It all started with an ending. I had been dating this guy for two years and he broke my heart. I was so depressed, lost so much weight, was sweaty, had constant diarrhea, fainted in a drugstore and finally ended up in the hospital. It took six months of lying on the couch and that hospital visit for me to realize that I needed to find myself. I knew that I had compromised so much of myself for this guy and had even stopped running because it made him jealous to think that other men might be looking at me.
One day on my way to work, a guy on the train smiled at me and I realized that I was ready to get back out there and date. I went home, lit a candle and asked for a man who embodied all the things that I wanted. That night I had a dream that I was in Africa with my boyfriend and we were working with children. I could even see his face which was unusual because dream boyfriends are usually foggy or faceless. But I woke up knowing, really knowing that I was going to meet someone. My dream was so vivid that I was sure of it. When I told my roommate she was skeptical and asked if I thought I was living in an episode of Sex and the City.
That day I had jury duty and took the subway downtown to the courthouses. As I came up out of the subway on the other end I saw this really tall guy asking a policeman for directions. It was St. Patrick’s Day and there was a sea of people dressed in green. He was standing on a step so he was towering over everyone else and I got a good look at his face. He looked just like the guy in my dream. It was so crazy but at the same time I knew that I couldn’t just let him disappear into the crowd. So I went up to him and asked where he was going. Turns out he also had jury duty and we were assigned to the same room. We walked to the courthouse together and found our way to the jury room. It was only about half full but he went in and sat down between two old ladies. I was so surprised that he didn’t want to sit next to me. He was the guy from my dream and he chose to go sit with the old ladies. I was stunned but refused to give up. From across the room I saw that he was reading Hemingway. This is what I would talk to him about him at lunch. But he had other plans and bolted out the door before I could catch up with him.
After lunch we were both picked for jury selection. I was determined to talk to him so I sidled up next to him while we waited to go into the courtroom. This time he was more receptive and even invited me to go out that night with his friends. Drinking on St. Patrick’s Day didn’t feel like the right way to get to know him so I declined. We exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet another time. That night, as I walked down the street towards my apartment, I saw my roommate coming from the other direction. I waved the piece of paper with the phone number on it and shouted, “I met him!”
The next day I was late getting to jury duty late but when I saw the smile on his face when I walked through the door I could tell that he liked me and all of those avoidance tactics from the day before were just his way of trying to play it cool. We were assigned to different juries but had lunch together every day. His case settled before mine so on his last day he asked me on a date. I said yes but was nervous about it so I asked the ladies on my jury for advice. One older Jewish lady even knit me a shawl for our first date.
The night of our date he showed up late and I was afraid that he was standing me up. This was before we had cell phones so I called my roommate from a payphone on the corner to see how long I should wait. As I was on the phone I saw him running up the block to meet me. I was so relieved. Over dinner we realized that we had a lot in common. But still, we took things slowly and didn’t kiss until our third date. I didn’t shave my legs for weeks and wore my worst underwear so that I wouldn’t be tempted to go any further. I even booked a trip to London to prolong things. On my way back, the plane made an emergency landing and my first thought was that I was going to die and he would never know how much I liked him. When I got back in one piece I decided it was time to shave my legs. We booked a romantic weekend together and I told him about my dream. “So you’re telling me that I’m the man of your dreams?” he asked with a smirk.
He proposed to me in Ireland because we met on St. Patrick’s Day and he wanted to honor that moment. We got married in Paris and have been together for ten years now. It’s been a lot of work but that’s the key to relationships to be honest. It’s the communication and working things out. And he really is the man of my dreams. I work with children in education and he is an environmental engineer, spear-heading projects in Africa…just like in my dream.