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Sunday, January 6, 2013

MARY


If you lived in the area for a long time, you may remember the channel 8 news anchor Mary Saladna. She was a very good reason to watch TV at 6pm every night. I was reminded of her tonight as I was researching some unrelated writing ideas. I have a story....

I was single and not finding anyone I wanted to go out with. I'm not the shy type, so approaching people is no issue at all. Sometimes, though, it seems like all the ladies have a special someone already. It was during one of these times I started thinking of Mary.

She was always smiling, happy, and positive, but I only knew her as a TV personality and not as a regular person. I decided I should find a way to meet her. I started asking around and at first, no one knew her and had no insight to get me introduced. It was frustrating that here was this nice young lady, seemingly single, and I couldn't make a connection.

The months passed and I was about to give up when suddenly I found someone who knew someone who worked with her! Not only THAT, but it was someone who I considered a good friend. I'M IN!

And then....

Watching the news one night, I noticed something on the left hand of my future date – an engagement ring! Oooooooooooohhhhhhh Noooooooooooooooo!

Just my luck.

Well, my connection didn't come through, but the idea had festered for so long that I decided to finish what I started.... I was STILL going to meet her.

I was faced with only one option. Go to the station and hope I can NOT seem like a lunatic. I wondered how to make this happen. As luck would have it, the station was not set up like Ft Knox. The parking lot was actually open so I waited when I thought she would arrive.

Before long, I recognized her as she pulled in. What was I going to say? How would I prevent my approach from being viewed as creepy? Was I wearing the right shirt? Now was NOT the time to ponder such things as she parked her car. I had not really thought about this moment, but here it was and, as usual, I wasn't prepared.

I usually end up winging it instead of rehearsing, so this was normal operating procedures. Here she comes.... I made sure I was in full view as I walked toward her.

What was I going to say?... When she was finally close, all I could say was, “I feel like a marathon runner, crossing the finishing line after everyone went home”

She looked a little confused, but not in a why-is-this-loser-trying-to-talk-to-me kind of way. She grinned as she asked what I meant. I told her the story, trying for months to somehow meet and then, just a week or two earlier, the ring made it's fateful appearance. I told her that I felt the task needed to be completed and here I was.

She was very gracious, as she laughed and reminded me that she had been seeing her fiance for a while so she wasn't really available anyway. Of course I already figured that, but once you get something like this in your head, the only thing you can do is work towards a conclusion.

So this was it. Over.

I wasn't sad. I was happy that she was happy. She asked about me and was genuinely interested in hearing more. We might have only spent a few minutes together, but it convinced me that she WAS the person I thought she was and her future husband was a lucky guy. She smiled as she walked away and I couldn't help but question how many people would say a word to a stranger in the parking lot at work, when approached like I just did.

Not many I would assume.

All these years later, Mary is still happily married and has a son.

Keep smiling Mary.... you still inspire after all these years!


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