In part one, I explained how turning thirty brought a shift in my life goals. I had a successful career but I wanted a family. I decided to go about acquiring one in a similar fashion to how I approached business, starting with finding a husband. Step one was advertising.
In part two, I began screening candidates finally finding one who seemed like a good match for me. We had one date but he didn’t call. I decided to be a little gutsy and call him when I was sure he would NOT be home, my plan being to leave him a message. Good plan, except he answered the phone. Eek!
The Executive’s Guide to Husband-Hunting (part 3)
I panicked. The real deal had answered the phone. Part of me wanted to hang up. This was before caller-ID, so you could still act like a high schooler and abandon mission without being detected. But somehow I stumbled over enough words to pass on my message. I’m sure my face blazed five shades of crimson.
John had gone to his apartment for lunch, and I’d caught him in that tiny thirty-minute window of opportunity. Mercifully, he took charge of the call and invited me out on a real date.
I never dated anyone else, threw away the letters, and ended my marketing campaign. I assumed a merger was imminent.
He broke up with me a year later. After a flood of very unbusinesslike tears, I accepted that he’d just fired me from his life.
I engaged in retail therapy, but bargain-hunting failed to deliver its usual thrills. The pall of starting over and finding someone new was nothing compared to the misery of knowing it wouldn’t be John. My business plan had developed a serious crack.
When I returned home, my neighbor delivered the flower arrangement he’d signed for and held in safekeeping for me. The card said, “I’m an idiot. Please call me. John.”
We’d been exes for all of four hours, and I hadn’t purchased a damn thing.
Eleven months later, I patiently explained my two-year rule about fishing or cutting bait. A few weeks after that, he bit and asked me to marry him at our original “safe date” venue.
We celebrated the nineteenth anniversary of our “merger” this past January. John’s hair is no longer brown, and he no longer weighs 175 pounds, but he still has some smokin’ fine forearms and I wouldn’t wish for a time machine for all the money in the world.
I kept all his letters to F-5204, minus the picture, and he teases that it was his way with stick figures that caught my eye. Perhaps. That’s his story. Mine is that as a financial executive, I pride myself on my ability to make good decisions, often with minimal information. But like calculating an internal rate of return, finding a husband was merely a matter of systematically narrowing the field by weeding out those who were either “too high” or “too low.” Applying this same acumen to the task of finding love required only minor retooling, replacing my usual implements of a calculator, pen and paper with a newspaper, mailbox and telephone.
Though the arena differed, the rest of the process was the same as any other business undertaking. I issued my request for proposal and performed my due diligence. I selected the best candidate for the job: the one whose life philosophy best matched my own, the one who made me laugh and cry then laugh again, the one I could see myself grow old with, the one I knew I would love for the rest of my life.