WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

I saw her standin’ on the corner …

Hard to believe I met my wife on this street corner 25 years ago today. Cole and Carl, San Francisco.

Right about where that sewer lid is, we shook hands and said nice to meet you — after having waited for each other on the wrong corners for half an hour. I’d told her on the phone what I thought was the right one, and she interpreted that to be the other one, and it was only when I noticed this furious girl stamping back and forth on this corner that I realized we had a merry mixup on our hands. Finally I went over and introduced myself.

We’d gotten together through what today we call Match.com, but back then was known as a “personal ad.” I was new in town and had no connections, so I thought it would be the best way to find someone to go out with. Never imagined I’d meet my soulmate that way.

And the crazy thing is, Sue never saw my ad. Some gay friend of hers told her about it and said, “This one’s perfect for you.”

Which seems odd now. I had mentioned something about having sand in my shoes and rocks in my head, and promising my gf-to-be that “flying by the seat of our pants is assured.” I would never have answered my own ad …

But in any case, she approached one man on that corner and asked, “Kevin?” And he said, “God, no!” So she was fit to be tied by the time I ambled up, smiling with my hand out. “I need a drink,” she said, and I said the equivalent of “Giddy-up, mofo.”

I was enamored of her the moment I saw her smile. And heard her laugh. Plus she had great legs.

We spent two hours in a bar on the opposite corner — Kezar, which is still there — talking as comfortably as if we’d known each other for years, finding our overlaps, hinting at our secrets, flirting, laughing. And as we parted on the corner afterward, we made a date for the following Sunday, when we decided to see Singin’ in the Rain at the Castro Theater. I heard Sue running exuberantly toward her car as I walked up Cole Street toward my place on Ashbury.

From the age of fourteen, when I first visited my dad there, I always thought San Francisco held something special for me. It took me twenty years to get there, but what was waiting for me was my one true.

For Susie, 4/15/92.

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14 comments on “I saw her standin’ on the corner …

  1. islandeditions
    April 15, 2017

    Lovely story! And standing on corners meeting girls immediately had me thinking of the Eagles song (co-written by Jackson Browne and Glen Frey) that I believe fits perfectly here … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfeNhwnO8hw

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 15, 2017

      Perfect! I’ve driven through Winslow, Arizona, though, and I’m glad I didn’t meet her there!

      • islandeditions
        April 15, 2017

        Although she might have been the one driving that flatbed Ford, which could have come in quite handy ,,,

  2. Phillip McCollum
    April 15, 2017

    Happy “Meeting” Anniversary to you two lovebirds!

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 15, 2017

      Thanks, Phillip! It’s a little disconcerting how time flies when you’re havin’ fun …

  3. John W. Howell
    April 15, 2017

    Beautiful post, Kevin.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 15, 2017

      Thank you, John. We do like revisiting that corner every now and then … 😉

  4. 1WriteWay
    April 16, 2017

    Great story! I wish Greg and I had a story like that, but he remembers seeing me before I saw him and he says he thought I was cute, but when I did first see him, I saw a tall, big guy in a suit and I wasn’t into suits then 😉 We worked at the same firm and when months later I saw him wearing jeans and a plaid short-sleeved shirt, my attitude shifted. And Carl and Cole! Every time Muni stopped at the corner, I’d look around and wonder about that neighborhood. We’re talking late 80s and it definitely seemed a bit more upscale and appealing than where we lived. Still, I think only once did we ever purposely go to Carl and Cole, to try some new restaurant. Never would have guessed the history that was going to be made there 😉

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 17, 2017

      History indeed. Quickly becoming ancient history …

      I used to take the J-Church to work at 9th and Judah sometimes, and that corner was always where I got off. Did you ever eat at Zazi? It’s still there after all these years …

      • 1WriteWay
        April 18, 2017

        Dare I say that Zazi doesn’t sound familiar… and yet we lived at 9th and Irving. Maybe it opened after we left in 1990?

      • Kevin Brennan
        April 18, 2017

        Zazi was near Cole & Carl, but I’m not sure when it opened. We need to go back for some great French seafood soup. Classic …

  5. pinklightsabre
    April 17, 2017

    I like the story. Those little twists or points of interest make those memories special. We were just at the site of my first date with my wife, Dawn. That’s where I was posting recent vignettes, from Langley on Whidbey Island. (You’d love it there, I think.) And we couldn’t remember anything from the town itself, couldn’t match it to our first date, not one bit. Funny.

    • Kevin Brennan
      April 17, 2017

      That’s crazy, that nothing rang any bells. Almost like they replaced the town with a different one while you weren’t looking.

      My brother was stationed on Whidbey years ago when he was in the Navy. He loved it there too.

      • pinklightsabre
        April 17, 2017

        It’s just about perfect.

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This entry was posted on April 15, 2017 by in Et alia and tagged , , .
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