Walhydra has the most wonderful helpmate, Jim. Jim is a rare gift which kept crossing Walhydra's path for years till she finally smacked herself in the forehead and accepted it.
They first met in 1965, when they were both closeted queer boys in high school.
In 1977, when Walhydra returned from "the North" and moved in with Husband #2, there was Jim, living next door.
When Walhydra returned to Columbia again, this time from her years overseas with her witchy, Isle of Wight Husband #3, she moved in with Jim and Jim's ex, Randy. This was when Walhydra was in grad school and "too busy focusing on studies to have a relationship."
[Not to mention, too confused after three "love at first sight" handfastings to jump in again without looking a looong time first.]
In 1985, Walhydra finished her internship and moved from Columbia, SC, to Charleston, to work as a drug counselor.
[Interesting work for a former Deadhead fellow traveler.]
Jim came to visit Walhydra, and, her eyes now having been opened by the joy of finding her secular vocation, Walhydra said, "Why had I been running from this boy?"
Two years of long distance loving later, her supervisor (a blessed person in her own right) said, "I hate to lose you... but you've GOT to move back to Columbia and be with that boy!!!" That was when Walhydra started doing time in the men's prison as a social worker.
Walhydra and Jim already knew who squeezed the toothpaste in the middle (Jim), who was the housekeeping bitch (Walhydra), and who was the kitchen witch (both of them... taadaa!).
Given this head start, it only took a few years with a good marriage counselor to discover how to mesh Southern Baptist cathartic guilt and swallowed anger (Jim) with German Lutheran doctrinal purity and mental hygiene (Walhydra)... and how to fight fair.
[Walhydra loves to tease Jim in their favorite coffehouse by looking up to the door and saying: "Hmm, that boy looks JUST like my fifth husband!"]
Now, Jim is a warm, empathic, compassionate Quaker sort. He chuckles and teases Walhydra about her crystals and incense and lunar phases... but he gets "googoo eyed" when she waters the 36 houseplants (in their two room apartment) or talks to the cat.
Jim has a humorous online "ministry" giving support and encouragement to other "recovering fundamentalists" and confronting homophobic flamers on AOL. He's also a brilliant scholar, for whom mathematics has the genuine power and beauty of religious music.
[Walhydra insists upon noting that she herself is NOT AT ALL a victim of math anxiety. It was only because of that freshman calculus course of 300, with the German professor who spoke no English, that she had to retire from the field and join the functionally innumerate. *Ahem*]
It was early in his friendship with Walhydra that Dr. Bob—with Walhydra's collusion—began to court Jim as a fellow math lover.
He would send Walhydra home with "humorous" math puzzles.
["Haha," said Walhydra. "It's all Greek...etc."]
He would offer Jim his online bulletin board phone number. Finally, he sent, as a Yuletide present, the following puzzle:
For any prime number n greater than 3, n squared minus 1 is divisible by 24. Prove it.Jim was delighted, pondered for a day or two, and then sent back a written answer, which Walhydra, faithful carrier pigeon, relayed to Dr. Bob—understanding the message no more than any carrier pigeon does (just feed me and pet me... coooo?)
Dr. Bob sent back effusive (but honest) compliments on Jim's clear and elegant proof... and the hook was set.
[Walhydra promises to send Jim's proof... or, rather, make him send it... to anyone who is actually curious about it. Really.]
When Dr. Bob offered the New Year's Eve Eve Party invitation, Jim was glad to join in—especially when Walhydra told him about Dr. Bob's matchmaking.
Walhydra, in turn, looked forward to finally introducing the "mythical Jim" to all the work colleagues (also invited) who had heard her bragging on and bitching about him.
On the night of the party, Jim dressed up in his comfy casuals, with the Yule red cableknit cotton sweater—hey, he's a Leo (well,Cancer right on the cusp).
Walhydra (true Virgo) did her usual black on black layers, with whichever crystals had called out "Me too!" concealed in various pockets. Together, they aimed their Toyota southeast and headed for Dr. Bob's place.
Note: We promise we will actually eventually get our dear readers to this party. Please be patient. Thank you.[To be continued]