Back In Time


There once was this hot graphic designer in Pittsburgh and she wore short skirts, high heels and pearls. It was 1995 and, yes, she had the high hair, too, and smelled like tangerine body wash. Enter the print rep from the Windy City, a young man who is dashing in his suit with a colorful tie and dazzling rock star hair and apple cheeks when he smiles. The girl, ever to control the situation, chooses to flirt but is conflicted about breaking client/supplier lines. She designs an annual report he is printing. She learns he surfs, runs, likes mountain biking and rollerblading and at one time lived in New York City. All of this intrigued the girl, but she is too busy to give him her full attention. Meanwhile, the office is chatting. The young man, ever the social butterfly, has been asking about this girl, learns she is dating someone no one likes and they agree this new young man would be perfect for this girl instead. So begins the calculated courtship: A client hosts a suite at a Pirates game, and real conversation begins between the hot designer and dashing print rep. The office keeps him near her. The conversation continues into AOL, with plenty of IM. As these two people share emails with stories, life realizations and ‘major PPI’… they are falling in love. The question is asked, “your city or mine?” Chicago it is! A girl walks off a plane and into the arms of this young man, their first embrace is like two puzzles pieces fitting together as easy as breathing.

I think what Jon loved most about me was that I was his perfect fit. He saw every detail of my body (committed to memory of course) and with one look at each other (if I was trying to explain some conundrum), I would know he was listening but also imagining me naked and wanting to cause trouble and his having that moment when I pause my diatribe and smile back as a yes was everything. When I would be intense about my own work, being a mom or immersing myself to learn a new something, he would always give me that smirky smile letting me know I should relax and see the humor in the situation. Life was meant to be enjoyed first and foremost, together of course.

Jon had life-long friendships, an intense work ethic and never did anything half-assed. He had a work-hard, play-harder attitude that drove him to succeed in anything he chose to do. After grad school, his work travel took him away from home for periods of time, but I always knew he would return to me. I was always excited to hear the door unlock and the sound of his dress shoes on the wood floor. When at home, he gave me and our kids his full focus. He always had a twinkle in his eyes, a big laugh and a memory for intricate detail. I loved hearing his funny stories or discussing work issues and especially relished in his description of what he had enjoyed for dinner out with coworkers. We understood what made each other happy and he always woo’d me with exotic flowers, his amazing cooking skills, touching me in just the right spot, and played the best music to set the mood. ~Paula

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