A Love (?) Story — Revisited

When I tell this story, I always have to put in a disclaimer.  Sort of like Dickens at the beginning of A Christmas Carol, when he says

“It must be understood that Marley was dead, otherwise nothing strange and wonderful could have happened.”

In this case, this fact must be understood:

I was really, really nice to everyone

Promise me you’ll remember that.

Once upon a time, I had a job at a law school.  The most fun job I’ve ever had.  I was the administrative assistant to a student organization, the BSA.  Pretty much the Boy Scouts of America, law school chapter.  The BSA members were 2nd and 3rd year students who did a lot to make the first year students happier during their (relatively miserable and difficult) first year.  They did orientation, taught legal writing, answered questions on where to go, what to do.  The office was large, with comfy chairs and a couch, a full free coffee pot.  A good, friendly place to hang out.  The members did, and so did a core of 1st years who, naturally, tried to become members for their 2nd and 3rd years.

It was a wonderful job.  Basically I answered questions and was nice to people.  Always.  A smile on my face, a laugh, a soft shoulder when needed.  It was easy to be nice in such a fun job.

Substantively, I had to know what was going on with the members’ various activities, because I was the one in the office when the 1st year students had questions.  I had to know what was going on to give the  answers.  Because that was my job.  The BSA members were all nice.  Except Monte.  He wasn’t.  He was a jerk.  Totally uncooperative.  He deserved that name.

Monte was in charge of a very important program that was one of two mandatory moot court programs for all 1st year students.  Essentially, it’s where they learned how to present and argue a case.  A whole case.  They write the briefs and argued the case in front of a panel of judges.  The students had a million questions, and they were also apprehensive, because it was an important part of their first year.  They asked ME all of those questions.

But Monte was in charge and wouldn’t let me know what was going on.  He wouldn’t answer my questions.  He wouldn’t keep me informed or involved.  I invariably had no answer to give to the poor student who really needed one.

Now, it might surprise you to know this, but I really hate to look stupid.  So one day I’d had enough of being unable to help, unable to answer questions I was supposed to answer.  Unable to do my job.  So I took Monte into the back room and politely explained in the nicest possible way, why he had to do things my way.

He responded, and I quote:

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it.”  And he left.

Me, except I’m blond. And in color.

To this very day I have never been so mad at anyone.

I went back to my desk fuming, steam coming out of my ears, angry tears, the works.  As I stood there, shaking mad, a tall, blond 1st year student entered the office, came up to me and said – oh I don’t remember what he said.  But it was a question about that program.  Monte’s program.

“I DON’T KNOW.  YOU WILL HAVE TO ASK MONTE WHO IS A COMPLETE JERK!” I screamed at the tall, completely innocent blond guy.

He stood there, put his hands on his hips, shook his head and left the office.  He never returned.

I remember it clearly.  Well, except all I can see in my memory is the outline of a tall, faceless blond guy.  Standing there, hands on his hips, shaking his head and clearly thinking “what a bitch she is not very helpful.”

John did not propose then and there.

In fact, we didn’t even cross paths again that we know about during the two years we were there together.  We met again in DC through a guy I was dating who worked with John.  Years after I broke up with the other guy, John asked me out after we met up again at a party.

Whenever someone asks us the “how did you two meet?” question, well, I make sure I tell the story.  Because John claims I fired nuclear weapons at him, which is a slight exaggeration.  And it makes me look bad.

Really, I didn’t shoot at him.

But hey, my husband can never claim that he didn’t know I could be a bitch.  And that has been worth its weight in gold (or nukes) for almost 30 years.

*    *    *

This is an old piece that I’m replaying for Valentine’s Day because, well, it’s one of my favorite “love” stories.  And because there are lots of new followers who didn’t read it.  If you already read it, you can stop here.  See?  I told you I was nice!


Filed under Adult Traumas, Bat-shit crazy, Christmas Stories, Criminal Activity, Family, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Law, Stupidity, Wild Beasts

62 responses to “A Love (?) Story — Revisited

  1. At my last job I had a “Monte” except his name was Phil. Not only did he not tell me the info. I needed, in order to make himself more important, he would give me misinformation to make sure I looked stupid. I should have known what I was in for when I found out on my first day that the previous woman who did that job had walked off the job with no notice a few weeks earlier with the stated reason – “because of Phil!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so sweet, and the ending took me by surprise. But what ever happened to you and Monte? Did you wring his neck? Did you get fired? Part II of the story is still to be written. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did not get fired, nor did I wring Monte’s neck. Instead I suggested to any student who asked a question about that subject call Monte at home after 11 and I gave them his phone number. His wife, who worked and got up early, took care of wringing his neck. My hands are clean. But my grin when he complained to me was somewhat mischievous!


  3. Julie

    “Don’t worry your pretty little head about it”??! I can only imagine Elyse. It made my blood pressure rise just reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really mean it when I say I’ve never been so mad at anybody. EVER. What a twit.


      • Julie

        I am not one for violence really, only in my imagination. That statement would have really REALLY made me re-evaluate my feelings. Knocking him one on the back of his “pretty little head” would have given much satisfaction.


  4. I, too, have always strived to be painfully nice to everyone. But in high school, my best friend was often a b**ch to others and for whatever reason, I briefly tried to be like her. So we went to pick up her boyfriend (now my husband) to go to a party. He had an old not-yet-running ’57 Chevy that he was insanely proud of and had spent all day making shiny(ish) so that he could show it off to us. I had never met him before and the first words out of my mouth were, “I think it’s ugly.” My next words were, “I’m riding in the front seat. You get in the back.” He was devastated. Luckily, my best friend dumped him and then his best friend dumped me, and he eventually figured out I wasn’t nearly as big a b**ch as my first impression had implied. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This story is worth reading more than once. I enjoyed just as much as the first time. It’s good to know that you didn’t go through life never knowing what happened to that poor guy you yelled at or how your reaction influenced the rest of his life. It would have been terrible to always wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a lovely story! He can’t say he wasn’t warned, right?


  7. You should have stabbed him in his pretty little throat with a letter opener.

    Who doesn’t love a happy ending?


  8. That is what fascinated and intrigued him. He had to hunt you down, capture you and claim you for his own.


  9. And the oscar for best use of a nuclear weapon in a love story goes to…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s nice when a plan comes together. Muahahahahaha!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You’re right. We might have married years earlier. Scary thought because the intervening years were a blast!


  12. Awwww….that is a nice story. The good news is that you remembered the event even if you didn’t exactly remember him. There have been too many Monte’s in life. Can you imagine how his father treated his mother?


    • Monte was married at the time. He was very protective of her because he complained that I was giving students his home number and saying he wasn’t usually home till 11. He deserved that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Paul

    Such a cool how-we-met story. Thanks for sharing Elyse.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. “If you already read it, you can stop here.”

    shaking my head, shaking my head, shaking my head
    I haven’t an actual smile in several days … so, thanks

    p.s. yes, I’ve heard it before already, but it
    definitely ranks a second (or third) telling !

    Liked by 1 person

    • I put that line in that place just for you, 99. Just for you. Shaking my head. Shaking my head.

      Liked by 1 person

      • My guess is that when you added that erstwhile disclaimer to the bottom of the piece, it had to have elicited at least a little bit of a smile from you, too. That’s my favorite kind of reading. The kind where you think you know the story, and you’re all settled in and comfortable, and then you get an unexpected surprise. Well done, you. Well done.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Such a fun story! And, of course, any story that begins with a reference to the opening paragraphs of “A Christmas Carol” has my undivided attention. (I love “ACC” — and Dickens; I think the first few pages of “ACC” are some of my favorite reading. I have to read it every Christmas, and it delights me to no end!

    But, back to you…

    I suspect your remark in one of the comments that Monte is an extremely rich attorney is probably true — it seems that the richer the attorney, the bigger the jerk factor is …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been telling this story for years, and only recently started adding Dickens. It works much better! ACCOUNT was one of the stories my sister Beth used to read to me when I was tiny. It holds a special place in my heart — as does Beth for starting me out with the classics.

      As for attorneys, I know a million of them. Some are real jerks. But I don’t think the ratio of jerks to non-jerks is much different than other professions! Everyone just expects it.


  16. You could have fired that thing at Monte, though, Elyse. Yeesh. Big jerk.

    Lovely how’d-we-meet story, my friend. Indeed.


    • Thanks, Mark. It’s the only story John still lets me tell when he’s around. (And that, of course, is why I started my blog.)

      I honestly don’t know how I didn’t launch something at him. What a twit.


  17. Glazed

    I read this in a psychology book: First impressions are not really the best. It’s better to make a bad first impression and a good second impression, than the other way around. Must have something to do with reducing expectations. So just consider how things might have turned out if you had been really, really nice to him at first.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. We might have married years earlier. Scary thought because the intervening years were a blast!

      (I actually responded to your comment yesterday; but somehow it ended up as a separate comment instead of an answer. So I randomly commented on my own post … Ah the vagaries of Word Press!)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Marrying someone to alleviate the pain you may have caused by your outburst is the pinnacle of being nice, Elyse 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mercyn620

    A great and funny when we first met story. Certainly wasn’t love at first sight!


  20. What an awesome story.


  21. Now this is an awesome love story! I was not very nice to my Hubby before we got married. I’m so glad he didn’t give up on me.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. You made a lasting impression on john! 😊 ~Elle

    Liked by 1 person

  23. You know what they say about first impressions. But it seems that you are the exception that proves the rule. You apparently got a second chance to make a first impression.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. This is hysterically funny! I hope Monte came to a bad end…


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