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Meeting Paul


Red Rocks overlooking Lake Champlain with Ellie the dog in the background.
Paul and Ellen on a first date.

"I want to be loved," I said to an ex boyfriend who followed me up to my cozy little apartment one night with expectations. He looked taken aback, as if he didn't quite know

what to do with that statement, and left soon afterwards.


One week later I went to my friend's wedding. She was marrying a tall, nice looking man with dark curly hair and glasses. "Maybe I could meet someone like that," said my mind in a casual way.


Then, what may have been the following week, I went to the Burlington waterfront hotel where there was a jazz festival related big band playing. I was there as a volunteer for anyone with mobility issues. My friend Catherine, who was supposed to be my volunteer partner, saw me in the parking lot and explained that she would not be going inside because she was having menstrual cramps. I went in alone wearing a Burlington Discover Jazz Festival t-shirt and bright orange fest so anyone needing assistance could easily find me.


For awhile, I chatted with another jazz festival volunteer who was taking tickets for the big band playing in the hotel ball room. Then I noticed a man, about my age / early thirties, who was tall with dark curly hair and glasses. My mind spoke up again in a casual way and said, as though continuing the commentary about the nice looking groom with dark curly hair and glasses, "Yeah, like that."


The next thing I knew the wedding groom look alike was talking to the volunteer ballroom dance ticket taker. "Do you think there are any single women in there?"


Because she had been chatting with me enough so we now had a connection, she turned to me and said "What do you think?"


The curly haired man with glasses looked taken aback as though he recognized me after not seeing me for a long time. Referring to my neon orange volunteer vest, he asked me if I was directing air traffic.


We stood near the ballroom doorway and talked long enough for me to hand him my business card and never went into the dance. Instead, he asked me if I wanted to walk over to another venue where his friend was performing. The same friend, Jamie Mayfield, performed at our wedding, three years later, with his jazz quintet


Paul showed me his downtown VIDEOSyncracies Production & Duplication office, then, somewhat embarrassed because I had just met him, I told him I did not have a car to get back to my cozy little Winooski apartment. He said, "It would be like an honor to drive you home."


He drove me home, walked me to my door, gave me a hug, said "oy" in a way that showed he was feeling something he was going to have to face and left.


This was the beginning of three imperfect years that transformed into another casual thought floating into my mind. "I want to give love and receive love."







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Such fun... LOVE that first date pic and story... so romantic. And how do you say 'Uruguay' with phonetics?-- I heard Ellen say it for real... well, Jim just looked it up in the dictionary, so I kind of get it... have so enjoyed all this. You guys had such an adventure! Thank you so much. : ))

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Ellen Gittelsohn
Ellen Gittelsohn
May 03, 2023
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I forgot about writing that story, so nice to be reminded. Thanks for your comment Annie.

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