The first time I saw her was right after I moved to Houston in August of 1998. After Sunday morning worship, friends took me to a new barbecue place having its grand opening. Her name was Lisa Foronda and she was gorgeous. A reporter for Channel 11, Houston's CBS affiliate, she was doing some sort of promo for the restaurant. I was taken by her grace and, of course, her beauty. Immediately, I became a fan of Channel 11 and faithfully watched their evening news, especially when she was anchoring the broadcast. I think alot of unmarried people have a Lisa Foronda in their lives. One of my teacher aides, Beverly McDonald, told me she is planning to marry Astro's reliever Brad Lidge and former student Patricia Estrada told me her future includes becoming the wife of Brandon Backe, another Houston pitcher. (I'm suspicious that there is a correlation between the Astro's recent World Series appearance and these young ladies' romantic aspirations.) I have to confess. For a time I strayed and let my attention focus on actress Angie Harmon, from NBC's Law and Order. The bottom dropped out of my life when Angie married NFL star Jason Sehorn. He made about $10 million per year so I can't say I blame her. Sheepishly, I realized I was better off with Lisa, repented, and returned to my true love. But, last spring I was crushed when the reports surfaced that she was engaged. Some architect proposed to her in Greece- BIG DEAL! Then, the inevitable happened. They got married and I was crushed. I have been so heartbroken, I haven't found a television dream girl replacement yet. Some dreams die an agonizingly slow, drawn out death.
It all came to a head yesterday. Right at the end of school, Sam Ruiz, one of our Spanish teachers and basketball coaches, ran into my room and breathlessly told me, "You have to go to the elementary library right now!" I asked why and Sam said, "Lisa Foronda is in there!" Now, I have been the recipient of practical jokes before so I made Sam promise that if he was lying, I could slap him. Without hesitation, he agreed so I took off for the library. I became gun shy as I got close. What would I say? Even though she is a married woman, just to say hello would be enough for me- maybe I could congratulate her on the marriage and wish them a deliriously happy life together. I neared the door and I saw her through the glass. I had an awkward angle so I pulled the door open and there she was.... except it wasn't her. Jessi Colter had a huge country hit with a song called "I'm Not Lisa" - it would have been fitting to have had it playing in the background. Now, it kind of looked like her and the woman I saw is also on television, an anchor/reporter with the local FOX station. She was at WCS to do a feature on one of my students and like Lisa, she is striking. I could see how Sam got them confused. But, it wasn't Lisa and I walked away, my heart rate returning slowly to its normal pattern. Life is so unfair at times.
I feel bad. I should have been honored to meet the other reporter. I hope no one is ever disappointed in finding out I am not someone else. Once, I was mistaken for Hall of Fame baseball player Mike Schmidt and the young lady who made the mistake took it hard when she learned the truth. People had erroneous views of Jesus. The apostles told the Messiah that the word on the street was that he was either John the Baptist, Jeremiah, Elijah, or one of the other prophets. Few knew the truth until the end. When Jesus gave sight to a man blind from birth, his neighbors said it wasn't him, it just looked like him. How would you like to convince someone you have known all your life that you are really you? I have a sign outside of my door that the kids touch when they enter Room 258 each day. It is a quotation from John 20:15. After his resurrection, Jesus asks Mary Magdalene, "Who is it you are looking for?" She was looking for the Lord but she didn't recognize him when she saw him. I want my students to be looking for Jesus daily when they sit in my class and if I carry out God's plans, they will see the Master. Who is it you want to meet? My opportunity to meet the Lord in a meaningful spiritual way is much greater than my chance of meeting a celebrity. The first I can control, the second comes down to randomness. I thought my chance to meet Lisa had come- I KNOW my relationship with God is real.
I have decided to pardon Sam and forego the slap. He really did think it was her and he believed he was doing me a tremendous favor. I'll live and my students thought it was hilarious. There will be other times and other unmarried news anchors but there will only be one Lisa Foronda. Her husband is a very lucky man. I wish them all the best.
Applicable quote of the day:
"A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Lisa's picture courtesy of www.snapus.org)