Mr. Glover looked at me and made his prediction: "You'll be married within six months."
Then he resumed his exercise as if what he just said made perfect sense to a 20-year-old junior college student still living with his parents and not in a relationship.
Mr. Glover's predictions were legendary, doled out on the last day of his speech class at Moorpark College. It was late June 1988, and I was already enrolled at Cal State Northridge for the fall semester. This was the last class I needed for transfer. It was a required course that many of us dreaded (public speaking), so I put it off as long as possible. Plus, everyone said that the summer course was shorter and easier and I was always a path-of-least-resistance kind of guy.
Mr. Glover was known for conducting a yearbook-style roll call and survey — announcing his picks for funniest, cockiest, best looking, that sort of thing. His prediction for me seemed so random that I didn't even bother to ask for an explanation.
After all, marriage was for people who were "ready," and I was just getting started.
As it turned out, my POLR (path of least resistance) strategy was working out pretty well. I'd painlessly changed my major, twice. As an added bonus, I lived at home while still enjoying the "college experience" by partying on the weekends with my friends from high school, who all went to CSUN.
Our weekend party routine in Northridge was pretty, well, routine. For some reason, the parties (frat or otherwise) were always on Friday nights, so our Saturday nights usually meant going to a club (strip or otherwise). But back in 1988, if you stayed in town, "going to a club" in Northridge meant going to the only club in Northridge, the bar at the Black Angus on Corbin Avenue, which was a pretty nice hangout.
It had a large bar, a few booths, TVs playing music videos and a dance floor with a DJ. It also had a security guard checking IDs at the door. Though most of us were underage, getting a fake ID in 1988 was as easy as having a friend with a good camera who happened to work at the local Fotomat. So one Friday night in July, we ventured to the Angus.
After reciting my fake birth date to the doorman — an easy to remember April 5, 1966, or 4-5-66 — we were disappointed to find that the crowd was dead. We managed to stick it out for a few hours, but sometime after midnight we decided to leave. As I waited by the exit for my friends, I looked across the bar and saw the biggest, most spectacular smile I have ever seen. It beamed from a tan face, beneath laughing eyes, all framed by long, golden brown hair.
It was everything anyone could ever want in a smile.
It was one of those "and-the-crowd-parted" moments, like she had materialized there just to smile at me.
I went over and stood next to her. Even when I wasn't looking at her, I could feel her smiling. We struck up a conversation as we watched music videos on the TV above the bar, until my ride insisted it was time to leave.
Her name was Kathi and she'd ended up there by chance that night. After getting off work from her second job, she didn't feel like going straight home and ended up across town at the Black Angus, a place she had never been before. But she was used to long drives, having moved by herself cross-country from Virginia with stops in Atlanta, Houston and Vegas. (She was more of a path-of-individual-determination kind of girl — a POID to my POLR.)
While we talked, some guy asked if she had a pen he could borrow. (Remember, this was the days before smartphones.) She told him that he'd better bring it back because she was going to need it later.
And she did need it later, to write all three of her phone numbers on a voided check, which was the only paper she had handy. When we parted, she jokingly (I think) threatened to kill me if I didn't call her.
I called the next day.
We have been together ever since. Some people wonder how or where you find "the one."
The answer is pretty simple: You cross paths with them one day.
Looking back, I realized pretty quickly that she had all of the traits that I'd liked about girlfriends I'd had previously — but all in one person. She was intelligent (but not a know-it-all), independent (but not isolated), different (but not weird), mischievous (but not too crazy), funny (but not as funny as me). And we had enough things in common to be compatible yet enough things not in common to never get bored. She was simply made for me.
I never found out why Mr. Glover made his prediction about me, what possessed him to say such a thing.
Turns out, Mr. Glover wasn't even close. Kathi and I were married on Valentine's Day 1989.
So it was more like seven months and 12 days.
The author just produced his first screenplay, "Little Star." He is on Instagram @nufucius.
L.A. Affairs chronicles the current dating scene in and around Los Angeles. If you have comments or a true story to tell, email us at LAAffairs@latimes.com.
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