My husband and I almost didn’t happen.
We met in 1991 when we both lived and worked in Reno, Nevada. He and I met through work and spoke primarily through our office phones. These were the days before email and ubiquitous cell phones. We met several times in work-related settings before he called me at my office and asked me out for a date. Specifically, he asked me to go to Lake Tahoe with him — about 30 miles away, to see Crosby, Stills and Nash in concert. At the time, he smoked, and I was never going to be in a relationship with a smoker. However, I really like Crosby, Stills and Nash. Plus, I thought this guy who asked me out was really, really funny. So, I said yes.
He then said, “Well, give me your home number and I’ll call you Saturday to let you know what time I’ll pick you up.”
So I did.
At the time, my number was 322-2212.
Saturday came and I went about my business. By mid-afternoon, he still had not called and I was wondering, “What is up with this?”
He and I had one mutual friend. I called our friend and said, “This guy asked me out to go see Crosby, Stills and Nash. He said he would call Saturday to confirm the details — what time to pick me up and to get my address. I haven’t heard from him. What is up with that?”
Our mutual friend said, “Give me a minute, and let me make some calls.”
Our friend called back in a few minutes and said, “Well, I haven’t talked to him, but if you want to call him, here’s his home number.”
I wasn’t sure what to do. I believed that he wanted to go when he asked me. He had seemed sincere, but I wasn’t crazy about the idea of calling a guy to say, “You said you were going to call.”
Little did I know that my future depended on what happened next. I had options. I could have chosen not to make the call and been angry that some jerk stood me up and I had said no to other plans. Or I could make the call — and 25 years later be telling this story.
On that day, the bottom line was that I really did want to see Crosby, Stills and Nash. So, I made the call.
I had no idea at that time that this was a man who, in the rest of life, never answered his phone, but on that day he picked up on the first ring.
He was nearly breathless. He said, “I’m dyslexic. I have sat here all afternoon and dialed every combination of threes, twos and ones that I could come up with. What is your real phone number?”
I told him my real number, which was his worst nightmare, full of threes and twos. I also gave him my address. He told me what time he would pick me up.
A year later he stopped smoking — and the rest is history.
Twenty-five years after that, he’s still dyslexic. He still rarely answers his phone. He figured out coping skills for his dyslexia years ago. It’s just that occasional phone number or sum that goes awry.
For others struggling with dyslexia, keep the faith.
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