How Shani Mootoo got me married

I just picked up Moving Forward Sideways Like a Crab from the library. And it’s reminded me that Shani Mootoo may well be responsible for my marriage.


Min and I met at a couple large-group events. We had dinner a couple times. Then he began inviting me to sports events.

Beach volleyball?
I have no idea how to play volleyball. There should have been public service announcements at my high school saying, “you must learn volleyball now or your social life will be forever stunted.” But there weren’t. So no, I would not be playing volleyball on a beach.

Um… can you play soccer with your arms over your head, ducking whenever the ball passes by? I think not.

I was getting worried by this time, so I went to at least watch the ultimate game. Min’s friend Glenn walked up and grabbed his water bottle. “I’ve drank two of these today and I’ve only pissed once,” he said. I began to worry about this entire situation.

When I complained about the issue at work, my friend Robin said, “You know what? You should take him to a poetry reading.”

Aha! This was a fantastic idea. If I was going to spend time far outside my comfort zone, then Min should have to spend time outside his, right?

I got a Georgia Straight and looked up the literary events for the week. No poetry, but a presentation by three women at the Vancouver Public Library, all speaking about weaving immigrant voices into their work.

We went.

We listened.

We laughed… a lot.

As I remember, there was much talk about overprotective mothers, and Min could relate. He loved it. He even made friends with another writer in the row behind ours.

As for me? I sat there beaming, because I’d found a guy willing to sit through a literary reading. AND, he’d paid for dinner. I decided to overlook the sports thing.

I can’t remember who the other two speakers were. But thank you, Shani Mootoo.

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