Gwendolyn Diaz had just started a new job at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas, when she met her husband, Henry Flores, another professor there.
It was the 1980s and Henry, who describes himself as “one of the original computer nerds,” was on his way to the computer room when the new faculty member caught his eye.
This story is also included in All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps.
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Gwendolyn Diaz (GD): And I was sitting in my office, and I noticed this man walking by.
HF: I just kind of looked inside to see who was in there, and I saw a flash of ankle, and I saw this blonde hair, and I went smack dab into the wall.
HF: Well, the very next day, about the same time, I was walking down the hallway again, saw the same door open, I looked inside, and I walked into the wall again in the same identical place. I went running back to my office, and I closed the door, and I said, "You idiot!"
All of a sudden I hear this knock on my door, and I open it, and it's you! And you just kind of stare at me and say, "You got a cigarette?"
GD: I was curious 'cause the first time that you bumped into the wall I thought, Hmm … that guy's a little uncoordinated. But the second time I thought you'd taken notice of the new girl in the hallway.
HF: I gave her a cigarette and she kind of stared at me and turned around, walked away and didn't say a thing. I said to myself, "What do I do to … to meet this beautiful woman?" I thought about it for a second, and I said, An ashtray.
So I cleaned all the ashtrays in my office, there was three of them.
GD: I remember when you came with the three ash trays and you gave me one to pick, I thought, Hmm … maybe there was something to that bumping into the walls.
HF: We started going out after that, and umm … we went out dancing. I asked permission to kiss you.
GD: And we weren't terribly young, and I told you something like, you shouldn't have to ask. You looked at me straight in the eye with a serious look, and you said, "I have to warn you … I'm very intense."
GD: And I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, He doesn't know what intense is yet.
And … after what, 17, 18 years, it's not always perfect, but I wouldn't have it any other way.