I’m not a religious person. Twelve years of Catholic school cured me of that. But I do believe that everything happens for a reason.
When I was in my twenties, I saved up money for months to buy a video camera. I owned a horse and we were competing at second level dressage. I bought the video camera so I could record my training sessions and review them later, much like a football team reviews game footage. But one night, not a week after buying it, I forgot to bring the camera in the house when I got home.
So when I went to work the next day, the video camera was still in my car.
At the time, I was driving a huge 3/4 ton diesel pickup truck, but I was working in downtown Baltimore. Because my truck was a massive pile of steel, I was condemned to park in above ground parking lots. On the particular Friday that I happened to leave my video camera in the car, some enterprising thieves smashed my windows and took the camera.
(Years and years working in downtown Baltimore, and the only time my car was ever broken into was the day that my video camera was on the floor behind the driver’s seat.)
I spent three hours waiting for the cops that hot August evening, and I spent much of my Saturday getting the windows replaced. I’d spent months saving money for a camera that was gone in less than a week.
You can imagine my devastation.
Now, at the time, I was working as a computer trainer for Legg Mason. I was one of the people you would call if you couldn’t figure out how to number a column in Excel, or if you couldn’t complete a mail merge in Microsoft Word. Sometimes Corporate Technology received calls from employees who thought something was broken, when it was really a training issue, and the tech guys would then transfer those calls down to us.
On Monday, this happened. A new guy in Corporate Tech called down and got my line. After I answered the phone with my usual greeting, including my name, he said, “Hey, Brigid.” Then, in an attempt to be friendly before bringing his caller on the line, he said, “How was your weekend?”
I said, “Actually, it sucked.” And, unbidden, I proceeded to launch into my tale about the video camera.
The poor guy. I imagine he was rolling his eyes on the other end of the line. Probably muttering to himself, “I’m never going to be friendly again…”
But he listened to my story, making all the appropriate sounds of empathy. When I was done, he said, “Well, that’s really too bad. But I do have a caller on my back line who has a training question…”
Yes, I was embarrassed.
But we shared a laugh, and I remembered his name, the next time he called. He remembered my silly rant about the video camera. That event launched our friendship, and we knew each other by phone for months before we ever met in person.
He was a good guy, I could tell. Funny. Patient. Kind.
He still is.
That’s why I married him.
And you know what? I don’t miss that video camera one little bit.