Sunday, April 14, 2013

How I Met Your Father

Dear children,

One day, someone will ask you how your parents met. The following is written so that you will be able to have an answer.

Your father, upon finishing his graduate degree from Case Western Reserve University, took a job with Arthur Anderson & Co., then one of the top ten accounting firms in the nation.

Only he was not an accountant. AA & Co. had recently started a Consulting division, and that is where your father worked. The Consulting division did not do accounting work. They helped companies with strategic planning and computer systems. By the time your mother graduated from the University of Akron and landed a job at the same firm, your father had been promoted to a Senior level at the firm. Seniors supervised new hires like me.

A couple of weeks before I was to begin my job at AA & Co., all the new hires were invited to attend a staff meeting. So my friend Lisa (also a new hire from Akron U) and I drove to the office for the meeting.

We dressed in our most professional attire. At the time, business women wore skirts, blouses, jackets, and what I would call ribbon bow ties. Lisa and I both had on blue suits with our ribbon bow ties, and as we walked into the East Ohio Gas Building, where AA & Co. offices were housed, a woman in the lobby mistook us for stewardesses because of our dress.

I thought this was hilarious. I'm not sure why I thought it was so funny, but it really tickled my funny bone. So after the staff meeting, when all the new hires were introduced to the group, I raised my hand and asked if I could tell a funny story. The Partner in charge of the meeting said, "Sure", so I began.

I told my funny story about looking like an airline stewardess, and the crowd roared. I'm not sure if they really thought it was funny. They might have just been laughing at the weird new hire. But that is when your father first noticed me. He told me later that he was very impressed with my courage to stand up and tell a joke at the meeting when I didn't know anyone yet.

I'm not sure if your father orchestrated this himself or if it was pure luck, but he "happened" to be between job assignments when Lisa and I started work. It was up to a Senior who was available in the office to supervise new hires as they prepared for training school. We had two weeks in the office before we were shipped off to St. Charles, Illinois for a three week boot camp.

That was when I started to notice your father.

Lisa and I would work away in our little office, and we would straighten up when we heard your father coming down the hall. We knew it was him because his ankle cracked and popped. It was easy to hear him coming from far away.

There was a rule at AA & Co. that said employees were not allowed to date each other. During orientation, they made it very clear that you could get fired for this offense. So when your father asked me out after a couple of months, I was horrified. I told him I could not and would not go out with him because I didn't want to lose my job! He said to let him know if I changed my mind.

I'm not sure how long after that I changed my mind, but we started to go out incognito. It was very difficult to date like that. Whenever there was an office event or party, we pretended we didn't know each other, but on weekends, we would drive far across town and go to the movies or out to dinner. It made me a nervous wreck.

Two years later, after many people found out about our secret rendezvous, your father asked me to marry him. I left AA & Co. for another job, we got married, had kids and lived happily ever after.

Of course it wasn't that simple, but I have to save some stories for another day.

1 comment: