Saturday, February 6, 2010

Turning Points

There are turning points in all of our lives, usually not where we expected them. Had I picked a different major in college, or if I had held out for a job in Chicago when I was 22 instead of moving to Ohio I imagine that my life would be largely the same. Many of those "big" decisions don't really make a whole lot of difference in our lives, at least in my experience. Instead it has been the little things that have lead to BIG changes.

Once when I was in college I came back to the dorm after spending the day looking for a summer job, I had been unsuccessful at best, and was a little discouraged. I walked into the Cafeteria and at the door was a friend of mine, Toni, she said to me, "Hey Brya
n fill out an application, we got work this summer."

"Ok... whatever" I picked up the application, rolled my eyes at Toni then put my name on the schedule for peeling potatoes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, yes the interview process what that tough back then. Anyway I have often thought of how different my life would have been if I hadn't filled out that application or if I had decided to skip lunch that day. I may have never worked in a kitchen... what would I be doing now?

That isn't the little choice that I want to talk about today, it is another seemingly little choice with much bigger consequences
, a little over five years ago there was a woman that that I met on a website, no not what you are thinking it was a parenting website. We had talked a little on message boards. I found her to be interesting and intelligent we agreed on most subjects that came up and were supportive of each other. We were also going through our divorces at about the same time. She (if you ask her) sent me HUGE signals that any idiot would see as flirting. Not being just any idiot I didn't see them at all.

On February 6, 2005... Superbowl Sunday I worked up the nerve to send her an email.
I was spending the day with my oldest daughters we were going to run around the City for a few hours then come back to my crummy post divorce one bedroom apartment in Chicago eat like pigs and watch two teams that none of us cared about at all play a sport that we are only mildly interested in. I may have mentioned this, am the kind of guy that remembers the food at special occasions or important events in my life... that day Taco Pie, Chicken Wings, Chips, Salsa and Root Beer.

The email that I sent Kris went something like this:

" Kris... Me not stalker, you seem smart and nice and smart too... do you want to be friends?"

Give me a bit of a break here, I hadn't asked anyone out in over 15 years and I wasn't good at it then, really, I was doing my best. I remember sitting there in my kitchen with my eloquent prose in front of me, finger on the mouse, arrow hovering over "send" then I did it... I clicked. Immediately I thought "OH MY GOD CAN I TAKE IT BACK?!?" But I couldn't, thank you God, one clumsily worded email and a click on "send" and the path of my life changed.

The girls and I went out a few minutes later and were gone most of the day when I returned home I started cooking our bad for you feast and went to check my email once I got them settled. I had a reply! to sum it up; to Kris, I didn't seem like too much of a creepy stalker guy with bad writing skills.

This is one of the moments that my life changed in a huge way, my hand on the mouse as afraid to click send as not to. I don't know exactly what would have happ
ened if I had chickened out (and I was close) but I know a few things, If I hadn't met Kris I wouldn't be as happy, I would probably still be alone, I never would have met Miss Lu, Mr. Man wouldn't even be here and the world would be just a little bit darker place today.
The meal I made the day my life changed with the click of a mouse:
Taco Pie a recipe that my friend Amy gave me about 20 years ago

1 lb. hamburger

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1- 8 oz. container of sour cream

1 onion, diced

packaged crescent rolls

1 pkg of shredded cheddar cheese

taco chips(Doritos)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown hamburger and add diced onion right before completely browned. Unroll crescent rolls and press in pie dish as the crust. Prebake for about ten minutes in oven then pull back out. Place seasoning in hamburger as your were making tacos. Put seasoned hamburger in prepared pie crust. Mix in sour cream. Next spread out cheese then crush up and put on the taco chips. Cover and bake for 30 minutes then uncover and bake 15 more minutes.

"Did I have any reason to be so nervous?" you ask, Kris says "no" she was quite fond of me and liked the way I wrote on the parenting website. Both of us were struggling with our own divorces at the same time and it all just seemed right. However, after we exchanged photos I was talking to Issa, my co worker and one of my best friends, I mentioned that I had a date that next weekend.

Issa said, "Ah, but what does she look like?" So brought him around my desk and showed him the picture that Kris had emailed. He just patted me on the shoulder and said, "I wouldn't get my hopes up my friend," then walked out of my office.


  1. Thanks, and thanks for the recipe!

  2. Oh, this is such a sweet story! I love it! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Bryan I loved reading your post. Things are meant to happen for a reason and on some level you must believe that too!
    SOunds like you and Kris are what each need- thanks for sharing...BTW I am totally looking you up when I visit Chicago again! we have some eating to do ha,haa