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How I Met My Wife

Celebrating 20 years together.

Gad Saad (personal photo album)
Our hands with wedding rings
Source: Gad Saad (personal photo album)

Yesterday was a momentous day in my personal life. My wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. In a future article, I might share the secret recipe for a successful long-lasting marriage. But for now, let me discuss the genesis of our story, or how I met my wife. It is a tale of the magical serendipity of life.

The story begins more than 20 years ago. I was exercising at the gym when an individual passed me by and uttered “Hey, Professor.” Another gentleman, whom I had never met, overhead the salutation and approached me. He introduced himself and asked what my areas of expertise were. Once I explained that some of my areas of interest included consumer psychology and psychology of decision making, he wondered if I might be interested in delivering a series of in-house executive seminars, as he was the founder and president of a telemarketing firm. The course would constitute six or seven weekly modules covering a broad range of consumer-relevant topics. The course would not involve any grading. It was a form of executive lifelong learning program. Luckily for me, I eventually agreed to his offer even though I was not terribly pleased with the remuneration. Then again, some things are more important than money (as we’ll shortly find out)!

I showed up for my first corporate seminar on that fateful day with much anticipation. I had never taught a course in such a setting. As the elevator door opened on the floor where I was scheduled to deliver the course, I was greeted in an impromptu manner by a woman who accompanied me to the venue. The woman in question had recently been promoted to a human resources managerial position, and as such was eligible to attend my seminars. As the story goes, she was not very pleased to have to “waste” her Saturdays attending some likely boring lectures. I thank the cosmos that it was compulsory for her to attend.

Around the time of my second or third seminar, I had become ill with a nasty bout of bronchitis. During the break, the “elevator” woman returned with an unsolicited cup of hot tea for me. I thought that this was a very considerate and sweet gesture, but I did not think anything else of it. I had my professional face on! Over the next several weeks, the woman in question exhibited a lot of interest in the taught material (which I thought was great to see) but as I later found out, this was all a grand ruse. I was being pulled into her web of love.

I completed my contract and never thought that I’d see the “elevator” lady again. That said, I eventually heard through some mutual acquaintances that the “elevator” lady was interested in getting to know me.

For our first evening get-together, I ended up going to watch a movie with her and one of her friends. At the time, my father had had a health scare, and as such I was carrying a pager should an emergency arise (this was prior to the era of ubiquitous cellphones). As I bid her goodnight subsequent to viewing the movie, we playfully agreed on a set of pager codes that she might send me to express specific sentiments, one of which was “222” to express “I’m thinking of you.” I had hardly taken 20 or 30 steps away from her when my pager rang with the “222” alert.

Several days later, she showed up to my office with a basket of goodies for an indoor picnic. I was cooked. The rest is history. Fast forward 20 years, I returned yesterday to that exact same theatre to watch a movie (The Joker) with the “elevator” lady (my wife).

Had I not gone to the gym on that day, had an individual not greeted me with “Hey, Professor” within earshot of another person who approached me to inquire about my areas of expertise, my wife and I might have never met. Such is the beauty of life. Every moment has the potential to be life-altering in endless unknowable and magical ways.

As a testament to how much I love my wife, I wrote this earlier article wherein I recounted what I was willing to do to recover my lost wedding ring. Interestingly, since I wrote that article, I came close to losing the ring a second time. I should perhaps tell that story at some point.

P.S. Subsequent to publishing this article here, I posted it on my YouTube channel as THE SAAD TRUTH_986.

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