In 1994, July 17 was a Sunday. And on that Sunday, the Los Angeles Macintosh Group held its annual off-site Board meeting at the Burbank Hilton. As usual, not much was getting accomplished, but that wasn’t out of the ordinary given that several board members had run for their positions on a platform of, “I’ll keep a close eye on those darn board members who want to change things” (or modernize in any way).
During a break, Tom and I commiserated, both about the leadership inertia and our messy personal lives. He knew I’d just gotten out of a disastrous marriage, and he shared with me that he and his then-wife had recently split.
My recollection is that we sympathized with each other, and offered the other a friendly ear and a warm shoulder. I told him about my experiences as a single mom, and he told me how his ex had emptied their condo of pretty much everything but his computer and his clothes, including all the furniture and kitchen stuff (basically, she got the assets and he got the debts, including the lease).
Tom recalls two things from that chat: that he enjoyed talking to me—in no small part because I was wearing a low-cut tanktop—and that, as he says, “The minute I told her I was getting a divorce, I could see the shark fin go up, and it seemed as though I could hear the theme from Jaws begin to play.”
I was thinking about how much I’d enjoyed talking to Tom later that evening. I called up a mutual acquaintance and asked for her opinion on whether I should make a play for him. “I think he’s cute, smart, and funny. We’re both recently out of failed relationships, and we’re both too screwed up to even be thinking about starting new ones. I figure that we can be friends-with-benefits, and after we both heal and get our heads straight, we can go back to just being friends.” She thought that was a pretty good idea and told me to go for it.
Twenty years later, it’s possible that we’re still too screwed up to be in “real” relationships, or maybe we just healed at the same rate and simultaneously decided to stick with a good thing when we had it. Time will tell.
Right now, I’m writing this on a flight from San Francisco to New York City, where we’ll spend 12 days playing tourist, seeing shows, and celebrating twenty years together.