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The letter from a “potential suitor”


By May 2021, I had been divorced for 20 years.  My most recent boyfriend of 4 years, started looking for a new love on Bumble.  Was hoisted upon his own petard – with an assist from yours truly.

Summer came along. Had no interest in dating.

On August 1, flew to spend time at my home in Hawaii. One day was checking in with Anne, paralegal ruler of my life, when she said that a letter from an admirer had arrived.  I laughed and played it off knowing it was no such thing.  She teased it was typed, printed on several sheets of paper and signed in blue ink.  Did I want her to scan and send it to me.  No thank you hahaha, I laughed.  Okay she said.  And that was that.

A week or so later, asked Anne to send it.  Turn around time was about one minute. Because she had already read that letter and scanned it in preparation for just such a request.  She titled the pdf:  potential suitor.

I opened the document and knew at first glance that it was from either:  a) a person in jail; or b) a spammer.  This was not a few lines.  This was single spaced with one inch borders top, bottom and sides.  Oh jeez, I thought.  About to toss it.  But the first line stopped me. 

Here is the first paragraph from the letter:

Karen –

Hi – this is Lauris from way back 40+ years ago reaching out and touching base … (who? What? Pause, reflect…OMG … LOL). Shorecrest, LFP … might need to look up in yearbook if nothing comes to mind. Anyway, I like to think of this letter as the road less traveled, and an example of nothing ventured leads to nothing gained. Instead of reaching out in DMs, why not go old school and reach out with a letter. I can’t explain why, just that the spirit moved me to take a chance and reach out based on information and thoughts that have been put in front of me … it just felt like the thing to do, exploring possibilities, other worlds, seeking to go where no man has gone before (William Shatner is an inspiration of mine … not really). I also just like writing. Maybe we find some common ground, start a thread, see where it leads ….

I had known Lauris since jr. high.  We had gone to elementary school together the first three years but weren’t in the same class.  The memories were not vivid.  Tall, math, band, Latvian, came to mind. 

Wound my way through his letter.   A combination of clever, self-deprecating, funny, and geek. He ended it:

So, if you have gotten this far without reaching for matches, crumpling this and doing your best Sue Bird (who lives on QA too!) shooting a three imitation with the garbage can, dialing 911, sending Guido out to create the need for a knee replacement, or maybe just hysterically laughing and entertaining your friends and family with this … you can reach me at ####.

Signed in blue ink and dated Aug 3, 2021. 

Two weeks had passed since he’d sent it.  I picked up the phone and dialed.  Left a message on his voice mail.  Then forwarded the letter to my consultants: Cristina, Alysha, Noelle, Sol and JonJon, Shellie, Rosemary, Dori, Dotti.

Lauris called back.  Turns out he had listened to an (anti) dating podcast I did with Alysha.  And was spurred to action. We went on the proverbial trip down memory lane. Caught up.   Arranged to go for a walk at Golden Gardens beach in Ballard, when I returned.  It had been 42 years since we were in high school.

Today as we are standing together in the Hawaii house, he says: guess what day it is. Am getting ready to hop on zoom for deposition and smile: what day is it. He says: one year ago we had that phone call.

Photo by Dori.


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