, maybe, it was because he refused to shave his mustache.)

But, I digress again. As I was saying, this girl caught my eye in an unusual way. I learned her name in our first conversation that day. It was unique. To this day I've yet to actually meet someone with the same name. We'll call her Diva for now. It's a nickname I gave her because of her amazing singing voice and because she could be a bit of a brat, when she was ready.

Unknown to me was that I caught also her eye as well. And, unknown to us both, our mutual attraction was noticed by K and his merry band of gossips long before we knew the feeling was mutual. Because they thought we'd make a cute couple - and because working in a fabric store leaves you with little much else to do - they hatched a plan to get us together. It was a pretty simple plan. The guys would drop hints that she was asking about me. K and the girls would always send Diva to the storeroom for stock and suggest I go with her to help with the heavy lifting. This left us usually alone on the poorly lit, abandoned floors of the building looking for toweling or tablecloths (before your imaginations run wild and you get revved up I'll dispel any illusions here and now. We just talked... Honest!).


Anyway, it wasn't very long before asking her out became the obvious decision. Being a shy, awkward, introvert I must admit I took my sweet time to work around to it. I'll admit it, I was insecure, but I decided to go for it. I decided to ask her out after work one Saturday in October. We were repacking a table and talking. It was now or never for me. I couldn't keep putting it off. I felt my nerves on edge.

Me (to myself): "Dammit, man! Stop being a little bitch and do it already." I imagined slapping myself in the face a few times since I figured doing it for real would diminish my chances somewhat. I took a deep breath and opened my mouth to say the words when she suddenly interrupted me.
Diva: "You want to meet in the pizza place around the corner after work?"
Me: "Okay..."

I won't go on to tell you about our adventures during our seven years of dating until, one day, we just knew it was time to tie the knot and Dive became the Mrs. C we know today (you're welcome).

Even to this day, Mrs. C asks me what it was that attracted me to her. I try to think up an explanation but the truth is it was one of those things I just knew.


  1. What a sweet story! It is the "just know" part that seems to work best!

    Welcome to the blog gang! I hope you'll keep playing along!

    xo Susie

  2. If I'm doing the math right, it took you eleven months to ask her out. I'm shy, but my goodness man, how did you tak so long?

    Now tha I've done the manditory man teasing, I really like your story. I bet your wife just melts when she hears... or makes fun of how long you took, and who'd blame her for either?

  3. Did Mrs. C read this? Very cute, makes up for the hours you have spent playing Cataclysm eh?

    'cut-a-bitch' never heard that phrase, but will now adopt it.

  4. Jesus it's a love fest all around the internet today. Adorable. Abso-smurfly adorable.

  5. This is such a sweet story!! I love it.

    I nicknamed my daughter Diva too! When she was little she would yell at people if they didn't listen to her sing. HA!

    Anyways your romantic story is so touching and sweet - I hope your wife read it!

    Makes me feel a little demented that while everyone is writing about love and stuff I wrote about what it is like to spend one week a year going out and killing people. :P Course I was still a little loopy having just returned from the dentist but.... maybe I should get back to the whole love theme.

    Your story is wonderful!

  6. I LOVE this story. You just knew. Beautiful story. Also ... I'm loving the Diva's cut-a-bitch attitude!! She and I ( with my shank-a-bitch 'tude) could do so *real* damage!!

  7. I heart this sweet sweet story. But am I the only one who noticed how she was called Diva then when you knew it was time she transformed to "Dive" hahaha! (Now YOU'RE welcome!)

    Cheers Vinny, thanks for sharing this... You're a sappy romantic and we all love you more for it now!

  8. This is a great story!! I love how you still, to, this day, can't put a finger on what it was about her (besides her being "damn cute"). Love definitely works in mysterious ways. I also love hearing about your conversation with yourself when she asked you out. Why is it that guys always do that sort of thing? I catch Binderclips doing it often, since I know him so well I can tell by looking at him that he's doing it. lol

    Great post!!

  9. Love a woman who takes control, especially when we're being wusses ourselves. Well played, Mrs. C!

  10. You remind me of my Hubby. Great sense of humor and a big romantic...I, of course, can relate to Mrs. C completely.

    I, too, am a take charge female and when the need arises, I have no problem jumping into my "cut-a-bitch" mentality.

    Just a friendly reminder to all of you previously cut bitches out there.

  11. Sometimes we guys just know. But rarely.

  12. @ Susie Kline: Thanks. Glad you don't mind me playing along.

    @ paulsifer: It was actually more like one month. But, in all honesty, to an eighteen-year-old, it felt like forever.

    @ Nubian: Oh yeah, she read it. And, believe you me, I've earned some major brownie points with this one.

    @ Elly Lou: I know. I can't begin to imagine how many extra burp, fart and bacon references I'll have to make in my next few posts to get this warm, fuzzy glow off my computer.

    @ Kimber Leszczuk: Take your time. Someone needs to hold the fort while the rest of us group hug & sing "Cumbaya".

    @ Midwestern Mama Holly: I think you two would get along just fine. Perhaps, too fine.

    @ Miss Nikki: Eek! A typo! I have brought shame upon myself & upon my family *draws sword to perform seppuku*.

    @ HulaBuns: I think the pep talks come from us being wired to hear either a drill sergeant or gym coach in our heads.

    @ Didactic Pirate: If it wasn't for her initiative I'd probably still be standing by that table today trying to psyche myself up.

    @ Nari: Is it me or have women gotten more violent these days? I blame Lifetime.

    @ dbs: And, on those rare occasions when we do, it only makes sense to milk it for all it's worth, right?

  13. On dbs's comment, I bring it up as often as possible. "Paul, how did you not know that leaving greese unattended in the kitchen was a bad idea?"

    "Um... well... remember that time when I DID just know?"

    I don't think it works to my advantage, but I still do it.


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