Five years ago, today, as a matter of fact, I made a phone call that changed my life. I am not being dramatic. It is one of those moments, that we are usually unaware of when they are happening. When you look back, you realize how huge that one decision turned out to be and how cavalierly you decided what you would do.
It took me three tries to make the call. I dialed the number, hung up. Dialed the number again, hung up again. Debated with myself, argued even. And then decided not to make the call after a deep discussion with my sleeping dog.
Finally, I just sucked it up and dialed and let the person answer the phone. I was shaking and extremely nervous.
When he answered the phone, I had to work hard to resist the urge to hang up. This was something I swore I would never do, but here I was doing it. Here I was calling a man. A man that technically worked for me, on April Fool's Day. A man that I was entirely smitten with and held my fate in his hands. If this went horribly wrong, I could lose my job.
I was about to make a complete and utter April Fool of MYSELF.
"Are we flirting or am I psychotic?"
Yup, I know. I really know how to appeal to a man. That is the story of how this whole thing started. That is the story that we will have to tell our children and grandchildren. Brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it? Hence my spinster status before Mr. Smith took my call. I am a real prize.
I never was particularly good at dating. I never really bought into the whole "game" aspect of it. I just figured if I liked a guy and he liked me, we would just see where it went. Not so in the dating world. You have to pretend you don't like the guy you really like, and like you don't care that he didn't call when in reality you have been waiting for him to call and checking your answering machine like a crazy woman several time each minute.
Mr. Smith was trying desperately to flirt with me and let me know that he was interested in me. I am such a moron (he told me later that I am clueless enough to be an honorary guy) that I didn't get it. I figured there was no way that he would be interested in me. The poor man.
A week later we went on our first date. The moment he kissed me the first time, I knew I was going to spend the rest of my life with this man. The sweet, goldish/brown-eyed, patient man.
We got married in July. It was truly a whirlwind romance in every way. First date to married in less than four months. Total lunacy. If someone else told me they were doing that I would have recommended they be committed to a mental institution.
We have crammed an insane amount of living and stress into the last five years. There have been outside forces bent on destroying what we have. They have all failed and it makes me very happy and proud to be able to say that after everything that has happened.
We have fended off threatened lawsuits (from Mr. Boss, the worst employer EVER!), started a business, had two babies in three years, survived a lawsuit from my delightful mother-in-law, and any number of other good and bad things. But that is life and I would not trade any of it, not if that meant living the rest of my life without Mr. Smith, Grand Master H and Famous Baby C.
Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman's recipe
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter, slightly softened
1 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 cup oats
1 can (14 ozs.) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 350°.
Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.
Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.
Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11-inch pan.
Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of crumb mixture. Top with the other half of crumb mixture, but don't press.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.
Make sure to buy ingredients for two pans of these. The first pan will be gone before you realize what happened and will make it necessary to make a second pan.