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When I first spotted the new teller at the credit union I liked what I saw. She had a terrific smile and beautiful hair and was so friendly and nice.

I began to make discreet inquiries about her status, because she was wearing a ring, but it was on the wrong hand. Scuttlebutt said she was single. Hmmmm.

When I finally resolved to get serious about my interests I came up with excuses to go into the credit union each day, since it was pretty handy to my office. I'd withdraw $5.00 from my account or deposit it back or buy some stamps, always finding my way to her line.

At last Friday rolled around and I decided the time was ripe. "Gonna do it, gonna do it, gonna do it..." She was sick that day. Curses!

On Monday I still had a little nerve left. "Good morning, what can I do for you?" "Hi. Ummm...some stamps, please." "Sure. How was your weekend?" "Pretty good. I saw a new movie that I liked called Short Circuit." "Oh, I'll have to check it out." "Would you allow me to take you?" "Sure." "Sorry?" "Sure." "Ah, heh. Great."

So, I got the vital information, called before picking her up to see if perhaps I could feed her as well and we had a pretty good time, despite my having to start my hoopy with a screwdriver by arcing the solenoid.

Soon, very soon, we were inseparable and a mere 10 weeks after that first date, we were wed. Somehow she saw beyond my awkwardness and Lord knows she didn't marry me for money. Her mother was a bit concerned about the brief courtship. My folks were thrilled beyond words. Me, too.

I'd asked people for a long time how you knew when you'd found the right one. "You just do." Well, thank you. That's very helpful. They were right, though.

So today marks 23 years since that first date, and since I was 23 years old at the time, that means that beginning today, she has been part of my life longer than not, and in many ways that was when life for me really began.

I couldn't be more grateful.

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