Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Love My Wife/I Love My Life

Hello Friends,

The question has come up recently about how Lynne and I met. Some of you may have heard the tale before, and I wrote about it a couple of years ago in the “How I Found Morehouse” thread of the More Life Forum, which is what I've used as the basis for what follows. I thought it might be fun to revisit it.

y discovery of Morehouse is so intertwined with the genesis of my relationship with Lynne that I generally like to tell the two tales simultaneously. I met Lynne Spaulding one night in July of 1981. We had each come to a bar on West 74th Street in Manhattan to hear a singer we each knew. I was attracted to Lynne immediately, and we flirted most of the evening. She made a lasting impression on me.

As it turned out, we didn’t see each other again for six years. Then, in July of 1987, I was living with my eventual first wife, Kate, when our good friend Lydia invited us to something called a Mark Group. She said Mark Groups were put on by Morehouse, which she referred to as the granddaddy of all the other relationship information I’d ever heard. Kate and I considered ourselves students of relationship, and it seemed like a fun way to learn more.

When we arrived at Lydia’s apartment building, it said “Burdick/Spaulding” under her buzzer. Once upstairs, I asked Lydia if Lynne Spaulding was her roommate, and she said yes. I told her I hadn’t seen Lynne in six years, and would I be seeing her this evening? Lydia said no, that Lynne had insisted that the Mark Groups be scheduled when she wouldn’t be home, as she had no interest in them.

It didn’t take long into the Mark Group before I knew I was hooked. The seminal moment came when I was on my very first hot seat and one of the Group Leaders asked me if there was anything in my life that was a higher priority than women. I thought for a while and realized the answer was no. I further realized that this had been true since I was a little kid, but I had never before considered it a valid life devotion.

Lydia hosted this Group for many months and eventually Lynne started coming to them, in spite of her determination to stay away. She and I became friends. We both had jobs in midtown Manhattan at the time, and we started having lunch together fairly regularly. Kate and I took Morehouse courses, and Lynne started taking courses as well. Kate and I got married and moved into the Morehouse. Lynne and I continued to have lunch together. After a couple of years, Lynne moved into the Morehouse, too. The three of us spent a lot of time together, and became quite close. The following year, Kate and I broke up and she moved to California. Lynne and I become a couple pretty quickly after that.

It wasn’t until years later that I found out it hadn’t been completely coincidental that Lynne and I had gotten together at that bar in 1981. Lydia had been talking to Lynne about a friend of hers -- this guy she knew named Gerry -- and Lynne had decided she wanted to meet me. So I was already playing into her hands when I first approached her and struck up a conversation!

I have Lydia to thank, both for introducing me to Morehouse, and for setting me up with the love of my life. Thanks, Lydia!

Best Regards,

There is no end to how good life can be if you find it good in the first place.

-- Victor Baranco