There must have been duplicate lists because I got calls from three different people, telling me about a singles’ get-together at Steve’s house. I had only been to the singles’ group twice, but I enjoyed it and I was so happy to be included. I had told my room-mate about it, and for the last few Sundays we had been going to Vintage Faire Christian Center, the church that sponsored it.
“Oh I should get Steve’s phone number to leave with my babysitter,” I remembered suddenly, as the caller was getting ready to hang up.
“Okay.” He recited a phone number and then paused and quickly corrected himself. “Oh no, wait a minute… That’s not Steve’s number. That’s a guy named John Paladino.”
So I erased “John Paladino’s” phone number and wrote down the correct one.
I had not met John at the Christmas caroling party several weeks earlier. In fact, I found out later that he had never been to the singles’ group. Someone, knowing he was single, had just put his name on the call list.
I later found out that he, too, had been called three times with an invitation to the party.
And that his name was not John Paladino, but John Paladini.
My roommate and I were in giggly high spirits as we got ready for the evening. “Here, wear this on your shirt,” Barbie deadpanned. She had cut a piece of Christmas wrap out of a big sheet which had the repeated word MerryMerryMerry in black lettering on silver foil. The small piece she handed me said “MerryMe”. I obediently pinned it on my shirt and we howled with laughter.
(I left Barbie’s Marry Me sign in the car when we got to Steve’s apartment, but it turned out to be a lovely foreshadowing!)
John was in the kitchen when I came through the front door and I noticed he was looking toward me and sort of smiling. He told later that he had seen me at church and thought I was cute, but he didn’t know I was single until that moment.
Barbie went straight to the kitchen with our potluck contribution, but I came more slowly, stopping every few steps to talk with someone. By the time I made it to the kitchen Barbie and John were chatting, and they both looked toward me. “This is my room mate,” Barbie waved negligently, “and Andee, this is John Paladini.”
John Paladini – the name with the wrong number.
Now this is where it gets kind of fuzzy…According to John, at that point I said something like, “I’ve got your number, buddy!”
At any rate, by the end of the evening I did have his number and it remains our phone number to this very day.
(to be continued)