Memoir: How Tod & I Met


My sister is leading a series of memoir-writing workshops in Wilkes-Barre and posted some hints about how to write memoirs on her weblog. I thought maybe I'd try some of her ideas and see how it goes. So here is the story of me and Tod in the early days. It's rather long, so I'll serialise it.

How Tod & I Met
It's kind of embarrassing to admit that you met your future husband in a shopping mall, but I did. We worked across the hall from one another in Station Square on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

I spent my evenings and weekends dusting the crystal ornaments and glass shelves at World's Treasures and enticing blue-haired bus tour ladies to buy cloisonné accessories for their granddaughters. Tod worked at Bannertalk, where he sold mugs and buttons and in between wrangling customers into the path of the shop's camera, he wrote the printer drivers to print video stills on the merchandise.

We worked across the hall from each other for quite a few months--at least a whole summer. I heard "She Blinded me with Science" playing over there regularly but that was about all the awareness I had of Bannertalk or Tod.

On the other hand, he had his eye on me. One evening, as I was hauling the trash across the mall to the dumpster past the Bannertalk counter, he called out to me, "You look like you're having a bad day..."

I glared at him and replied "I am" then continued on my way to the service entrance. I don't remember exactly what sort of bad day I was having, probably something related to not having enough food and a class full of naughty children to deal with all day. Whatever it was, it was not enhanced by some strange boy talking to me.

And he did look like a boy in the white lab coat that was the shop's uniform and his goofy red framed glasses. He also didn't eat enough and was extraordinarily thin. Daneen, the manager at World's Treasures, laughed about how nobody knew how old he was and how he hit on all the girls that came by.

Nobody might have known his age, but everyone in the mall knew Tod (except me, apparently). He was gregarious and fun. As we began to date, I learned that we could not walk through Station Square without several people stopping to say hello or waving from their registers. Tod said that he had a gift for talking to people at whatever level they liked.

I guess he struggled to find my level, because he wasn't reaching me. But it wasn't long after his first attempt to strike up a conversation that Tod had another chance. I was having my 15 minute dinner break at the Coffee Express just next to Bannertalk. I bought a small cup of the hazelnut flavored coffee that they always had on the burner, and ate some leftover rice I'd carried with me from home.

"Do you always eat yogurt with chopsticks?" he asked.

"No. It's rice." I don't recall the conversation going a lot farther than that. I was not much of a conversationalist at age 22. I wanted to eat my rice and get back to the feather dusting.

But Tod was undaunted and a few days further on, he asked me if I wanted to go to a Skinny Puppy concert. "No, thanks. But it's a shame my sister isn't around. She likes Skinny Puppy."

Oooooh, smackdown.


Hey kuri-san,

I always wondered how you and Todd got together. Who would have thought it would be as random as meeting at a mall? And Pittsburgh for that matter?

I'm glad it happened. I always thought two you were the sweetest couple.



Hi - nice stories and all. But may I comment - when I first saw Tod in a Tuxedo, I took him for a woman. I'm sorry about that, I never meant any disrespect, but I've seen many woman who have that same look.

Either way, it doesn't matter - as long as you love the person, be it a man or a woman - that's what really counts. Have a good life together. Share and share alike. Good Luck.

Someone who searched on the word "Frockery" and found your websited.

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  • Ken: Hi - nice stories and all. But may I comment read more
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