The Road to Coupling: The Normans – 10 Days in 10 Years – Part 2

Art by artist Donald Calloway

Art by artist Donald Calloway

 The Middle

 

I was beginning to question whether Scott Norman really existed. Shoni had been reminiscing about her romance with him from the first time we met. I never saw a picture of him. There were no phone calls, neither were there any physical remnants that I could see. He was like the Loch Ness Monster or Sasquatch, a mythical creature only Shoni had seen.

Over the years, I watched Shoni enter and end a few relationships. Then, around the seventh year of our friendship, something changed.

Shoni: I kept thinking about Scott. He had become a standard in my mind. Whomever I dated, whomever I married, he would have to make me feel the way Scotty made me feel. There had to be a connection. It had to be easy. His heart had to be right. He had to be attractive to me — because Scott was all of those things.

Scott: I will say that I thought about her a lot. She was the one woman that I really enjoyed talking to, really kicked it with — that I didn’t have, like, some passing casual sexual relationship with. And not only was it just hanging in the air but I really liked her. Like, I don’t just send handwritten letters to people.

I always kept phone numbers of people. Like, I still have a box with people’s numbers and every now and again, maybe once every year, I’d go back through to see if I had her number. I tried it and it wasn’t working. So I kind of gave up on that.

Shoni: At that point, I’m approaching my 30s, and that was when I did a search. The Internet back then was not nearly as sophisticated as it is now, and there was no social media. You just had to search by name. Maybe you’d get a hit, and then you start emailing.

Scott: I came back from Japan a second time, and I’d gotten an email from her out of the blue. She’d sent it to two or three different places. She’d found a website that I was managing as a webmaster, and she emailed whomever the contact was for that, who then forwarded it to me. She also found my email address from somewhere else. So she was looking for me!

The email was like, ‘Hey. Are you the Scott Norman who went to Buffalo? Who went to Japan?’ and all these things.

And I was like, “‘Oh, my God!’ Yes, I’m Scott Norman. And I remember you, Shon.” ‘Cause she never went by her given name, Lishona. I remembered her full name — first, middle and last. And I was super excited.

Shoni: We started the conversation again, and it was as though no time had passed. The connection was still there. It was still an easy conversation; there was still the attraction. And that was on the heels of 9/11, and he was in a difficult place. He was just returning from Japan where he’d lived for five years.

Scott: I should say I had spent the last several years with a big old hole in my soul for various reasons. I had been burned by another woman in Japan, and I was walking around really angry with women for a long time. And I was a player. I was seeing as many women as I could. And this was the tail end of my Japanese experience.

So, I had just had a horrible, drawn out break up. I had just come home to watch the World Trade Center come down outside my window. And I was really depressed, and really lonely. And… it (Shoni’s email) was a light. It was a bright light in a dark time. It was a beacon of hope.

 

Picking Up and Moving On

They began corresponding again, phone calls, emails this time. According to them both, they sized each other up with questions like “Are you married? Do you have kids? Are you alone?”

Scott: We went through the whole interview process. Just trying to be cool and casual about it, but we weren’t really trying to hold anything back or hide anything. We were really sizing each other up. We were doing it subtly, but it was clear that’s what we were doing.

IS promo shot

Inohs Sivad promo shot 2002 Photo: Ramayan Saries http://bit.ly/1NNHbuw

As time went by, both Shoni and Scotty were redefining their individual lives. She’d since left the church and had begun a music career, using the stage name Inohs Sivad (her name – Shoni Davis backwards).

Scott: She had sent me the link to her new website. And I would check that site like every other day, just to look at her pictures! Cause I had thought about her often, you know, in and out of various relationships. And I was like, ‘Let me find out about this girl.’ She had gained a lot of weight, which wasn’t a huge problem for me, but it just wasn’t what I remember her looking like. But nine years is a long time. She was no longer straightening her hair. She was growing dreadlocks, so she had these funny little nubs on her head. And it was cute.

Shoni: Again, he was in a funk and I was just starting to write music. I was just really getting my head around that, and I was starting to believe that I could actually date this dude; there could be something there, and that notion excited me. I realized that what he needed in life was encouragement and I could encourage him by writing songs instead of letters. They were “I Believe in You” and “Serenade,” which later, both made it on my second CD, “Changes.”

Scott was struggling, living with his parents, and trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life.

Scott: I was actually taking acting classes at the time, and I thought that was what I wanted to pursue. But it was kind of hard getting support; people didn’t know what I was doing. I was just getting back from Japan, where I was a teacher, and people were like, ‘Now you’re home, you can get your life straight. You can go work for a Japanese company.’ And then they were like, ‘Get your head out of the clouds, Peter Pan.’ That’s what my buddy would ask, ‘What’s this Peter Pan BS you’re going through?’

But Shoni did this one other thing that sold me. Not only was she writing these little songs, and serenading me with these tracks. But I’d told her I was trying to get into acting and I needed to save up some money to get some headshots, cause if you wanted to act you had to have headshots, calling card, resume. And I’d found a guy who would do it cheaply, for $100 and I couldn’t ask my folks for that. And I think I just mentioned it in passing. And out of nowhere she sends me a check for $100, and in the subject line, ‘For headshots.’ Sold! Bring me this woman. It was such a gesture of faith that nobody else was giving me. And I was like ‘I gotta get out there.’

Shoni: I don’t know what prompted me. It was a completely unselfish thought. I was genuinely concerned for him. I didn’t think even then, when we reconnected that we would ever be together. So my love for him was pure. Plus I had $100. I didn’t think anything of it. Now, did it get me Brownie Points? Hell yeah! Did I score? Hell yeah!

But in her mind, it was all about proximity. She was in Michigan. He was in New York. She’d never planned on moving out of the state. Enter 2003.

End of Part 2

Next: Part 3 – Defining Moments

 

The Road to Coupling is a blog series about married couples, what led them to get married and what holds them there.

Read part 1: The Road to Coupling: The Normans – 10 Days in 10 Years

Read part 3: The Road to Coupling: The Normans – 10 Days in 10 Years Defining Moments

 

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7 Comments
  1. Loving this series I really feel and can relate to Scott and shoni, I truly think this is a beautiful series and look forward to the book ☺ eloquently written, thank you Andi.

    • Hi Dale. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Even though I know this couple closely, interviewing them, hearing their story and writing about it is really inspiring.

  2. So for whatever weird reason I read Part 2 through tears (good ones) because I remember this time and when I see them now separately or together they radiate happiness and “rightness” and it’s not smug like come coupled people (sorry but some are like that). There’s a comfort level that opens up to include whoever are in their circle and it continues to be an awesome feeling.

  3. Sorry Andrea, I don’t kno wat I’m supposed to put in the space for ‘Website’. I’m not ashamed to admit that (as my kids call me “technologically challenged”?) but I actually stumbled upon this by accident as I’m actually sitting in my cuz, Scotty’s (he will ALWAYS b Scotty to me as he was frm day one when I was changing his diapers-sorry Scotty?) living rm in NYC w/his mom, my beloved & absolute favorite aunt, and I was immediately drawn in by the title & the mesmerized by the beautifully eloquent words abt my “baby brother cousin” & his amazing journey that led him to true love & his amazing wife, Shoni. I too, welled up reading what I can only call, in its simplest of forms, a true Love Story.
    Somehow, Scotty & Shoni have found that magic pill that few people ever find in a lifetime & all I can say is, I wait with
    “Baited Breath”(as my beloved mother would say) for parts 3,4,5, etc.-whichever part takes them to that picture of two lovers, decades old, rocking side by side on a veranda somewhere…Luv u both sooo much & before I damage my cellphone w/these salty tears, I better sign off now…Scotty knows how chatty & wordsy I can be???. I sure hope my comment wasn’t too long, Andrea. What can I say? I was an English/History major?

    • Marsha,

      Thank you so much for your lovely reply. It was definitely not too long, as I loved every word. I will share your comments with them, and I’m sure they’ll be as touched as I was by all you said.

      All the best to you,

      Andrea

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