The OBHF Podcast: How We Met – Ep. 2

Party invitation, how we met

The party invitation that started it all.

In this episode we recount how we met more than 20 years ago. Indra’s business partner invited her to a party, hosted by Paul and a mutual friend. Since Jon is gay and the mutual friend is gay, Indra thought Paul was gay. Oops.

When Paul finally called her for a date, things got very complicated.

In this episode you’ll find out about:

  • Why the party where we met happened
  • Why you don’t invite all the women you’re dating to the same party
  • How pivotal a book club can be in one’s life
  • What happens when someone other than yourself answers the phone in the middle of a date invitation
  • The peculiarities of dating in your late 30s
  • The fun of ‘how met’ conversations at dinner parties
  • How We Met Transcript

    From the Dusty Urban Ham Shack studio of WB6QWD this is the Our Bird Has Flown podcast.

    [Music]

    Paul M Bowers: Well, that’s our theme music what do you think?

    Indra Bowers: I love our theme music [laughter] it makes me happy.

    Paul M Bowers: Bada, bada, bap, if you go to our website and you look at the videos the logo assembles itself to that tone and it’s really cool and it’s a lot of fun, our friend Shawn at Lloyd films did that for us.

    [Music]

    Indra Bowers: It’s just happy.

    Paul M Bowers: So let’s get down to business, first we have to talk about our friends over at Green Florals. Greens, Weddings, Parties, Corporate events, whatever, Flowers just for somebody special, I send flowers to you from Green Florals.

    Indra Bowers:You do and they are always beautiful.

    Paul M Bowers: Carlos Franco, a genius in florals has been around San Diego for years, a great guy, a perfect kind of guy that you can call and say; sigh, we just had a fight I need something can you help me out? And he would say; what kind of colors and I would say; I don’t know and then he would say; Okay! I got you covered.

    Indra Bowers:Genius.

    Paul M Bowers:Not that I’ve ever had to do that, of course.

    Indra Bowers:Never.

    Paul M Bowers:So, Green Florals is our sponsor for today well, one of our sponsors, see them at 3785 4thAvenue in Hillcrest in San Diego.

    Indra Bowers: Or online at….

    Paul M Bowers:Oh, online at greenfreshflorals.com, that’s kind of a hard mouth full to say, Green Fresh Florals.

    Indra Bowers: It is but the store is beautiful so you should really go and check it out.

    Paul M Bowers: Great store, it reminds me of garden shops in France and stuff, beautiful.

    Indra Bowers:Nice .

    Paul M Bowers:But that’s not what we are here to talk about today.

    Indra Bowers:Not today.

    Paul M Bowers:What are we talking about today? Oh, I’m sorry my name is Paul M Bowers, I’m one half of the Our Bird Has Flown parent team along with my wife Indra Gardiner Bowers, say welcome.

    Indra Bowers:Welcome!

    Paul M Bowers:OK, now we are here to talk about something.

    Indra Bowers:Yes.

    Paul M Bowers:What are we here to talk about?

    Indra Bowers:So we are here today to talk about how we met. Recently, I can’t remember where I heard or read this but I read something that said for a dinner party one fun thing to do is to ask people to talk about how they met and we did that at a dinner party not that long ago and it was endlessly entertaining, very funny, it definitely created a sense of intimacy right away at our dinner party and so we recommend that and since we can’t have dinner with all of you right now, we are nonetheless going to share our story of how we met, which isn’t always exactly consistent but we will see how we do today.

    Paul M Bowers:Well my part of the story is consistent and accurate.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter].

    Paul M Bowers: Yeah, every little bit. But back to that dinner party, I think you’re right that was one of the most fun things that we did and it was a guest that brought it in and say here let’s do this and we learned a lot about the people at the table with whom we had shared tables before.

    Indra Bowers:Yes.

    Paul M Bowers: And then there were others that we just met and their stories were just as interesting and we all came away, I still remember that party, it was really good, it was a lot of fun and you develop a sense of empathy for the people around the table that is truly what dinner parties are for other than the good food.

    Indra Bowers: Oh yeah, I like the good food.

    Paul M Bowers: So, who’s going to start?

    Indra Bowers:Ah! I’ll start, do you want me to start? I’ll start.

    Paul M Bowers:Okay, you start.

    Indra Bowers:Okay, so where should we start? So ah, I had just ended a three-and-a-half-year long relationship.

    Paul M Bowers:Dark, dark years.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter] And so I was living on my own, I was really happy being alone, I wasn’t really looking to date and my good friend and business partner Jon Bailey from 2dadswithbaggage.com said “Hey, I’m going to this party over at Paul M Bowers house on Sunday. It’s a Catfish fry, he’s throwing it with Andre Grey, do you want to come with me?”. I said, sure. Okay so Jon is gay, Andre is gay

    Paul M Bowers:Wait, Jon is…

    Indra Bowers:Jon is gay [laughter].

    Paul M Bowers:OMG.

    Indra Bowers:And Andre is gay, the party is in North park which was a fairly gay neighbourhood so, I thought Paul was gay. So I go to this party and I’m like wearing like a big denim shirt and no makeup and I just figured I’m just going to go hang out and have a good time. And when I get there and I walked into this beautiful house, this beautiful garden and I see all these people I know, lots of people I know and I’m looking round and I love the way the place feels and I said to a friend of mine “Why can’t I meet a straight man who has taste like this?”.  And several people turned around and looked at me because I clearly didn’t know the host [laughter]. So I did meet Paul at that party but he had his hands full. Paul why don’t you explain why you had your hands full at that party?

    Paul M Bowers:Well, it kind of goes back. I had owned a small duplex in North Park in San Diego which is an older part of town and this was sort of a pseudo crafts, kind of cottagey kind of thing and it was kind of a two on one, it had a downstairs basement apartment that leaked, it leaked through the walls and for those of you who live with basements, you know exactly what I’m talking about when it rains, the water gets pushed through the walls, the tenant calls and says there’s water all over the floor.

    Now at that point I had not been in the house very long and I obviously knew that there was a defect in construction and I couldn’t sell the house with that defect because I would be upside-down in the mortgage, so I had to contact the previous owner and say; hey you knew about this didn’t you? And of course they say we knew nothing about this. Right… So I spent the next one and a half to two years learning how to sue somebody for failure to disclose. I couldn’t get an attorney to take the case because there wasn’t quite a lot of money in it, no one is going to get punitive damages for it so I had to do it, I had to learn discovery, I had to learn how to write interrogatories and all that.

    Indra Bowers:What does this have to do with how you met me?

    Paul M Bowers:Well, we are going to get there. So anyway I prevailed, I won, they hired a hot shot real estate attorney and that was one of my happy moments when my discoveries that I requested from them come chugging over the fax machine and he clearly knew about it and failure to disclose it.

    So what this means is the house had to be completely torn apart around the foundation and I had to dig deep down four feet wide and thirteen feet deep around the perimeter of the home. What I meant was the entire garden, the entire back deck all of that stuff had to come apart and got dug out. And so I was able to get a fresh start, we filled all the holes in, we filled them with good dirt and then I began making this garden and the garden was an incredible project and I still drive by the house until this day but I decided that I would have a garden party now, that it was all done. A bunch of work was done inside the house as well and so here’s the garden, let’s have a party, my friend Andre was a florist, still is sometimes, and so we had this party together and that’s how there came to be a party. Meanwhile I had the single life, single photographer living the life and I was dating.

    Indra Bowers: Living the life means dating?

    Paul M Bowers:Well I was dating, I finally figured out how to avoid sequential monogamy and start dating a little bit and I didn’t think much about it and so I had invited women that I had been out on dates with, nothing serious or anything, but then I said wow! If I went to their house, then I would expect they would be dating so, I invited all of them. I know; and then somebody pulled me in and said dude you can’t do that dude you can’t do that.  Well by that time invitations were out.

    Indra Bowers:Too late.

    Paul M Bowers:And I had to figure out what I was going to do, well my plan was to not talk to anybody female.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter] Yeah, he did a pretty good job of hiding over in the back end of the back yard, cooking the catfish in his deep fat fryer away from everybody so that we would all be safe [Laughter].

    Paul M Bowers:[laughter], Hanging out with my gay friends because I knew they would have protected me in the event that somebody kind of lost it. So somebody introduced me briefly to someone named Indra and I said  “Hi how are you?” and she made some remark about the hush puppies.

    Indra Bowers:Yeah.

    Paul M Bowers:That you likes the hush puppies.

    Indra Bowers:Well I lived in North Carolina for many years so I’m a fan.

    Paul M Bowers: Well, here’s the thing, you might not know this.

    Indra Bowers:Uh-ooh!

    Paul M Bowers:Andre picked up the hush puppies from a fast food joint on the way to the party like Popeyes or something.

    Indra Bowers:[Growling]Yeah, I did not know that.

    Paul M Bowers:[Laughter], That’s how they got to be good hush puppies, nevertheless you asked about my hush puppies.

    Indra Bowers: And your dog right?

    Paul M Bowers:And my dog Ray of course the smartest damn dog in the world, a Jack Russell, that dog was.

    Indra Bowers: Totally nuts.

    Paul M Bowers: Like a twelve year old but,

    [Music]

    Indra Bowers:We will talk about that dog another time.

    Paul M Bowers:Look at the time, OMG look at the time; its time to talk about our other sponsor, the National Conflict Resolution Center take it way Indra.

    Indra Bowers:I have been on the board of the National Conflict Resolution Center for too long. A long, long, long time but I can’t step off because the work they do is incredibly important and valuable to not only our community but communities all over the world. National Conflict Resolution Center provides programs on conflict resolution and provides mediation service for the community of San Diego, they have trained thousands of individual across the globe on how to effectively resolvedconflict.

    Paul M Bowers:They trained me.

    Indra Bowers:Yeah, they trained me too.

    Paul M Bowers: Well, I went there for a whole week.

    Indra Bowers:I know you did.

    Paul M Bowers:And you know what a good conflict resolver I am.

    Indra Bowers:Yeah, fights don’t ever happen in our house.

    Paul M Bowers:No I defuse them with my neutral speaking.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter].

    Paul M Bowers:I understand what you mean to say is…

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter], Thank you for listening. So NCRC you can find them online at ncrconline.comwhere you can learn about the mediation services, the training services which they do for corporations which they do up at U.C.S.D at the Rady Center and also they offer divorce service so you do not have to have the ugly legal divorce experience and you can go have mediation and have a civil separation. We know people who have done that and it was very effective for them and their families and less corrosive. So thank you NCRC for sponsoring Our Bird Has Flown.

    Paul M Bowers: So we were talking about this set up for the party and we have established that our taste in hush puppies was— pedestrian.

    Indra Bowers:Oh brother, thanks [Laughter].

    Paul M Bower:[Laughter] So ah—

    Indra Bower:Okay wait, wait let me finish the story. [Cross talking]

    Paul M Bowers:Okay, sure why not, fine.

    Indra Bowers:So we left the party, whatever. The pivotal thing that happened at the party was that I was invited by a mutual friend Jean Walcher to attend book club.

    Paul M Bowers:That’s jwalchercommunications.com.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter] Everybody gets a plug on [laughter] Our Bird Has Flown podcast.  So she invited me to her book club and Paul was a member of the book club, so I was going to go to one that was about two months out, just the way the timing worked and then that was that.

    Then about a month and a half later I went to a party with couple of friends and there was Paul M Bowers and I was reading the book for the book club at this point, we were just a few weeks away from the first book club I was ever going to attend and my friend said, “Hey there’s Paul M Bowers lets go say hi to him.” She had also dated him. Aha! So.. [Cross talking]

    Paul M Bowers:It wasn’t anything more than a basic friendship.

    Indra Bowers: And I would honestly tell you that I walked up to him and I started talking to him and it felt like a curtain parted and I looked at him and I was like, where have you been, I’ve been looking for you all my life. It literally felt like that, I know it didn’t for you but it did for me. We talked, I left with my friends, I was ready to start dating again at that point and then I said what about Paul M Bowers and one of my friends said yeah, he’s kind of quirky but [laughter] you guys would probably hit it off. The next thing I know there’s phone calls flying, Paul calls my office about two weeks now or a week and a half before my first book club. He calls me on a Wednesday just to chat, he doesn’t ask me out or nothing. I hang up the phone and I was like what was that? I didn’t even understand what that was, then two days later he calls again and leaves a message at work, I called back and a woman answers the phone.

    Paul M Bowers:Okay, let me pick up from here, [ Cross talking]

    Indra Bowers:Studio.

    Paul M Bowers:Because I’m going to get thrown under the bus here.

    Indra Bowers:No, no, no it was really good.

    Paul M Bowers:At this point I had a bookkeeper who lived in Sedona and she and I had been friends, she had been my bookkeeper for a very long time and she would fly in around tax time and she would come in and do the taxes and then go back to Sedona. Well that worked out great but she was trying to fix me up, she was always you know,  looking around so…

    Indra Bowers:Okay, wait, wait, wait.

    Paul M Bowers: What?

    Indra Bowers:Okay, go ahead, go ahead.

    Paul M Bowers:[Laughter] No, okay so anyways she was always looking out for me, how about that? Is that better?

    Indra Bowers:Yeah.

    Paul M Bowers:Okay, so It was a Friday and I had always liked going to a really nice restaurant in San Diego called Laurel and I would go with a book and I would have these long lovely dinners by myself and it was great. I would read my book, I would space out my courses perfectly, enjoyable and it was Friday night and I thought about doing that and then I said, hey maybe I would invite Indra.

    So I went to Christine, my bookkeeper and I said, hey it’s Friday okay, if I call somebody and invite them out to dinner for Friday night because I thought maybe you are supposed to give me more warning or something, she said; no its fine. So I called and she’s not available, I left a message with a receptionist because that’s what it was at that time, they had receptionist back in the old days and I said; okay, I have to go out and run some errands so I left the studio and I get a call from Christine while I’m gone and she says you’re going to owe a bunch of taxes in maybe don’t eat in some expensive, so I said “I haven’t asked Indra yet so, I’m just going to call her back on Monday so that I can go and I can have a meal.”.

    Indra Bowers:Wallow in your sadness about your taxes.

    Paul M Bowers: Yeah.

    Indra Bowers:Meanwhile, I called back “Studio!”.  “Hi is Paul there?”. “No, he just stepped out, may I ask who is calling?”. “This is Indra.” “Oh hi Indra, Paul called to see if you were available for dinner night.” So here I am, I haven’t been asked out on a date in three months since I broke up with my former boyfriend and some women who I don’t know, I didn’t even know her name is asking me out on a date for Paul and I did not even know what to say and I usually am not for lack of words [Cross talking].

    Paul M Bowers:[Laughter].

    Indra Bowers:And so I’m literally on the phone speechless and she listens to the silence as she says “I’ll just have Paul call you back.”

    Paul M Bowers:So I come into the studio and she said “Oh Indra called,” and I thought in my head, I’m going to call her on Monday and she said “I asked her out for you.“

    Indra Bowers: [Laughter].

    Paul M Bowers:And I didn’t know very well at this point but I suspect that, that was not going to go over very well. Then what did she say? And Christine said “She just got silent. “

    Indra Bowers:Like ah, ah—.

    Paul M Bowers:And at this point I had known that, we have known each other and we know so many other people in the business and I would get a bad reputation if I didn’t make good on this. So I called back and I get this HELLO! I’m like oh boy, so.

    Indra Bowers: I didn’t sound like that.

    Paul M Bowers:Yeah, you sounded pretty close, on my end it was or maybe it was the distortion over the phone why it sounded that way.

    Indra Bowers:Yeah right.

    Paul M Bowers:So I turned on my charm and I say look, she comes in once year, she’s concerned about me, she asked and really I would like to take you out to dinner tonight. [In voice imitating Indra] “Oh I don’t think I would be very good company.”

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter]

    Paul M Bowers: Really.

    Indra Bowers:But…

    Paul M Bowers:I said I’m going to Laurel.

    Indra Bowers:Ding!

    Paul M Bowers: And then it was like a little bell went off and like all of a sudden, “oh, okay”.

    Indra Bowers:They were a client and that were like my favorite restaurant in town.

    Paul M Bowers:And so I went to my friend Andre and I got a little bouquet of flowers.

    Indra Bowers: It was a posy; do y’all know what a posy is? It was gorgeous. A posy is when you create this perfect…

    Paul M Bowers: Did you just say y’all?

    Indra Bowers:Yes, I’m allowed to say y’all, I lived in North Carolina and it is a very useful term, so y’all might as well get used to that because I’ll be doing that every now and again. So anyway a posy is when you have a perfect little round ball of flowers on the top and the stem is tied up with beautiful ribbons and Paul shows up with this posy.

    Paul M Bowers:And she melted of course.

    Indra Bowers:Not exactly, but it was a good start.

    Paul M Bowers:Nevertheless we went to Laurel in my Ford Ranger, we took my old Ford Ranger didn’t we?

    Indra Bowers:That’s right.

    Paul M Bowers:It was your first experience of being around a gear head [Laughter] because you always have these intellectual [Cross talking] like here is this guy, he’s got an old truck and it a manual,

    Indra Bowers:It was funky.

    Paul M Bowers:It was a cool truck. Nevertheless we went out to dinner, we had a pretty darn magical first date.

    Indra Bowers:So that date was a little more like an interview than fully a date. We were both in our late thirties and we didn’t want to waste time messing around with something that wasn’t the right fit. But really it was a fantastic dinner and the next day I had plans with a girlfriend. I went to pick her up to go grab a cup of coffee and she said,  “So how was your dinner with Paul M Bowers,” and I said I’m going to married him.

    Paul M Bowers:Yeah, I didn’t hear about that. I mean that’s a good thing.

    Indra Bowers:[Laughter] I knew it, I knew it, you know how they say you know? I knew.

    Paul M Bowers:Well, nevertheless we had very enjoyable experience and plenty other dates since then.  From the beginning our date was very much like a job interview, almost interrogation for both of us because we didn’t want to spend any time, we needed to determine what the nature of this relationship was going to be.

    Indra Bowers:It was still fun.

    Paul M Bowers:Yeah, it was still fun and it still is fun right? I still enjoy your company.

    Indra Bowers: Oh, Thanks [Laughter].

    Paul M Bowers:So that’s the how we met story and looking at our clock we are out of time.

    Indra Bowers:Wow, that went fast.

    Paul M Bowers:It’s time for me to do the sign off, okay.

    Indra Bowers:Thank you sponsors.

    Paul M Bowers: That music,

    [Music]

    Paul M Bowers: That music means it’s time to wrap up, today’s Our Bird Has Flown podcast from the studio of WB6QWD, I’m Paul M Bowers joined here on the Dusty Urban Ham Shack today with Indra Gardiner Bowers. Our podcast is remotely produced by Brian Thomas at Yokai Audio in Kalamazoo Michigan.

    Our sponsors are Green Fresh Florals www.greenfreshflorals.comand the National Conflict Resolution Center at ncrconline.com. You can visit our website ourbirdhasflown.com, we talk about our topsy-turvy home life and our college bird Jesse Bowers. Thanks for clicking in, we will see you soon.

    Indra Bowers:Bye Y’all.

    [End of Music]. 

     

     

     

Proudly Sponsored by:

Green Fresh Florals: www.greenfreshflorals.com

National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC): www.ncrconline.com