David Alexander Gosse didn’t think of Meredith Moss too often after they graduated from Olympus High School near Salt Lake City in 1991. Back then, he was scared of her ambition.
“I remember her as being this intensely driven person who was like, ‘Get out of my way! I’m on a mission to go rule the world,’” he said. That he would find himself spilling his guts to her outside a boot store in Texas in the middle of the night nearly three decades later is still kind of a shock.
Mr. Gosse was living in Dallas in June 2019 when Ms. Moss messaged him on Facebook to tell him she was traveling there on business from Washington and asked if he wanted to meet up. He didn’t know what to expect. “But then we got into this intense conversation and I started vomiting emotions all over her shoes,” he said, “and it felt safe to do that.” They hadn’t talked since at least the mid-1990s, when both attended the University of Utah and may or may not have gone out for a bagel together.
Ms. Moss and Mr. Gosse, both 47, were navigating life transitions at the time of her business trip. Ms. Moss, a longtime trial lawyer who never married, had made a conscious decision to stop being a workaholic and changed jobs, accepting a position as principal and associate general counsel at professional services for Deloitte. Mr. Gosse had also decided to quit tethering himself so tightly to work. After moving to Dallas post-college, he started a fire detection company for commercial buildings, Stratagem. In 2018, he got divorced.
If Ms. Moss had contacted him even three weeks earlier, he would have declined her invitation to reconnect. “I was in a period of massive personal change, and I wouldn’t have been comfortable with it,” he said. A friend had been telling him he needed more “growth opportunities.”
“So I said to myself, worst case scenario it’s this awkward dinner and I can say later that I did this horrible thing and it didn’t kill me,” he said.
The horrible thing turned into the conversation that lasted well past dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Grapevine, Tex. — until 3 a.m. on the bench outside the boot store. They talked about growing up in Salt Lake City and the mystery of whether they had gone out for bagels in college. He remembers the outing, she doesn’t. (“But in her defense, I had a full-blown Moses-type beard at the time so she may not have known it was me,” he said.) Outside of reminiscing, “I remember telling him things I hadn’t told my best friend,” Ms. Moss said.
When she returned to Washington, they started having what he called “epically long” phone calls, “like six, seven hours.” He thought he had found a soul mate, but not necessarily a life partner. “Then about a week in, I realized I was having feelings that are beyond friend,” he said. She was already experiencing them. “I definitely was having twinges in that direction that first night,” she said.
By fall, their phone calls included talk of a future together in a new city. When Ms. Moss floated Salt Lake, he was not exactly game. “I remember putting my hand out in the ‘stop, no’ position even though she couldn’t see me,” he said. “I fled for a reason.”
Within weeks, though, those reasons no longer seemed relevant. Both still had close relationships with their families there. After an October visit, they cemented their plan to uproot themselves and buy a house. Two months later, on Dec. 12, Mr. Gosse proposed near the bench in Grapevine while Ms. Moss was visiting. “He was on one knee, and he said beautiful things,” she said.
In April, they moved back home. On Oct. 10, they planned to be married at the Salt Lake Country Club in front of 10 loved ones and 125 Zoom guests by Ms. Moss’s sister, Emily Moss Gregory, ordained by the Universal Life Church. But on Oct. 8, two members of Ms. Gregory’s family tested positive for coronavirus. Ms. Moss and Mr. Gosse moved their ceremony to their new back yard, where Ms. Gregory married them virtually, via Zoom.
“Every day, we’re grateful we found each other,” Ms. Moss said.
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