The Man with the Italian Sock
A little over eight years ago I was picking up my friend Jon*, from our friend Lisa's house. Lisa* had recently moved into a new house and she had a roommate; a guy around my age whom I had never met. I go to pick up Jon, who I had finally realized was never going to be interested in me as more than a friend despite months of a pseudo-relationship, and I meet this loud yet incredibly charming man lying in a recliner with his sock hanging off his foot. There was something about him that instantly caught my attention. He had this sparkle in his eye that almost seemed like a special effect in a movie. His smile was sweet and his laugh was unabashed; an infectious stream of giggles much like a cackle but lively and full of joy; like he had a secret that I might be lucky enough to learn as the night went on. He was just my type: tall, dark, handsome and funny. There was something special about this guy.
He explained the sock hanging off his foot was because his foot was hurting badly, especially his big toe, and the pressure from the sock was too much. He called it his "Italian sock" (I think because Italian loafers tend to be really long and narrow, just like this sock).
Something about this man stuck with me but I couldn't remember his name. So I went on to Lisa's Facebook page and looked through her friend list until I found him and added him as a friend.
Fast-forward a couple weeks and Jon had moved out of the area. Lisa was having a birthday dinner at a local restaurant and invited me, much to my surprise. We had only known each other through Jon but I was excited to grow our friendship. She had invited all of her close friends, most whom I had never met. I knew I needed to make new friends after having spent so many months focused on Jon so I decided to go by myself. I had hoped there would be someone to talk to in addition to the birthday girl since I was going alone. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the man with the Italian sock.
I couldn't help but glance at him all night. I felt a magnetic pull drawing me to him and I tried not to be obvious about this immediate attraction. Later I mentioned that we were Facebook friends but was quickly corrected that I had, in fact, added his friend Rob*, not him. Oops! #FlirtingFail.
That night we all went out to the Maverick, a local saloon, for drinks and I'll never forget what he told me. He said he was going to make a heavy metal Raffi cover album called Raffi-core. He then proceeded to sing me "Brush your teeth" in a heavy metal voice. He had me at Raffi.
We started to chat here and there on Facebook and I found any excuse to come over to Lisa's house to see him. I explained to the group of friends that gathered at their house that I was just looking to have a good time and not get in to anything serious because my divorce had just been finalized (after a two year separation). I was able to go out late at night because I was living with my parents at the time. After my 4-year old went to sleep I could head out without my son even knowing I was gone. It saved my sanity and I will forever be grateful for their support.
I quickly started to realize I was falling fast for this guy. I had been dating other men and yet I couldn't stop thinking about the man with the Italian sock. He was different from any other guy I had met and we had this spark that was electric. We would be standing across from each other in his kitchen and it felt like lightening bolts were connecting us with every glance. It was so intense that friends would comment on it before we were even officially together. I gave it a few weeks of acting nonchalant but quickly decided to stop dating anyone else. From then on we moved at the speed of light. Six months after meeting we were living together and four months after that, we were married.
A year or two after we got married I was going through some old wine festival videos on my computer that I had taken for work and saw something that caught my eye in a video thumbnail. I clicked on it and gasped. It was a video of my husband that I had taken years before we had met at the Vintners Festival.
Later, I came to find out that my husband had seen me at a hotel I worked at years prior and asked his buddy who worked the front desk who I was (a married woman at the time). At least two different times in the past I have crossed paths with my husband but we didn't meet until that day he had his Italian sock. I am a hopeless romantic and can't help but feel that it was the right time and place for us to meet. I had just been waiting for the Italian sock.
*all of the names in this post have been edited to protect privacy.