I have been with my husband for 30 years [wow I didn’t realize it was that long]. It has been a very intriguing marriage. Don’t misunderstand me; we have had our moments of exhilaration and have walked the gutters of contempt. Some that know me would be shocked to hear me say, I wouldn’t change my marriage in any way, including the good and the bad. Thirty years are a long time. Something must be right to keep us together that long.
I met my husband the summer after I graduated from college. That summer, the university hired me to run a department that managed the bulk mailing of marketing materials for the university. I had been a part-time employee while I was in school, and prior to that worked there as a part of a work-study job to pay for my tuition. The department had about 20 part-time work-study students. The department also worked year round and needed to have students employees even in the summer or during breaks. So the best candidate for this department was foreign students. They were typically at school year round. So this department had a large number of foreign students working there. There were students from Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.
It was nice working with all of these individuals from so many different countries. It gave me a chance to learn about other cultures and have discussion about current events with many different perspectives. Debate of current events, or the challenge of a specific issue, is one of my favorite things to participate in. I can remember being a young girl, probably in the 7th or 8th grade, and I was writing letters to the editor in debate with another woman over the topic of zoning. I think this trait of debate comes from my father’s side of the family.
The foreign students also played soccer quite frequently. This was not a formalized soccer program and was before soccer became a big thing in the U.S. These games were just a group of foreign students that came from the three schools in the area. At that time the soccer field was within a block of my house. So when I wasn’t at work I used to watch the soccer games. It was great entertainment and I was slowly learning to appreciate soccer.
One of the soccer players, who also worked for me, was a friend of mine and this was his last year of school. At the time he was trying to get admittance to a post-graduate school in another state. One Friday I was calling him to wish him good luck on taking the entrance exam on Saturday and which was being administered in another city.My friend did not answer the phone. It turns out that he had already left.
Instead his brother answered the phone. Besides telling me that my friend was already gone, he mentioned that he had just arrived in the U.S. a couple of months ago. During the conversation he mentioned that he played at the soccer games with the rest of the foreign students. In the end he mentioned he wasn’t doing anything for the weekend and was bored. He invited me to come over to his house. He said we could listen to music and maybe have a couple of beers. This visit was the beginning of my love for my husband, which sent my life down a very different, unconventional path.