Monday, June 27, 2005

Mr. Spock

Mr. Spock has deigned to comment a few times here. Unfortunately, he comments enigmatically so you can't get a flavor of how funny, silly, smart, darling, and smart-alecky he can be.

So here are some Mr. Spock memories.

How We Met

'Round about this time 12 years ago, Mr. Spock moved into an apartment on West 96th Street. Two blocks away was Murder Ink, The World's Oldest Mystery Bookstore. Working there was yours truly. At the time, I had hair down to my waist (generally pulled back in a french-braid or pony-tail). He walked by the store, looked in and saw me from the back. I was up on a ladder, putting something away in the H paperback section. He came in 'cause he has a thing about long hair. I came down off the ladder and he saw that I was short and cute All of which he also has a thing about. So we started talking. And I sold him a book.

He came in the next week. I sold him a book. And the next week. And the next.

Now, you need to understand that in NYC there are alot of gay owned-and-operated businesses. And you also need to understand that at Murder Ink at the time more than half the staff were openly gay or bi-sexual. So Mr. Spock thought that I was probably gay too. And it didn't help matters much that I was deliberately taking a year off of dating anyone while I worked on some issues in therapy, so I was actively NOT FLIRTING.

So for a year he came in every week and bought a book and chatted with me and never asked me out because he assumed I wouldn't be interested. And then one day in late August 1994 I mentioned a past boyfriend. Mr. Spock's eyes lit up. A boyfriend! A PAST boyfriend!

The next week he went away for a vacation but the week after that he asked me out for coffee. I said yes. Our first date was September 15, 1994. I moved in with him in March of '95. He asked me to marry him November 11, 1995. We married May 18 the following year.

It's a Small World

Around the corner from his apartment was a bar. Tending bar were two sisters. Mr. Spock would go to that bar after dinner most evenings, have a drink, chat with the bartenders and shmooze for a little while before going home to his two-room apartment. During the year that he was coming into Murder Ink, he told the bartenders all about his crush on the girl at the bookstore (never mentioning which bookstore it was) and how she was probably gay and how he'd like to ask her out but...And they would give him advice and bolster his confidence and just generally be really good friends to him. Of course, he told them about the revelation of her heterosexuality and of course he told them about the first date.

The weekend after our first date, I went up to my mom's country house to spend a weekend with my mom and my step-father and some of my cousins came up too. On Sunday of that weekend, I made some grapefruit marmalade and promised my cousins I would bring it to them at work that week.

On Tuesday I dropped off the marmalade at my cousins' workplace and they told me that they had told everyone how they'd watched me make it and how they were looking forward to eating it. After talking with them for a little while, I left to meet Mr. Spock for our second date. During dinner, he asked what I had done that weekend.

Me: "Saw my cousins and made grapefruit marmalade"
MS: "Grapefruit marmalade? Everyone's talking about that these days."
Me: "Really? Well, in any case, I dropped some off with my cousins at the
bar they work at."
MS: "They work at a bar? Is one of them very tall and the other about your
Me: "Yes, do you know them?"

Yes, my friends. My cousins were his bartenders.

Later that evening he goes to their bar.

Them: "How did the date go?"
MS: "It went well, but there may be a problem."
Them: "What's the problem?"
MS: "Well, we know some people in common and I'm worried that they won't think I'm good enough for her."
Them: "Don't worry about what other people think. You're a great person. If
you like her and she likes you, that's all that matters."
MS: "I'm so relieved to hear you say that, because she's your

He says he could see them mentally sorting out whether or not they thought he was too heavy a drinker, had he ever said anything incriminating, was he REALLY good enough for their baby cousin?

They laughed and called my mom to tell her that there was nothing to worry about and, oh, by the way, he's not an alcoholic.


Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Yay! Good stories. The "buying-a-book-a-week-from-the-most-likely-lesbian-but-cute-anyway bookstore girl" is the greatest thing I've read in ages.

anbruch said...

Wonderful, wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.


Yankee T said...

Great story! Y'all are great!

halloweenlover said...

Oooh, I love this story! One of my college professors said he had great faith in serendipity, this story definitely sounds like serendipity taking place!

APL has a point, he is persistent despite the lesbian possibility : )

Penguin said...

Whoa! What are the chances, really?

Suzanne said...

Both great stories!

(And on a completely self-absorbed note, May 18, 1996, is my wedding day, too!)

liz said...

It was a lovely day, wasn't it?

purple_kangaroo said...

I loved this line: "I'm so relieved to hear you say that, because she's your


Mummy/Crit said...

Wow, that was a lovely story, and with such a 'small-town' element to it, who'd've thought it happened in NYC?

Julie said...

Fabulous post! Thank you so much!

Phantom Scribbler said...

This is too bleeping cute. Who should play you in the movie version?

corndog said...

Mr. Spock is a man with unnatural patience. Can he sell some of his extra to me for the next time our boys bang their Thomas and Percy into the oven?

Thanks for the great stories. I agree with Phantom that this needs to be a movie.

SuzanH said...

I love this story. You are too darn cute. Yeah, you and Mr. Spock.

Songbird said...

What a fabulous New York romance. I especially like the role played by a famous bookstore! I met The Father of My Children when we both worked at the Scribner Book Store on Fifth Avenue, a long-gone landmark of the literary scene.

liz said...

I so miss Scribner's. And Shakespeare & Co. (used to be owned by co-owners of Murder Ink - Shakespeare & Co is now gone due to B&N moving in 2 blocks away)