How I Met My Wife
by Jack Winter Published July 25, 1994 in The New Yorker
It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very
chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate. I was furling
my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a
corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her
hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way.
I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I'd have to make bones
about it since I was traveling cognito. Beknownst to me, the hostess,
whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be
skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only
swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn't be peccable. Only toward
and heard-of behavior would do.
Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might
cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that
someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or
a sung hero were slim. I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone
you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled
So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some apparent
reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make
heads and tails of.
I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado,
and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen.
Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated
as if this were something I was great shakes at, and forgot that I had
succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times. So, after a
terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through
the ruly crowd with strong givings.
Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had no time to
prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only called-for
remarks, I started talking about the hors d'oeuvres, trying to abuse her of
the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about