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Throughout history stories of romantic meetings are chronicled and passed down through the ages.

Now it's your turn to share your story. We want to know,
So... How Did You Meet Anyway?

Sunday, October 27, 2013

You Can't Be A Hitter If You Don't Come To The Plate

Before I begin, I should let you know that this whole story is completely from my point of view, which means that my wife has and will categorically deny everything I am about to write. Moreover, the story is also more of a "how I met my wife" more than "how we met," but I'm hoping that is all right. I apologize for the biographical material I include, but it is important to how I met my wife. In the end, I think it is a story worth telling because it involves a baseball metaphor, a little sympathy and it highlights the importance of persistence, something which we could all use from time to time. More importantly, though, it is a story that should give nerds everywhere a little hope. 
I was in an on again off again relationship with a girlfriend of many years until we decided to call it quits which actually meant that she had the sense to end things. Being the geek that I was, I decided to put more energy into my studies which was probably the reason why the relationship didn't work out in the first place. I was obsessed.
I need to explain how this obsession began. I had just returned from an internship I had with Bayer Aspirin in Cologne, Germany. As a part of being over there, the company was gracious enough to take the other student workers and me on a trip to Berlin. It was the summer of 1990 and the wall had just fallen. It was a powerful scene that demonstrated to me the power of non-violent protest. It helped to bring down the wall and to unite a country. I later studied in Hamburg and very interestingly made friends who were predominantly from the former East Germany. The juxtaposition of East and West was fascinating to me that I wanted to learn as much as possible about that history.
To get back to the story, I came back to the US and decided to study Russian before graduate school, so that I could learn more about the Soviet perspective of this history. I decided to take an intensive Russian class. It was during the summer and classes were all day. Fortunately, there were a lot of activities offered by the university at night. I had planned on going to a movie with another classmate in the Czech program. At the last minute she decided to bail. I thought about some advice a friend gave me after I told him that I was no longer dating my old girlfriend. "Oscar," he said, "dating is a lot like baseball. You're going to strike out an awful lot, but you need to keep going to the plate." I took his words to heart and rather than just going home, I decided to go to a party for students in the Russian program. And it was at the party where I met my wife.

We talked a little bit at the party but nothing more. It was only after we randomly started seeing each other at various events that we began to know each other (and I began to like her). I tease my wife about a time we met at the bookstore the Russian program had set up. I always claim that she was following me, trying to talk with me. Truth be told, the aisle was in a circle, so she had to follow me. It's good that she did because it gave me enough time to work up the courage to ask her out. I was lucky because she agreed!

It was a balmy night and we didn't have much money, so we basically walked through campus talking. I thought I would impress her by introducing her to Taco Bell. My wife is from South Korea and I thought that I would show her the place where I was nourishing myself. In addition to being very geeky, I was also very poor and was basically living off the 7-Layer Burrito. While I guess she didn't like the food, we did manage to have a good time. (At least, I think it was a good time, even though I did bombard her with questions comparing the situation in Germany with the possibilities of a similar unification in Korea.) As I dropped her off, I was a bit nervous but still asked if I could give her a kiss. She agreed and the rest is history.