“She stood in the doorway with a smile like an atom bomb. My knees literally buckled.”

I think the following, written by Denis Leary, describes what we ALL want. Male or female.

The first time I saw the gorgeous girl who is now my wife, I can honestly claim it for what it was: a soul-shattering experience. I was then as I am now, a tall, thin, wisecracking, sarcastic Irish-American man with a moppy head of blond hair and a vague idea of what love is supposed to be. My parents had grown up on adjacent farms in Ireland, had known each other since childhood, had emigrated to America, and had been married for thirty-something years. My sister, Ann Marie, was dating one of my best friends from growing up (they are still together today, three decades later), my older brother, Johnny, was married to his high school sweetheart (still is), and nobody in my family on either side of the ocean had ever married anyone they hadn’t known since they were kids or teenagers.

I, on the other hand, had skipped all the chicks from the neighborhood, kindergarten through high school, and managed to get through college with a number of girl friends, one-night stands, and side dishes, and I had no ring and no one to answer to at the end of the day. I was teaching part-time at my alma mater, Emerson College, and planning on sleeping with as many female students as I could.

Hell, it was 1982 and teachers barely got paid, so having sex with students wasn’t just a perk, it was often the reason you took the job. There was no law against it at the time, and Emerson was a prime place to pursue such an extracurricular activity.

I started the fall term with a class of about 15 kids, half of whom were girls, three of whom I found attractive. All three of them were smart and somewhat funny (somewhat being the key word). I was never into shy girls. Or dumb ones. I like a woman who can laugh as hard as I do and be just as snarky and fast with a quip or comeback. Physically, I like girls of all shapes and sizes, but having sworn off any long-term relationships, I was still very aware of being highly attracted to tall, thin, moppy-headed blond girls. Still, I was fully capable of adjusting to small and quiet, big and busty, wide assed and witty. I was in my experimental phase.

And then the door opened.

Ann Lembeck, who had just transferred from another college and had been directed to my class by my boss, Dr. James Randall, stood in the doorway asking if this was Creative Writing Such and Such with Mr. Leary.

I nodded yes and said, “Come on in.” But what I was hearing in my head was white noise. My knees literally buckled. The blood in my body suddenly gathered itself into a tight red blood knot behind my eyeballs, stepped onto an imaginary elevator, and dropped from the top of my skull down to my feet. And then shot straight back up. Twice.

Her eyes were a piercing shade of blue. Her legs were endless and outrageous and worthy of many other clichés. She was tall and thin with moppy strawberry-blond hair, and her smile was an atom bomb.

The image and the moment are stuck in a Crystal Evergreen Ever-Forever Film Loop etched across the mid-horizon of my memory: her eyes, her hair, the way her hands moved to brush back her bangs, her tan thighs. I think I stood there staring at her for what must have been a month, knowing this:

My life is over if this girl is funny.

My life is really over if this girl is smart and funny.

To make matters worse, she had a puppy with her. Did I mention I love dogs? Well, let me cut to the chase. She was funny and smart, and the dog was too.

I didn’t sleep with her until the semester was over. Not because of any morality clause in my evil insides or because it would have been wrong. I knew, the very marrow in my bones knew, that once this thing started there would be no stopping. We have been together now for 25 years.

In a row.

And not all of it has been pretty. We’ve had our ups and our downs. But that moment Ann Lembeck standing in that doorway with those eyes, those thighs, that puppy, that smile-if I were a horse, it would be branded on my ass.

By the way, in case you were wondering about Ann’s grade in the writing class? A+.

In life?

They don’t have one high enough.

WTFs Next
Sometimes you stand there and think, “WTF’s Next?” while looking at a situation or something on the news. And you’re left to point, fret, wonder and mull it over alone.

I instead choose to write all that crap down HERE and get it off my chest.

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