Caught Red Handed
A long drive and an assertive surprise visit changed everything.
The popular three day rule states that if someone gives you their number, you should wait three days before giving them a call. But nobody told that to Biafra – one half of this week’s Love Letter couple. When she gave now-husband Fred her number and didn’t hear from him the next day, she took matters into her own hands.
Armed only with the name of the town he was from and a few of his favorite spots there that he had mentioned the night before, she drove an hour from her home in Atlanta to track him down. After methodically crossing his favorite places off her list, she finally caught him red-handed… having lunch with his uncle.
But rather than scare him off, Biafra’s assertiveness kickstarted a relationship that saw the pair become inseparable ever since. In fact, the couple have been married for 15 years and together for 22.
How’d you two meet?
Biafra: The first time we met was actually 9/11. I had just started a new job at the YMCA, and we were all watching the Twin Towers on television. He came in because he had used to work there, and I met him very briefly. And then I had to rush off to get my children from school.
Fred: I had just come back from the Marine Corps. I came to the Y to work out, see some of my friends, just to catch up. And when I came to the Y, I knew everybody, all the staff and everyone because I had been there years previously. She was the new girl. So initially I was like “Who’s the new girl?” And that’s kind of how the interaction started. The first meeting was very chaotic and pretty quick.
And how did you go from a first meeting like that to a place where you wanted to get to know each other better?
Biafra: After that happened, I didn’t see him anymore. But working at the Y, I kept hearing about him. People kept talking about him and mentioning him, and I was like “Wow, people really like this guy.” It’s weird, because usually you hear somebody talking bad about somebody who’s left a job, but everybody who talked about him always had good things to say.
So a couple of months later a coworker said “Fred’s coming in. Maybe we should all go out tonight.” And so we all went out that night, and I was talking to him thinking “Oh my god, this guy is amazing. He is wonderful.” He was just so charming and we talked about where we came from, and he told me the town that he came from, which is an hour from Atlanta. And he told me all the places that he liked to go there.
At the end of the night, we exchanged numbers. And he said he’d call me the next day. I woke up the next day, he didn’t call. So I called him. He didn’t answer. I waited a couple hours and I called him again. No answer. So I’m thinking “Why is he not answering my phone calls?” So I get in my car and I drive to his hometown. I’d never been there.
Biafra: I went to all the places that he had mentioned until I found him. He was at a restaurant with his uncle. He saw me and goes “What are you doing here?” And I said “Well, you told me you’d call me and you didn’t. And when I called you, you didn’t answer the phone.” He said “I’m with my people!” and I was like “Well, I wanted to see you again. So I came and found you.” And he thought it was hilarious.
Fred: I didn’t call her because I had just gotten back in town, so I was spending time with my blood relatives. I didn’t think it was a big deal to want to see my grandmother over this lady who I thought I liked but I had met two times.
What did you tell your uncle when you saw her show up?
Fred: I told him if I’m not back in five minutes, come find me. The Marine Corps taught me a lot of things, but it didn’t teach us how to deal with this situation. After that, we started to hang out all the time, like all the time. People at the local restaurants in Atlanta would call us rock stars because we’d pop in and they’d be like “oh, you guys again?”
What was your first date?
Fred: There was a spot in Atlanta that was popular then, no longer exists. We went out that first night and hung out. That began the routine of the whole rock star title, because we had such a great time talking and eating and dancing.
From that point forth, it was almost like a daily routine. You know, even during the week when we had to work. Now that I think about it, I don’t know how I did all that stuff and got up and went to work.
Biafra, do you have any advice for our readers when it comes to being assertive in going after what you want?
Biafra: To be very honest, I’m a very live-in-the-moment type of person. If my feelings are there, I’m going to be with them. I know everybody’s not like that, so I honestly wouldn’t suggest other people do what I did. But the kids say “shoot your shot,” and I’m a very big believer in that. All they can say is no.
Fred: Or they could call the cops.
Biafra: I just believe if you want something, or you feel something, to be confident in yourself that you're worth it. And if they say no, or they're not interested, then they're not for you and you move on. But don't be afraid of rejection.
Fred, do you have any advice when it comes to being pursued – literally?
Fred: Try to follow your gut, go with your “spidey senses”. Try to catch a wave, don’t run into it. You’ve got to follow what makes you happy, because there's no ideal scenario, and there's no ideal situation you can plan and write it down on paper exactly how you want it to be. You have to go off exactly what you thought at the time, I think, and be willing to accept the rewards or the consequences that come with that, versus wondering what would have happened.
🤔 Poll of The Day
Would you go out of your way to find someone who didn't call you back?
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📊 Last Week We Asked…
“Would you let a friend set you up on a blind date?”
84% said “Yes! I trust my friends' judgment”
16 % said “no, I’d rather find a partner myself”
And a bunch of meet-cuters shared the same sentiment that “it depends on the friend!!!”
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Interviewed and transcribed by Nicolas Vega. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.