Four Love stories – all based on a simple smile and hello.
Ben and Jerry make a Ménage a Trois?
Jan writes that last year she was in line at the Berkeley Bowl just before Thanksgiving with a basket overflowing with all the requisite ingredients for the feast she was hosting.
A bearded man behind her had a basket with staples: coffee, juice, milk, paper towels, TP and 10 pints of ice cream. Jan said she smiled and joked about his ice cream collection. He revealed he had been living and working in Haiti for three months. He had dropped 20 pounds and for weeks was dreaming of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate swirls, Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey.
As they stood in the glacially slow checkout line, they continue to chat. Jan quickly ascertained, he was single, new in town, and funny, so Jan invited him to her Thanksgiving party and promised him pies, ice cream, and all the trimmings. He arrived hungry, sans beard, smiling and stayed in her life, happily ever after.
One Saturday morning, Tom was walking on the beach at Santa Cruz when he thought he heard Hawaiian music.
He noticed a huge throng of people standing in a circle playing ukuleles.
Intrigued, he stood among the spectators and observed 50+ happy people playing ukuleles. There were a few mandolins, guitars, and a wild guy in his 70’s on the bongos. They were the “Sons of the Beach.”
The leader was a vivacious woman tapping a tambourine, encouraging everyone to sing “Tiny Bubbles.” The fun was infectious. Tom watched, smiled and sang along. He noticed a woman across the circle who looked very familiar. His brain did a Rolodex-shuffle trying to force her name or where they met. Nothing. She returned a knowing smile and a nod.
As the crowd strummed and sang, “Leaving on a Jet Plane” Tom remembered the face- the girl from college 30 years earlier. He admits he could not remember her name, but he did remember her smile. After “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys, Tom walked over to – memories were flooding in – a name! Mary Beth from senior year: the Encounter Group. They re-introduced themselves. Both were now single, 60, interested and connected then and there. That was two years ago and Tom now plays the ukulele.
Mumbling “Good Morning”
They both commuted on the Larkspur ferry five days a week. Eventually, they would nod and say ‘hey’ to one another. One typical, foggy, cold morning, they were both in line for coffee, and a conversation started. It was a herky-jerky conversation. It started, ended, a pregnant pause, and it started again. He admits he found himself very tongue-tied. She said she though he was cute and clever.
And they sat together, all the way to the City.
The Fickle Finger of Fate
They worked four blocks from one another. The next morning, they had coffee again and began to make a habit of it. The morning she brought her famous chocolate-chip cookies, he swooned, and asked her to dinner. They have been dating for one year.
Mike saw Mary Beth at Locust Cleaners on Sacramento Street every Monday morning around eight o’clock for two months before he got beyond, “Good morning.”
Unbeknownst to him, she waited for him to arrive, just to say hello. One morning, Mike said, “ If you’re not too busy, would you like to get coffee?” Eleven words. And that was the beginning of the beautiful friendship.
Lesson here? Say good morning, hey, hi, hello. Don’t waste anymore time.
“Good morning, and in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!” The Truman Show