Have I ever told you guys the story of how Nipper and I met? I'm turning into the old ship's captain who regales you with the same boring fish story every night at dinner time. Except this one begins with me trying to throw the catch of the day back into the drink.
The night before I met Nipper I had a little birthday party with some friends. And by friends, I mean, my friend Stephanie, her husband, and 3 guys who wanted to date me, went bowling. I had been single for about a year, after two long term relationships in my twenties right after each other ran their course. Oh to have the perspective I have now!
So we bowled. We drank. I wondered repeatedly if the pink seersucker corset top I was wearing was really appropriate bowling attire, and wished that I had just worn a dress, or a t-shirt, or pajamas. It was really too girly to go with the seven jeans and bowling shoes, and YES, I do remember what I was wearing, and I regret it even now. SO. Stephanie's husband had this friend named Teddy, who was a stone cold fox. He was a man child who was ALL bad news, but I was single and totally willing to disregard all signs that this person would torture me emotionally until he moved on to his next victim, or I imploded. I feel much the same way about Colin Farrell, who I ran into in the elevator at Cedars Sinai when I was 9 months pregnant with Charlie. He didn't seem to notice me. Weird.
SO this Teddy guy showed up at my bowling party. He drove up from Newport Beach, or some far flung land like that. I took that as a sign that he LOVED ME. But then he didn't bowl. He had one drink, didn't talk to me, and left. WHAT? Boys are so confusing. Did he drive all that way to see Steph's husband? Did he come bc he was like "what girl? oh ok, I'll come check her out, like it's a sale at the meat packing plant". Then he got one look at the ground chuck and bolted.
I turned to Steph and said "that's it. I'm done. I have dated half of Los Angeles and I'm done." I had been on so many 1st (and last) dates that year, that I was starting to get bored with my own "this is who I am" spiel. Who cares! I decided I was swearing off men for the foreseeable future. I was going to play my guitar, and take pictures, and shop, and eat dinner in my pajamas, and to hell with dating. I met Nipper Knapp the very next day.
I was in my agents office the next afternoon when she caught me walking by her door and shouted "MARIJA THIS IS NIPPER, HE'S FROM MICHGAN TOO!" "So what..." I thought. But then he and I started talking. Our families lived really close to each other, we both loved the blues, he showed me pictures he had of his niece and nephew he had in his wallet, and he was thinking of quitting acting. We got all of this out in a 1 hour conversation we had AFTER we had walked outside together. Our agent said she was watching us out the window talking after we left, and she just knew. Well, I didn't know. I gave Nipper my number and walked away. I was wearing my favorite paper denim and cloth jeans (oh how I miss those jeans) and a peach eloise rib tank top, oh and my caramel suede boots. Much better.
He called me the next day. Which made me laugh. Who does that? He asked me if I wanted to go to the oldest blues bar on the west coast. To which I said "sure, so long as it's not a date". WHAT?! I had never said anything like that in my life! I even said yes to guys I knew I would never date, just to get them off the phone. Who was this new me? And then, he surprised me even more by saying "Well, I can't say I'm not disappointed, but ok". WHAT? He didn't say "fuck you", or "you're a twat", or "well in that case forget it". He said "I'm disappointed". I should have known then this man would have the power to make me return a $1600 Chloe bag (true story).
When he came to pick me up, I peeked out the window and thought "oh he's cute". We went to sushi. I wore a white blouse with a black bra, which was pretty sassy for a girl who just said she didn't want it to be a date. We went to Sushi, before going to Babe's and Ricky's. We sat at the sushi bar. Half way through dinner, I turned to him and said "remember how I said I didn't want this to be a date? I changed my mind." He laughed, put his hand on my back, and said "ok". I asked him years later what he thought when I said that. He said "that I was going to get lucky". Boy howdy. Welcome to mortgage-land honey.
At the Blues bar there were more people in the band, then in the rest of the bar. We were the youngest people by about 50 years. It was awesome. We were disappointed to find out there was no all you can eat fried chicken buffet, but the music was awesome, and a couple who were about 90 years old, were dancing with each other, the whole night. I knew about half way through my drink that I was going to marry Nipper Knapp. I went outside to have a cigarette (yes it's true, I was a rebel) and he came out to smoke with me (mr. asthma WAS trying to get lucky). I was leaning against the wall of the club, smoking my stupid cigarette, and Nipper Knapp put his hands on the wall on either side of my head, and kissed me. After we kissed he told me about he saw Mike Tyson do that to a girl in NYC one time. This was true love.
We said "I love you", within two weeks, married six months later, and didn't spend a night apart for almost three years. After running as fast, and as far from my childhood home as I could, I found a boy from Michigan, to make a new home with a million miles away. We've been married seven and a half years, and since we don't have real jobs, and spend every waking hour together, I figure it's more like 42 in dog years.
Two days ago on my birthday, I was having a hard time saying the actual number of years I am now, out loud. I was feeling pretty blue. Nipper Knapp, love of my life, excitedly said to me "you aren't even half way to your expected death age!"
ladies, can I pick em or what?