Monday, January 21, 2008


It was the end of the summer. A fun summer filled with sunny days, no worries about school, a job involving beer, and dates. Dates upon dates, halcyon days. I was young, I felt good and more importantly looked good. Yeah, as Don Mills Diva coined in her comment, days when I "rocked a bikini" (love that gal!). WELL before these muffin folds that now inhabit the space that previously housed two growing babies existed. Rent was being paid by some pretty awesome abs. This was the summer that I met the man who would be husband.

It was my second summer working at Molson's, so the lab routine was old hat to me. I had also been very casually dating a student microbiologist (let's call him microboy) whom I had met the previous summer, throughout the school year. When I breezed easily back into the job that first day of work , I was full of cheerful hellos to the group that I hadn't seen in several months. All men, older fellas with whom I'd developed a great camraderie with during my previous stint as a summer student.

There was a new co-op student working the 8-4:30 shift in Lab 1. I said an uneventful "hi" to him quite fleetingly. No sparks flew. And then I went on my way.

As I was doing a lot of different shifts , I would only see him whenever I was on "days", and only at the end of the day when I would bring samples from the packaging and bottling lab over for analysis.[ Yes, there is quality control in the brewing industry, and it does consist of more than pursing your lips and taste testing the amber liquid gold.] Although I did notice that this co-op guy did have a cool mop of hair and seemed quite likeable, you can tell little else when you're both covered in not-so-sexy labcoats. They were fire engine red labcoats, but labcoats nonetheless.

Since I wasn't really looking, and he seemed the type of guy who already had a girlfriend, that was the extent of our interaction for the rest of the summer. Other than being mildly annoyed at one of his comments during lunch one time (I bought Shepherd's pie in the cafeteria, and as I sat down with him and the group at the table he took one look at my plate and said "You're going to eat THAT?!" ...and I was thinking "WTH, that was rude-ish!), our exchanges consisted of no more than "Good morning" or "See ya!" . He was just Lab 1 guy.

Until that last evening, the last day of work, an impromptu dinner that would be the last time the students would all be together. The occasion when I drove him to the dinner, and saved us both from a major collision involving attic insulation. The evening when we got to the restaurant a full hour before the rest of the students arrived. The evening when I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, laughed, twirled my hair, leaned forward and flirted subtly but obviously effectively with Lab 1 guy. The evening when the other student (yes, microboy referenced above) told Lab 1 guy that he should ask me out ( this conversation occuring while I was in the washroom with the other female student, whom micro boy was apparently lusting after himself). Yes, it was a veritable soap opera bubbling in that lab.

At the end of the evening, I gave Lab 1 guy a lift to the subway. While enroute, he gave this amazingly eloquent account of how he believed in fate. He wasn't really supposed to have this job, his initial position was in another city and another student had asked him to switch at the last minute. If he hadn't made that decision, we would never have met.

And now he was scheduled to go back to school in a couple of weeks. Again, in another city.

So what's a Lab 1 guy to do? On a night that was supposed to be about good-byes, he took a chance on fate. And he asked me on a date.

Stay tuned...


Family Adventure said...

Karen, that was a great post! You described everything so well, from the labcoats, to the bubbling soap opera, the twirling of hair. Brilliant!

And I know Ian must have been secretly pining for you the whole summer. Thank goodness he believes in faith, otherwise he'd never have found the courage to wax eloquently about his feelings for you on that very last evening :)


Rima said...

Oooo, I love "when we met stories," and you evoked the whole college summer young carefree and flirty experience so well. It makes me nostalgic. I'm looking forward to the continuation of this post!

Kami said...

I've got chills! Can. Not. Wait. for the next installment of how Lab 1 guy became hubby!


Christine said...

I am loving the tale of Lab1Guy!!

and thrilled to discover your blog. thanks for the lovely comment on CFT....will check back with you soon. cheers

Don Mills Diva said...

What a great story. I didn't meet my husband until I was 28 and it was just as well. He's quiet, thoughtful and not a womanizer so I wouldn't have given him a second glance back in the "rockin' bikini" days! :)

PinksandBluesGirls said...

I'm such a sucker for romance and love stories! Can't wait to read your next installment! :)

Jane, Pinks & Blues

C said...

Oh my gosh, Karen! I LOVE this post!!!

Ohhhh...can't wait to hear what happens next. Uhhh...well, we know that ulitmately, Lab 1 guy became the Hubster, but we wanna know more!!!

PS. You are too cool! :)

OHmommy said...

Karen. You are sooo cute. Nice post.

BTW, I am sure MY muffin top is bigger then yours. You are tiny.

I will stayed tuned!

Kellan said...

I love this story - I can't wait for the continuation - I'll be back. Kellan

CrankMama said...

Ooooo it's a cliff-hanger! Hurry up, I can't wait... what happened on the date??

and fire engine red lab coats sound SEXY!

Sandy C. said...

Oy! leave me on the edge of my seat why don't you? Geez! Such a tease you are....can't wait!

Beth said...

Great story! Can't wait to hear the next part!


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