It’s time for another GenFab blog hop. The theme this time is “How I Met My Significant Other.” I don’t have one at the moment, but I DID, so here goes…
Twenty six years and [insert large number] fewer pounds ago, I decided I needed to have a one night stand. Back then, people didn’t make things like bucket lists (I still don’t) but if I had made one, “one night stand” would have been on it. Because I was getting older, you know, being 18 and all. It just seemed like it would be fun to be more like a dude and just once find someone to love then leave. Like a rockstar. “See ya next time I’m in town, babe. Or not.”
I failed miserably.
The college I went to is known for a certain let’s say, “eccentricity” among its students. Freak flags fly proudly from every freaky flagpole, if you will. When I graduated, the population of the school was 400, give or take a freak. A few times a year, the students would organize a huge school-wide party called a PCP, an acronym for Palm Court Party. PCPs were exactly what you picture when you imagine an outdoor party loosely organized by very young adults: drug and alcohol-fueled Bacchanals that typically lasted until the sun came up. At the spring 1986 PCP, I sat down on a wall with my friend – let’s call him “Chris” – and announced my plan to pick out a guy at the party and have a one-night stand. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I’m gonna have a one-night stand. I mean, if I call myself a feminist and mean it, I just need to, ya know?
Chris: What are you even talking about right now?
Me: Seriously! Enough with all this romantic “oh, he’s so dreamy” bullshit! I’m gonna pick a guy out TONIGHT and it’s going DOWN. That’s it!
Chris: I’m gonna go get another beer. Will you be done talking about this when I come back?
As Chris walked through the beer-soaked grass to get more beer, I scanned the party with the discerning eye of a very sophisticated, very independent young woman. A young woman who scoffed at things like “feelings” and “love”. (I was not that young woman at all, but I really tried, you guys.)
And then I saw him. The one. He was attractive in a conventional kind of way, not in that quirky way that most of the men at my school were. Deciding there was no point in wasting time, I confidently strode across Palm Court, eyes fixed on my prey. I introduced myself and chatted briefly about mutual friends and professors and other blah stuff. Even though I thought I wanted to make the deal go down that very night, I was charmed by his suggestion that we meet for dinner the following evening. Whaaa? A real date? Should have been my first warning sign. I should have aborted the mission the minute “meeting for dinner” was suggested!
The following evening (pretty sure I woke up around 4 pm that day) we walked over to the Golden Buddha – a local Chinese place somehow both sticky and greasy – and enjoyed some sort of fried something and a couple of the Buddha’s notoriously strong Mai Tais. Walking back to his place, I barely paid attention to what he was saying because my internal dialogue was so loud. “I am NOT dating this dude.” “I am NOT gonna listen to him tell me he thinks I’m funny.” “I am NOT gonna get in long, dreamy conversations with him.” “I am getting what I want and then counting this dude as another – well, at least ‘a’ – notch on my lipstick case (Pat Benatar™).”
Well, it turns out I wasn’t as sexy and hott as I thought I was that night. Damn you, Mai Tais! Turns out, in fact, that after some healthy making out, this particular fella thought that I should probably sleep it off and we could talk in the morning. Then I basically passed out. I woke the next morning in a shame spiral so deep that I actually considered climbing out his window to escape. He wasn’t in bed. He was gone…to the kitchen, where he was making coffee and frying potatoes and eggs and generally making me the best hangover breakfast EVAR! He brought it to me, along with some aspirin and lots of assurance that even though I had been sort of adorably drunk, he was afraid I would have regrets the next day and he just didn’t want to be a part of that.
I know: AWWW. So sweet, right?
That was in 1986. We moved in together later that year and married in 1992. Spoiler alert! We are no longer together, but we were for two kids and 25 years. So, I failed at lovin’ him and leavin’ him, but I guess I count the rest as a win.