A tale of requited love

This story originally appeared in The New Yorker on July 25, 1994.

How I Met My Wife
by Jack Winter

It had been a rough day, so when I walked into the party I was very chalant, despite my efforts to appear gruntled and consolate.

I was furling my wieldy umbrella for the coat check when I saw her standing alone in a corner. She was a descript person, a woman in a state of total array. Her hair was kempt, her clothing shevelled, and she moved in a gainly way.

I wanted desperately to meet her, but I knew I’d have to make bones about it, since I was travelling cognito. Beknowst to me, the hostess, whom I could see both hide and hair of, was very proper, so it would be skin off my nose if anything bad happened. And even though I had only swerving loyalty to her, my manners couldn’t be peccable. Only toward and heard-of behavior would do.

Fortunately, the embarrassment that my maculate appearance might cause was evitable. There were two ways about it, but the chances that someone as flappable as I would be ept enough to become persona grata or a sung hero were slim. I was, after all, something to sneeze at, someone you could easily hold a candle to, someone who usually aroused bridled passion. So I decided not to risk it. But then, all at once, for some apparent reason, she looked in my direction and smiled in a way that I could make head or tails of.

I was plussed. It was concerting to see that she was communicado, and it nerved me that she was interested in a pareil like me, sight seen. Normally, I had a domitable spirit, but, being corrigible, I felt capacitated—as if this were something I was great shakes at—and forgot that I had succeeded in situations like this only a told number of times. So, after a terminable delay, I acted with mitigated gall and made my way through the ruly crowd with strong givings.

Nevertheless, since this was all new hat to me and I had not time to prepare a promptu speech, I was petuous. Wanting to make only called-for remarks, I started talking about the hors d’oeuvres, trying to abuse her of the notion that I was sipid, and perhaps even bunk a few myths about myself.

She responded well, and I was mayed that she considered me a savoury character who was up to some good. She told me who she was. “What a perfect nomer,” I said, advertently. The conversation became more and more choate, and we spoke at length to much avail. But I was defatigable, so I had to leave at a godly hour. I asked if she wanted to come with me. To my delight, she was committal. We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.

20 Responses to A tale of requited love

  1. This is evitably and dubitably good but, alas, slightly perfect!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Barbara says:

    Even more alack and alaska, I understood it. My tocols may not be up to par when it comes to nomancing, but I do understand that traction when it meets. B.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. atimetoshare.me says:


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Linda Lee/Lady Quixote says:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lisa Beth says:

    Sorry, not sure what the intrinsic meaning is in all this. 🤔
    But thanks anyway Bitter Bluebird!


  6. Merillion says:

    This was clever as heaven!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yvonne says:

    I possess a lovely little poster made by a friend that says (in calligraphy) “Stay Gruntled”. Until then, I had never realised there was such a word! He also did one that said “Be Alert. The world needs more Lerts.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Brilliant idea and execution.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. RobbyeFaye says:

    I joyed that (even though it means the same as enjoyed!).
    Cute blog!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Widdershins says:

    Ah, the English language. You can turn it inside out, upside down, and still be able to understand it! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jenny_o says:

    Very clever 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Richard Portman says:

    That was enjoyable. I always appreciate people who are chalant.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jennie says:

    I love this!

    Liked by 1 person

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