When you’re in a relationship, one of the greatest tests is how you cope as a couple with bumps in the road. Back in 1996, then-beau Larry and I faced an especially big bump when he didn’t pass his CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) exam.
Having logged hundreds of hours in studying, Larry was devastated by the failure. I now Open The Vault and take you back to the summer of 1996...
August 23, 1996
New York, NY
I saw Larry last night and the evening was replete with the post-failure fallout I’d anticipated.
When we met downtown, I could see Larry’s melancholy immediately. His face and body were wrought with tension. Every other word was a negative, self-deprecating remark and I realized it would be nearly impossible to comfort him.
I foolishly tried to convince him he has plenty of time to retake and pass the exam. He coldly rebuffed me, saying the years matter more to him and this is an obvious example of the age gap between us.
I moved my knee away from his grasp and looked away from him with resentment. It seemed like Larry was condescending to me the way my ex Sparky once did. Though I will admit Larry’s never patronized me before, I was stung by his comment anyway.
Dinner was strained, as we spent most of it in silence. I was at a complete loss for words, knowing Larry didn’t want to hear my optimism.
Considering that he’d only slept two hours the night before, I was surprised when he said softly--
“A walk by the river?”
“Sure,” I said, happy for the invitation to revisit a place that was special to us.
He suggested we sit down on a bench and I smiled, recalling how much I’d wanted him to make that invitation back in January. As if he’d read my mind, Larry said--
“You were disappointed I didn’t kiss you the last time -- let’s make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
With his hands holding me tightly, Larry pulled me toward him until our lips met. I felt a surge of relief. In that moment, Larry and I being close was all that mattered.
* * *
Though Larry softened as the evening progressed, the night would raise a troubling question about what might have contributed to his CFA setback. Little did we know that another crisis was looming right around the corner.