Meeting The Right Person At The Right Time



We hope to meet the right person the thing is that's not enough you've gotta meet the right person at the right time well when she was in College Caren Kaplan knew that and she was worried that she'd met the person she wanted to end up with but met that person too early she writes about it in her essay let's meet again in five years it's read by Regina King who won an academy award last year for her performance in if Beale Street could talk she starring in HBO's Watchmen Airing. now on Sunday nights when I told Howard that we should meet again in five years to see if we or meant to be together I thought I was just being practical my idea was less about romance than hedging our beds I was only eighteen in a freshman at Cornell and he was barely twenty one we had dated since September now it was spring soon we beheaded back to opposite coasts he to San Francisco and Mita suburban New Jersey the impending separation was forcing us to reevaluate our dorm room conversation went something like this me I think finding the one is a matter of person place in time what if we're both the right person but this is the wrong place in time we'd miss our chance Anson regretted him so are you saying we should stay together me no I don't WanNA marry the first guy I'm serious about I'm saying let's give ourselves a second chance let's meet in five years I'll be twenty three and you'll be twenty six we'll see if we want to get back together Howard agree we settled on meeting at the New York Public Library near the uptown lion at four pm on the first Sunday in April five years from that Spring we wrote our play John Dollar Bill Gordon half and gave each other the half we'd written on meeting in a public place would minimize any unwanted intimacy of things Awkward for clock made sense because we could start with the drink and if things went well we could proceed to dinner and go from there if things weren't going well we could go our separate ways the New York Public Library was a sentimental choice as Englishman agers we'd spent a Lotta time around books and it was an easy landmark to fine one that was likely to still exist in five years unlike a restaurant or far although the first Sunday in April was our original choice I soon realized that it could fall on Easter and my confirm Catholic would never abide my heading into New York City that day we'd be having a family celebration so Howard I took back car have dollar bills crossed out April wrote May and handed them back to each other and then we failed to break up in fact we stayed together that summer and through the whole next school year it wasn't until the next semester when he took a leave of absence and lived in Manhattan that our relationship finally ended I started seeing someone else he found out and that was that we have three and a half years before our meeting I use that time well I had relationships flings crushes with a few of those men I wondered is he the one for various reasons the answer was never yes might have been yes if Howard and I didn't have a date planned maybe maybe not in any case most of my interactions with men whether short or long lasting only strengthened my sense that Howard probably was the one and that I had been put into a range our second chance a part of our agreement that didn't make it onto the dollar bill was that we would tell no one a rule I promptly forgot at some point told my best friend she thought the plan was created but fell bad for the guy I was seeing at the time I also told my mother in which was a mistake at the five year mark I was living in Minneapolis I was in a relationship that had been staggering along for months as for Howard in me we hadn't spoken or communicated at all for a couple of years I vaguely knew of his whereabouts from mutual friends but this was before cell phones the Internet and E-mail a bygone era where you could actually lose touch with people and not know how to contact them even if you wanted to that's what happened with US nevertheless a few days after that first Sunday in May I flew home to the Jersey suburbs visit with my mother plan to head into the city for the weekend my sister had an apartment on the upper west side and it will be nothing unusual for me to see okay with her because I always did when I visited but my mother kept suggesting an alternative plan she argued that it would be better go into New York when my sister wasn't working as a restaurant employee she was busiest on weekends now I said I have to go in this weekend being Howard on Sunday that stopped her I didn't know you two were still in touch we haven't been I said but we agreed to meet on the first Sunday in May this year so I have to be in the city when did you make this agreement five years ago I said Oh my God five years ago are you out of your mind doesn't he live in Calgary -fornia he's not gonna fly all the way to New York for this yes he will I'm sure he'll be there while I was on the train into Manhattan my mother called my sister and urged her to keep me from following through fearing I'd be heartbroken when Howard didn't show when I arrived my sister said you're trying to live your life like a movie real life doesn't work like that he's not even going to remember much less travel three thousand miles you setting yourself up for big disappointment I disagreed she had to work there good afternoon and evening so I was quite happily on my own for the walk from the upper west side to mid town a few minutes before for p. m. found myself standing across the street from the library scanning the small crowd in front when suddenly I saw our heading toward the library steps we saw each other smiled and waved across the street and we hugged in front of the lion fortitude I learned later then sat down on the steps and started talking our conversation lasted two days then Howard caught a plane back to California doesn't immediately happily ever after for us I had to extricate myself from the relationship with the other Guy Howard I also had figure out how we were going to live in the same city that fall I moved to the bay area for a couple of months on a work assignment a few months later he moved to Minneapolis where we stayed for two years before moving to New York and yes once we were back east they marry I still resist a calling our story romantic friends who had heard the story tended to exaggerate the details saying things like and you didn't see each other for ten years actually it was a five year plan and it was only three years that we were fully out of touch or they'll say and you always knew now that was the whole point of the agreement we didn't always know even after the meeting it took a while for us to move in together when we moved New York we agreed we would have to see how things worked out with jobs before making any promises what is true is how the story has helped sustain in our relationship through times of trouble I would have hated to in the story with unfortunately it didn't work out with a story like that of course we had to stay together a romantic past we discovered can help keep you belted in place until you find equilibrium still I insisted the story was about foresight and prudence not romance I only share the story with people I didn't think I was trying to live my life like a movie who would know the story was about being smart and love not starry-eyed for years I the story with I thought it was just being practical and giving us a second chance it turned out to be a good plan well the plan may have been practical a friend said recently but the fact that you both showed up there's a romance he was right it was a complete faith in the other person despite others cautions that define the romance showed up for each other we now have been married for thirty five years Howard still shows up for me and show up for him

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