Here’s a very special story for a very special day. September 18th is the day I met my wife! Happy “meetaversary” sweetie.
GETTING MORE TALE #598: “Seven”
When dating, there are many rites of passage on the road to a long term relationship. For either sex, one of the usual hurdles is meeting the “best friend”. If the best friend doesn’t like you, your whole relationship could be doomed. It happened to me and it could happen to you!
I met Mrs. LeBrain on Sept 18 2005. We made contact like most people these days, first online and then in person. Meeting people online in 2005 wasn’t as mundane as it is today. Jen had never met someone from online before. We’ve told the tale of meeting before – from both perspectives. Mine was Record Store Tales #111: The Girl in the Sam Roberts Shirt. Her version was Getting More Tale #434: The Man in the Bob Marley Shirt. Needless to say, music is important to both of us.
There was one thing Jen failed to do, and that was inform her best friend Lara that she was meeting someone over the internet. She knew Lara wouldn’t approve. Once we started dating regularly, she had to come clean. As predicted Lara wasn’t impressed that she would go and meet some random internet dude without telling her. She was in trouble! And so was I, just for existing secretly!
Jen arranged a coffee meet up. We picked up Lara and her friend Dave, and headed over to the nearest Tim Horton’s. I was pleasantly surprised by Lara. Jen had made her out to sound evil and dangerous. She seemed anything but! Funny, smart, and clearly someone who cared deeply for her best friend. We got along immediately.
At one point in the evening, Lara asked me, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”
I didn’t understand. “Pardon?”
“On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?” she answered.
“Well, I’m a pretty easy going guy, so I’d say about a three.” Hypothetically, of course.
Secretly, inside, Jen was worried what this meant. She said nothing, nor did Dave.
We continued to drink our coffee and chat. Lara liked science fiction, so we had that in common. In Canada, sitting around a Tim Horton’s all night drinking coffee (or tea in Lara’s case) is a pretty common pastime. My wife can really drink coffee like a champion. If there was a Stanley Cup of Coffee, she would win it every season.
We made tentative plans for a future meet up, when suddenly –
Lara reached over, grabbed my soul patch hair, the part right below my bottom lip, and YANKED HARD. I looked wide-eyed to see my own facial hair in her fingers.
She asked again, “On a scale from one to 10, how pissed off would you be?”
My answer was immediate. “SEVEN! DEFINITELY SEVEN!”
And that is why to this day, all of Lara’s kids and their friends call me “Uncle Seven”. My nickname became Seven, irreversibly and permanently. It’s been over ten years and I’m still Uncle Seven. In fact, here is an actual conversation that I had with her son Tyler, and his girlfriend. It was Tyler’s 19th birthday:
Mike: “Tyler, you’re an adult now, you don’t have to call me Uncle Seven anymore. Just call me Mike.”
Tyler: “OK Seven.”
Girlfriend: “Wait…your name is Mike? I thought it was Seven.”
Mike: “…You thought my real name was Seven?! Who the hell would name their kids a number?!”
Girlfriend: “There’s a girl named Eleven.”
Mike: “Yeah! On a TV show! And it wasn’t her real name!!”
The fact that I took Lara’s little “test” as a joke meant that our friendship was solidly guaranteed. I passed! We’ve been tight ever since.