It Was A Dark and Stupendous Night


38 years ago today, I walked into the bar in search of a drink and out of the bar with the bartender . . . my future husband. I went there with a friend from high school, and we’d pooled and spent our money on gas to get us there. Having not thought things through all that much, my friend came to the rescue assuring me that she knew a bartender in a bar called Muhlenbrink’s. He’d be wearing a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat, she said. We made our way through the hugely crowded bar, and low and behold, there was, in fact, a bartender in a brown leather floppy-brimmed hat.

And he was adorable. Absolutely, undeniably adorable.

She shoved and I flirted to make the seas part so we could land ourselves directly in front of Him. She thumped her fist down on the bar and proclaimed, “I know you.”

He looked up. “No you don’t,” he said and went immediately back to drawing beer.

I was mortified. Mortified, I tell you.

As I silently begged the floor to open up and swallow me whole, she persisted with her insistence. It seems she knew the HAT, not the MAN. You see, for reasons he can’t remember, Andy was wearing Billy’s hat that night.

At this point, I don’t suppose he’ll get fired if I tell you that he did eventually slip us one (note the singular) tom collins, and when the bar closed (we stayed to listen to the band – wink, wink), we were invited to a part at the bouncer’s apartment.

We accepted.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

And herstory.

We met on January 27; became engaged on April 1; and married on July 31.

Of that same year.

He says I’m the most expensive date he ever had.

I say he’s the best date I could get with the boobs I had at the time.

Ah, love.


  1. Liz

    oh this is AWESOME. I just love seeing you walk through the bar, you flirting, you, beautiful you.

  2. Julie Daley

    Ah, love. How sweet it is…just like this story.
    I loved reading this piece, Jeanne. A little slice in the pie of Jeanne’s life.
    Loving you,

  3. Carynmirriamgoldberg

    Wonderful story, Jeanne! And the stupendous part of that night just keeps going on.

  4. Elizabeth Marie

    Happy anniversary, lovely jeanne. What a great, great story.

  5. Heather

    Happy anniversary! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I’d love to know why he wore Billy’s hat that night- and I’m glad he did!

  6. Mrsmediocrity

    you are so cute. and funny. and that is a great story. here’s to 38 years.

  7. Amelia

    love this story- I also met my husband in a bar 🙂 but he wasn’t the bar tender, happy anniversary!

  8. Sarah

    same year i met my felted wool brimmed hat wearing man too. taking the ride, you and i, exploring the ups and downs with love as the energy that runs the whole thing. enjoy celebrating – acknowledging – and sharing.

  9. carol

    Love this story..of course I love all your stories

  10. Meredith

    I love reading and hearing about successful “whirlwind” relationships. Thank you for sharing this inspiring his/herstory.

  11. haiku love songs

    I LOVE your story! Just followed you on twitter – we have several twitter friends in common – surprised we haven’t met before now. I’m dani @poetpassionbakr

  12. writemuch

    What a wonderful story. You always make me laugh. Congrats to 38 years. we are working on 30 at my house.

  13. Brad Morrison

    Absolutely LOVE that story and the boob line is priceless.

  14. Noel

    I love the “how me met stories!” What a great post to put up as February rolls in … the month of love.

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Hey, Sugar! I'm Jeanne Hewell-Chambers: writer ~ stitcher ~ storyteller ~ one-woman performer ~ creator & founder of The 70273 Project, and I'm mighty glad you're here. Make yourself at home, and if you have any questions, just holler.

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