The Grey Suit – A Story About The Night We Met
Some of you may have heard this story or even read it in our first attempt at writing a book, Forever Newlyweds, about the night Marianne and I met. But, just in case you’ve not heard the story allow me to tell it again, but I’ll add some key details to this version that truthfully, might be a mistake!
It was a nice warm winter night in November, November 2nd, 1991 to be exact, on the U.S.Territory of Guam, where I was stationed in the U.S. Marine Corps. (Of course, if I told you what I was doing there… well, you get the picture!), I was off duty and my first thoughts were of hitting the club scene in Tumon bay (It’s where all the hotels and tourists were).
However, I must take a moment to preface this story with some facts. It is true that I grew up going to church, I gave my life to Christ at thirteen and was Baptized in a creek in my hometown in Oklahoma. My mom was a devoted Bible Thump… I mean Christian scholar; and, I was a perfect example of a prodigal son. So, in November of 1991, I wasn’t paying much attention to God, although I can assure you He was paying attention to me, otherwise I wouldn’t be married to the best, most beautiful woman in the world and have had five incredible children together.
In my single days, my typical night out consisted of going to a couple of strip clubs, followed by hitting the local dance scene (which happened to be Club Onyx). It was the place to be in the early nineties on the tiny Island of Guam. The techno music would thump so loudly you could feel it vibrate through your inner most being – it had this magic that made you want to dance! At the same time it was blowing out your eardrums, lights were flashing – the barrage of color and sound made it worthy of a warning sign to people with epilepsy. But, I think it created enough distraction so that people with very little dance movies (like me) looked like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.
I had finally reached that part of t he night where dancing and hooking up were next on the agenda. I had reached Club Onyx. For a moment, just imagine walking into a pitch-black room, following the strip lighting on the floor, and the noise ahead of you until you stepped into the club; already hazed from the smoke machines that had added to the “party atmosphere”. It was pure exhilaration! And, just as I walked into the club to scope out the scene – strolling the walkways and catwalk until I found someone I might want to try to get to know – that’s when I caught her out of the corner of my eye. I turned for a better look, she smiled… and I don’t know why… but it caught me COMPLETELY by surprise. I could literally feel my face get hot as she smiled at me.
Have you ever had a moment that just seemed as if time slowed to a crawl? This was one of those moments for me, but for some crazy reason I just turned and kept walking my usual route and up the stairs I went. Then I realized, I FORGOT TO SMILE BACK! All I can say about that is I wasn’t talking very nicely to myself by the time I hit the top of those stairs.
All she saw was a guy wearing a light grey suit with black over-sized lapels, with matching pants that tapered at the ankle the way today’s skinny jeans do (we’ll get back to the story of the grey suit in a minute). I glanced at her, expressionless, turn, and then dart away to the stairs and disappear.
Realizing my mistake, and already being on the second floor of the club; I made my way to the other side of the club so I could get a birds eye view of her, thinking she wouldn’t notice my glaring at her from my perch. I was carefully plotting my approach because, she was with a group, and honestly, I couldn’t tell if she was with the only guy in the group or not. Of course I wanted to minimize the possibility of an outright rejection so early in the night.
Then it happened!
She looked up and our eyes met once again. She caught me staring at her! To make matters even worse, she leaned over to her friend and I watched as her friend, not so inconspicuously, turned to look up at me in my beaming outfit. Flush faced and smiling, almost embarrassingly back down, her friend turned back to her and they both started LAUGHING!
Man, I tell you, the situation was getting to me, she was getting to me and now my curiosity was getting to me. Did she want to meet me or not?
As I recall that night now, I remember that girl was too chatty. I knew right away that I had to escape from her as quickly as possible to focus on my primary mission: talk to the mystery woman who’d been trading glances with me all night. So, I plainly told her, “I’m trying to talk to the girl over there.” I think I lied to her too, telling her I was too shy to talk to her or something like that.
“Oh, her! I know her, we go to school together,” She told me.
I swear that’s the truth! And being the macho Marine that I was, I asked her to get Marianne’s permission for me to come talk to her and she did. Now, as you may have concluded, Marianne said: “YES”!
So, in my fancy grey suit, which I should add I filled out quite nicely (thank you U.S. Marine Corps); I walked over to her smiling from ear to ear and said to her, “Hi, my name is Keven, what’s yours?” I finally got the chance to talk to the most beautiful girl in the club and even better, we danced and talked with the night ending with her friends driving her home and me getting a long kiss, before her friends took me back to my base.
I agree It isn’t a story that would rank a Chick Flick status, but it’s our story of how we met.
Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you the big secret about that grey suit, didn’t I?
Well, here goes, the grey suit that I met my wife in nearly 22 years ago, was a woman’s suit that I still had in my closet from my ex-girlfriend! But I honestly believe I was meant to wear that suit that night or I may have blended into the crowd and I wouldn’t be sharing this story with you today. It’s crazy how things work isn’t it?
And this is the result of that night!