29 Apr

The Story of Us

Susan Alton

Susan Alton

Susan Alton

This is the story of us–Bob and Susan.

Willamette Week ad read, “Hank Rearden type seeks Dagny Taggart type to
help find Atlantis.” The author is Ayn Rand and the book “Atlas

I was
married twice before, had a baby from my second marriage, and swore off
men after my second divorce. Swearing off men lasted about 18 months.
It was time to date again. Bars were no
use, I didn’t want to marry a cheater or drinker. (Not to say that’s the only type of men in bars.)

Plan B: local newspaper personal ads (this was before the internet). I
don’t know why I didn’t think I’d find cheaters or drinkers in
newspaper ads as opposed to bars. My success was much greater. I met
super nice guys but didn’t hit it off with any of them. They would make
good friends, but I wanted a deeper relationship.

that is, I saw Bob’s ad (above). I thought, “HE sounds like the man I’m
looking for.” At the time, I was reading “Atlas Shrugged” for the
second time. I sent off a letter in response to the ad. He called me a
few days later. Our phone conversation went like this:

“Hi, I’m Bob. You responded to my ad in Willamette Week. Tell me more about yourself.”

responded by telling him I’m an independent thinker, a rebel, a mother
who works full time, who enjoys dancing, hiking, playing cards, reading,

He then brought out his list of interview questions:

  • What kind of music do you like? 
  • Who are your favorite bands? 
  • What movies do you like? 
  • What kind of food do you like? 
  • What kind of work do you do?
  • What are your favorite books?
After I answered all his inquiries, he said, “I’d like to take you out.”

said, “Hey, wait a minute! I don’t know anything about you,” and
proceeded to ask him questions about himself. He was an accountant, had a
son, was divorced. We enjoyed dancing, the same music and books, but
his movie-going interest wasn’t as strong as mine.

invited me to dinner and because I felt so good about him, he was the
only guy I let pick me up at my apartment. (Other guys had to meet me in
a public place like a restaurant.)

apartment was ground level with a parking spot in front of my door. I
had a security peak hole in my door. When Bob came to pick me up, I
watched him get out of his car through the peak hole in the door.
Handsome!! When he knocked at the door, I threw it open and
enthusiastically said, “Hi!” 

went to a Mexican restaurant and hit it off immediately. I couldn’t
believe he knew the name of my perfume as it was his favorite. He also
loved the blue sundress I was wearing. He thought I was pretty good
looking. We jabbered on at dinner, enjoying our conversation.

After dinner we went dancing at a rock ‘n’ roll club. Very fun!

week later he moved in with me; one month later we bought a house
together. He did not want to get married again, I did. I say I had the
last laugh at that time because our house mortgage was 30 years…many
people don’t stay married that long. 

years later in front of families, co-workers and friends, we married in
a small ceremony. (I’m a patient woman. LOL.) At our reception, we had a
TV and chairs set up to watch the Portland Trailblazers in a play-off
game. Yes, Bob is an avid basketball fan.

Bob and I
each have one son from a previous marriage who are four years apart. Our
blended family worked well most of the time and had the usual
child-rearing controversies, but overall everyone seems to have turned
out well.

Flash forward 29 years. Bob and I are more in love now than we were then (even living in our 5th wheel trailer — about 320 sf).

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