As some of you might recognize, my post title is a take-off from the series "How I Met Your Mother", now in its sophomore season. Although our story nowhere near approximates the adventures of the title characters Ted and Robin, the show got my attention from the beginning because their names so closely resemble ours (I can't remember another show with a "Robin" in its cast, although isn't "Tad" a soap opera darling of a name?).
Janet as hostess for this week's Fun Monday wanted to know how we met our spouse or significant other (and some other stuff you can read here). She's interested in "meet cute" stories, and I'm not sure ours fits that angle, but I'll do my best to tell it accurately.
When I began my college career, I left a boyfriend 1 1/2 hours behind in another state. College was a four-year adventure waiting to be seized, and I'm not very proud to say absence in our case did not make my heart grow fonder. He was a good guy, a sweetheart, really, but I think I knew early on he was not "the one". It took us the entire year to break up, but by the time I began my sophomore year, we were a fading memory.
My freshman year was stereotypical in many ways–in the early 80s, there was still a "good girl" mentality, and in high school I had been active in my church's youth group and FCA. I didn't drink or smoke or take drugs of any sort, less because of any faith conviction, more so because I didn't want to disappoint my parents and none of my friends did.
But then I went to college and tasted freedom, and interestingly, freedom came packaged in a frosty mug and tasted oddly like a Budweiser beer. On a really good day, it tasted like Michelob.
I joined a sorority, filled my social calendar with as many nights of drinking and dancing as possible, studied when necessary, and lived in the moment. Life was good. While I still never experimented with drugs of any type, I was a weekend binge drinker, and looking back, it scares the snot out of me (it should!) Not all my friends had cars on campus, I was often the designated driver, but that never stopped me from drinking! THAT THOUGHT HORRIFIES ME NOW!
My behavior was reckless and careless and dangerous. I drank too much…I was a relentless flirt…I trusted people I didn't know…and honestly, I had no idea the message I was sending. To this day I still shudder to remember the times I put myself in a position to be hurt–in addition to the drinking and driving idiocy–and thankfully, t h a n k f u l l y, I never was.
This typified my freshman year. I made decent grades but nowhere near my potential; it took my last five semesters of college to make up for the under achievement of my first three.
After a week at the beach with my girlfriends that year, I headed home for the summer. Although I don't remember the details now, summer vacation was spent reconnecting with my high school friends, an on-again, off-again fling with my hs sweetie, working at my favorite local shoe store and the local movie theater…and I was much calmer under the influence of "h o m e"–my family and the friends with whom I had grown up.
When it was time to return to college, I was eager to see all my friends. I picked up right where I had left off (for the record, it seems important to mention I wasn't drinking illegally; then, the legal age was 18 for buying beer or wine in SC). But I was getting tired…for me, that lifestyle was pretty empty, it no longer held the mysterious allure it once did, and I was beginning to look beyond the moment and into the future. I didn't want my future to be characterized by weekly hangovers, hazed and clouded memories impossible fully to recall, a wasted education by not doing my best.
At the same time, my precious college roommate was in the midst of a spiritual awakening. She was all "glory hallelujah" but without one ounce of judgment. She had been my partner in crime throughout all our impulsive freshmen insanity, and now she had no use for it. As testimony to the authenticity of faith, she managed to do this without ever condemning me while I was still wild and woolly.
During our freshmen year and the first part of our sophomore (prior to Cassie's "change"), Cass and I would often visit a group of guys from her hometown. They were good guys and fun drinking buddies, and in no time we had made friends with most of their hallmates.
I guess I should say here, when I drank too much, I became one of "those" (BIG UGH here :/)–loud, obnoxious, I'd bum cigarettes (I didn't smoke), and just the thought of my language then, now makes my eyelashes curl better than anything Maybelline could do for me…. Since these guys were usually drinking if WE were drinking, they didn't seem to notice.
Well, eventually Cassie started dating one of them (Robert, now her husband of 21 years 🙂 ), and we continued to visit. And because she wasn't drinking, and I was getting tired, when we visited, it wasn't so wild anymore.
And there was these friends of Robert's who lived on their hall, Frank and Tad, who never seemed to join in the hall parties. They were around, just not a part, and I noticed them. And then, I reeally began to notice Tad…a tall, thin, icy-blue-eyed brunette who intrigued me. He seemed so above the fray, you know?
One night Cassie and I were headed to a fraternity mixer, but we stopped by their hall first. It was a themed mixer, but for the life of me now, I can't figure out what the theme could have been–Cassie was dressed like a baby (huh???), and (I'm so embarrassed to share this) I was dressed like "Jane", some kind of leopard print get-up someone had loaned me. She looked sweet…me? well, sweet doesn't come to mind.
WAHOOO! I found it!! You cannot imagine how much time this has sucked from my day, but come hell or high water I was going to find it! It's early 80s, poor quality, but I think you get the drift….
Before we left their hall, there was a moment where Tad and I locked eyes and smiled…I knew he noticed me, too. Funny, but I can't remember ever actually meeting him…we just knew each other by osmosis.
Well, I mentioned to Cassie my more-than-passing interest in him, and apparently, he did the same to Robert
willing to overlook my gutter mouth because he thought I was pretty. We both wanted them to fix us up. Eventually, a date was planned–"Stripes" at the campus movie theater–and Cassie began lecturing me: I don't know how many times she referred to him as a "good Christian boy" and that I couldn't cuss (was I that bad???). I was scared to death to go out with him!
Keep in mind, even at my wildest, I wasn't that wild, just more STUPID, but relatively speaking, I was probably…no, DEFINITELY, the wildest girl he had ever dated. I remember so little about our first date, I don't think I thought there'd be a second, let alone a relationship. But, doggone it, he was a refreshing glass of cool water, and after way too many sips of not-so-satisfying spiced cider, he was just the drink I was looking for.
At the end of the night, Cassie and Robert went one way, and we went another, and there was that lingering question of a kiss goodnight. I'm smiling because this part I DO remember. Again, I was terrified! Would he think I was too forward if we kissed? There was no cloak of alcohol, no buzzed haze to answer the question for me, and I couldn't read him. But then, he took the lead and kissed me and I was breathless and I hoped he enjoyed it as much as I did…and I longed for that second date.
This is one of the oldest pictures I've found so far…
still looking for the leopard print piccha that captured his attention…. Pigtails, WHAT in the world was I THINKING?!
Whoa….LONG time since I've thought about all this, and since we've already begun celebrating our 20th anniversary (it's not until mid-November, but we had opportunity to take a special trip now), it was a blast to go back in time :). There's so much more that came after, but since Janet just asked for our "meeting" stories, and this is the longest Fun Monday post EVER (my apologies), I'm stopping now.
I understand why some of my blogging friends have made serials out of their stories now…once you start remembering…and telling…it's hard to stop.
Be sure to visit Janet for more stories de l'amour.
Ooooo! If there are no pictures posted yet, please come back! I've gotta dig for the "Jungle Jane" shot–I know it's in this house SOMEWHERE, and I'll have to scan whatever dating pictures I do find (not nearly as many in the pre-digital age!).
"Good Christian Boy" meets "Wild Thang"…or "He's a little bit country, I'm a little bit rock and roll"…or "Opposites attract"…. Here's me and Cassie, obviously in total control–those boys have that "deer in headlights" thing going on, don't they? They nevah stood a chance ;).
And my legs??? What's with those legs?! Not a single drop of cellulite on them :/…and to think I probably thought I was fat (collective rolling of eyes, please).