Finding My Soul Mate during an Irish Concert in a German Haus
Hurricane Isaac ravished the Gulf Coast in 2012. Luckily, New Orleans was largely spared, but my house was not. After returning from the shelter of my cousin’s house in Mandeville, I discovered that my old roof lost many shingles. Water had seeped through the roof and ruined the carpet in one room. Hell, I was damned depressed. When I first returned, I had no power and had to take shelter in another cousins’ rental property with my sweet little mutt. When power returned, I went home and logged onto Facebook, learning that the Deutsches Haus, a local German cultural society, had air condition and cold drinks. Best of all, my favorite Irish musical performer, Danny O’Flaherty, was still performing.
My mother had taught me to maintain a stiff upper lip; consequently, I put on my new, exotic looking dress and headed to the Haus. After greeting Danny and some other people I knew, I made my way to the bar. Red wine in hand, I immersed myself in the concert. When the night came to an end, I made my way to the stage to tell Danny how much I enjoyed his show. As we spoke, a guy with a beard approached, politely interrupted, and also expressed his admiration for the show. Like a good girl, I took my empty wine glass to the bar and spoke with the barman. Bearded Guy was there, finishing his beer. He complimented me on my dress. We noted the irony of an Irish singer in a German social club, and then, we started talking about being both German and Irish. Coincidentally, our German ancestors were from the same region in Germany. We talked for an hour after the show.
Then, Beard asked, “Can I walk you to your car?”
Moi, thinking, He doesn’t look like a serial killer. I said hesitantly, “Sure.”
We talked even more at the car. As I slid into my seat, he asked, “Can I have your phone number?”
I watched, somewhat amused, as he punched the number into his flip phone. Who still used a flip phone?
I liked him. Like me, he had a graduate degree. Like me, he’d traveled the world, but we were both from New Orleans. Still, I didn’t think he’d call me. We meet people in a chance encounter, seem to connect, but then, things don’t work out.
Well, three days later he called. Beard’s name was Ben. The message was garbled, but I returned the call. Unfortunately, I had an obligation that weekend, but he called again. This time, I met him at a restaurant called the Irish House. We had dinner and then drinks at the Avenue Pub. When I left, he kissed my hand.
After that, we were a pair. We attended concerts together, frequented music clubs, became regulars at Jazz Fest, and French Quarter Fest. On Christmas Eve the next year, Ben told me there was “something else” for me under his Christmas tree. I picked up a small box, my heart pounding. I unwrapped it to find his mother’s ring. We were married in December of the next year. Don’t let anyone say people can’t find bliss when you’re past fifty. We found true love thanks to our German and Irish roots.