I know I’ve taken quite a hiatus from this story…sorry to all of you I left hanging. Clearly you knew that we ended up together, but it was the details you were craving, I’m certain. Without further delay, here we go…
We last left our heroine about to go out with her roommates for the first time. In case you missed it, that heroine would be me. If you missed that installment, please read this first.
The ladies were hanging out upstairs, totally not ready to go out. It was probably only 10…why be ready yet? Huddled together on the couch (it was the only piece of furniture in the living room, except the tv and its stand), we were, I’m certain, watching something mindless…I mean a documentary, right Mom & Dad?
We heard the clomp, clomp, clomp of male feet coming up the stairs. We had left the door unlocked for them.
Casually looking over, we saw our roommate with two others guys. Polite head nods as we were introduced. As I recall it, the guys seemed as disinterested as they could possibly be.
As the guys recall it, the ladies could not have been less interested in them.
So maybe no one was seeing stars and hearing wedding bells in that moment.
But we did set a plan for the evening…makes me laugh to think that we were planning it and it was already so late…I’m so old. I’m now usually in bed by that point (10pm is late, people!) on any given night. If I have to go somewhere at 7, it’s like the worst struggle to get there. I will say it again: I am old…
So we set a plan and they headed back downstairs. We got ready. I don’t recall working too hard at it. Not that I shouldn’t have…I undoubtedly should have, but I just don’t remember a thing about it. And it’s not because I blacked out, thank you very much…I remember the whole evening. I just don’t remember what I wore when I met my husband. Sorry if that bothers you…I do the best I can. I will admit there are many other less important things I can remember; would you like to know a few? Well, even if you don’t, here they are in no specific order:
- The uvula is the name of the thing that hangs down in your throat.
- I memorized all of “The Bear Story” by James Whitcomb Riley when I was in 8th grade, I believe it was…I still remember most of it. If you want to test me, make sure you have a copy in front of you because I may need a prompter in a couple spots.
- My second grade teacher collected unicorns.
Shall I go on? My brain is full of this kind of useless stuff. I’m sure this comes as no surprise to you, if you are familiar with my crazy-train-off-its-tracks line of thinking you’ve come to know and (hopefully) love.
Anyway, we got ready and went out to a place called The Upstairs Pub. I had never been there, because, as you may recall from our last installment, I had not been out with my roommates and none of my Chi Xis wanted to drink (or legally could…since most of them were too young; and we were an upstanding lot, especially for a sorority…no law-breakers among us).
My roommates and I, and these two guys, ventured upstairs (that’s the name…) to the pub. And immediately upon arrival, my roommates split up in all different directions. I stood there looking at these two guys I had met only an hour before and was not immediately smitten with. Yes, even the roommate who was friends with these guys went to hang out with some other friends. Nice.
Well, as we three stood there, I actually I started thinking that one of these guys was pretty cute…but not even taking a moment to look at the other one. So after a while of chatting up this guy, he’s talking about something and all of a sudden I hear these words. “Blah, blah, blah…my girlfriend…blah, blah, blah.”
I stopped him right there. “Wait…Girlfriend?!?”
“Yeah, my girlfriend.”
Not even trying to hide my fickleness, turning to the other guy, I said, “So, do you have a girlfriend too?” Really what I was saying was, “If you have a girlfriend too, then I have just wasted a bunch of time standing in this spot.”
He looked at his friend, and then back at me, and laughing he said, “Uh, no.”
“All right then!” And we proceeded to spend the next couple hours chit chatting. No worries…when we got back to the house, he went downstairs and I went upstairs. But in the morning, I did give him my number and asked for his.
He didn’t call soon enough so I called him. I think I gave him 48 hours.
I’m so pushy.
But I didn't get ahold of him; I got his answering machine. Yes, I said answering machine. Remember those? We still have one...haven’t upgraded to voicemail. It wouldn’t be worth the cost, no matter how nominal. No one ever calls us. It’s all about the text. But I do have voicemail on my cell phone…and no one uses that either, except my MIL on occasion. I am way better with texting and email anyway. But I digress…
It was his voice on the machine. But I did make a note to ask him later if he had roommates. He said he did…two of them. I didn’t get their names at the time but after a couple weeks, I did finally ask what they were. “Mom and Dad.”
He came down to Bloomington again the following week-end. And brought a different friend that time. Another one who was also a big cutie…but it didn’t matter. I was already smitten with the man-child (he was 24 but looked about 18) who was to become Mr. Always Random and Usually Shallow. Actually…he always was that, right? Because the woman takes the new last name. Anyway, you know what I mean.
The following week-end I came home, but also to visit him. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, my parents thought I had been dating him for a while. So they invited us to go to dinner. And apparently I had no filter or boundary or something so I said yes…not even occurring to me that it might be slightly awkward for this guy. When he picked me up for our date, it was at that moment that I informed him that we were going on our first official date with my parents.
No, no…I didn’t call him ahead of time to warn him or even give him the opportunity to back out, which he possibly would have. I waited.
Maybe I knew it would be awkward and didn’t want him to run away.
And even when I told him, standing there at my parent’s front door, he probably would have been wise to turn around and leave. But he did not. And I am thankful.
We went to Applebee’s at the Mall…oh yes, fine dining. Not sure why we went there either. Lots of unknown details in my memory. It’s been a few years…don’t judge.
We made our way through dinner, my parents and I carrying the conversation. As I think back, I don’t think he uttered a total of 10 words the entire meal. My parent’s assessment of him at the time: “He seems nice, but he doesn’t talk very much.”
It wasn’t until months (maybe even years) later that my parents learned that it was our first date.
We went on to date each other for about 2 ½ years, then got engaged and married 6 months after that.
And lest you think he simply let it go that our first date was with my parents…let me add this tiny little morsel of information: On the LAST NIGHT of our honeymoon, which was in London, England…we had dinner with his parents and his sister who arrived in London that day, traveling from Paris.
Well played, Darling…well played.