Sunday, November 06, 2005

The Story of Us

Ah. Here we are. November 6th. Now, I am really not terribly sentimental. I celebrate major candy associated holidays, birthdays, and my wedding anniversary. That is enough to keep track of in my selfish little book. However, November 6th is a little special, at least for me.

Anybody care to gander a guess?


Oh, you are so good!

Yes. It is the anniversary of Charles and my first real date. Real date in that it involved a car and money and a movie, as opposed to the night of November the 5th, the day we first made googly eyes at each other, me thinking he was just being, well, drunk and that I was handy, and he thinking that there might be something between us. Good thing he was right, rather than me.

But I am getting ahead of things, here.

Let me tell you the tale of how we became the Royal Couple, to our friends. (Remember, this was in the way back days, when both the Prince and Princess of Wales were not just alive, but to appearances, still in love and married, with children.)

I was a geeky new college freshman, the first week of class, actually, I think it was a day or two before class officially began. I was sitting on the grass with the other four freshmen on my floor, pondering what we should do about the gold Porsche that had been habitually parking in front of the fire hydrant. The fire hydrant that the fire trucks would attach their hoses to in order to put out the theoretical fire that would race through our disgracefully wired tinder-box of a dorm. The first day we moved in, it was drilled into our heads that the place would likely become completely engulfed in 45 seconds from the start of a fire. We were taking no chances. We were also very happy that we lived on the bottom floor, and thus would be able to just climb out the windows and scale the bushes to make our escape.

Clearly, the atrocious gold Porsche needed to be taught a lesson. (Besides, who the hell goes to college driving a gold Porsche, I ask you? Talk about crass. Especially because most of us didn't have the price of a Whopper, without cheese, on 99 cent Wednesday, in our pockets. We were poor freshmen in our little clique, well except for one of us, but we were cutting her slack, plus, she had no car, gold or otherwise.) Yes, there was campus security, but all they would do was hand out tickets, something like $2 a pop. The gold Porsche just laughed at such a fine and continued to use the No Parking area in front of the hydrant as his own personal space.

Well, what would make the Porsche sad, we wondered? Well, to find that all four of the tires were flat, of course. So, the five of us set about letting the air out of all the tires. It was about this time that our floor Resident Assistant (she of the keys and her own single room), Margaret, came up with this very nice looking young man. She had asked her friend Charles (you knew it was Charles, didn't you, clever pants) if he wanted to meet some nice freshmen and he said, "sure." So, he sat on the lawn and chatted to us while we continued our lesson in inappropriate parking of cheesy gold Porsches. He remembers that I was cute and didn't look or talk to him. I remember feeling completely awkward and that he was way too attractive to talk to. He was taking a year off after his Sophomore year, working graveyard shift in a produce warehouse, while he figured out what the hell he was going to do with a Poly-Sci major. (Answer: Return to school and get a second major in Psych, and then figure it all out later.)

So, there we were, each smitten with the other, so we do what normal young idiots do. He goes out with my floormate (the rich one) and I date this nice but annoying putz. As my rich floormate is also dating four other guys (remember, this is the first week of college!!) including the bell hop from the hotel she and her mom stayed at their first night in Portland, Charles happily backs off after the one date with her (she took him out for coffee and pie). In another odd turn, it happens that the bell hop went to high school with me, graduating the year prior. He only went out with her once or twice and he paid, the chivalrous fool.

Flash forward to the night of November 5th, 1983. My floor decides to host a party. The advantage to going to my tiny liberal arts college in the early '80s, is that all drinking is policed by the campus, as it is private property. The learned heads had felt for decades, probably since before prohibition, if the college was even around then, that if underage drinking were looked on with a completely blind eye, not to mention a deaf ear and congested nose, the students would stay on campus to do their drinking and not drive off campus to do so. They were mostly right, especially because freshmen were required to live on campus or with their parents, and most Sophomores chose to do so, as well.

We decide on a sort of tropical theme and make my friend Dolo's patented Killer Punch. I don't remember what all was in it but remember we mixed it in large plastic garbage cans and it had copious quantities of rum, everclear, and Hawaiian Punch, to mask the taste of it all. It probably had other liquid ingredients as well. Also, there was cut up fruit that marinated in the mixture and was served as the only "food". As we had no money, our rich floormate funded it, someone with a license purchased it (maybe Margaret, the RA?) and we charged $5 to get in, for all you could drink and dancing to really loud music. We had a good turnout and we all took turns at the door, collecting money and stamping hands with someone's bunny stamp. During my shift, Charles appeared to keep me company, he being rather buzzed on punch, and me, just a little bit so. We laughed and joked and he stamped bunnies up and down his arms, which for some reason we thought was hysterical. You had to be there.

We then went down and danced and talked, (well, yelled), over the music. Afterward, we went upstairs with my poor roommate, who was really drunk, and stood on each side of her in the bathroom stall while she brought up everything she had in her, and then some. He patted her back while I held her hair, and we made googly eyes over her heaving body.

Que romantico!


He then asked me out to a movie the next night, a Sunday night.

I of course accepted, thinking he was just being nice, as a friend, because why the hell would this lovely, handsome, charming man who did not flee at the sight of a vomiting young woman want to go out with me? As I got in the car, I told him the following: "I can't stay late, I have to study and I have 8:00 class tomorrow." He thought I was trying to be nice but really didn't want to go out with him, silly man. I was just being honest, because, hey, I was a Biology major with her eye on med school. Science classes always started at 8 am as the afternoons were devoted to lab, no extra credit for that fun. He took me to The Big Chill, and we played at being commandos in the parking lot. At the end of the movie, as we were sitting in the seats, he looked over and our eyes met. I swear the room did one of those "wah-wah-wah" things and then, finally, he kissed me.

So, there you have it. Love, or at least lust, at first sight. Aren't I the lucky one? It took me a whole week before I told him so. Didn't want to rush things, don't you know.



Blogger Karen said...

Wonderful story, Diana!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds very familiar. Not the college part, but the long lapse between meeting and first date. Cathy and I met in June and started dating in November--the Sunday before Thanksgiving. And about a week later, I proposed and she said, "Yes." Yeah, November is a cool month.


2:02 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Awww... Que romantico indeed! I remember in our little group of the Southgaters, you guys were "THE" couple. Glad that you still are.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

ohhhhhh, congratulations. November is a good month!

And I still think you're my evil twin - today is my wedding anniversary (okay, so it's off by a day...), AND my husband and I met some time before we started dating, too.

It's spooy, I tell you

4:38 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

ummm, that was supposed to be "spooky" not "spooy." Sheesh. some of us should really learn to read our comments before clicking "login and publish."

4:39 PM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Happy 1st date anniversary; what a great story.

5:07 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Wow! I love this story and happy first date anniversary (even if it is a day late). Beautiful story and here's to many more years of love between you two!

The drink you described, I've been to parties and it's been referred to as wopatui. Very yummy and a very quick way to get quite drunk. Don't eat the fruit!

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

In the Ohio college I attended (Miami), those parties where you drank from garbage cans (and did not eat the fruit!) were called "Hairy Buffalo" (or Harry, not sure, not that it matters)parties. The point was getting bombed on punch! Ahh, college days....what a different life that was!! Anyway, my husband's favorite question to ask a (happy) couple is "how did you meet?" I always enjoy hearing the responses. The best is hearing the couple tell it together, correcting each other all the way! Kind of like on "When Harry (or is it Hairy?? Kidding) Met Sally".

12:53 AM  
Blogger Babs said...


7:24 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen- Thanks.

Dad- Yours is a nice story, too.

Stace- Gosh, thanks. That theater had quite a few romances, didn't it?

Teri- Happy Anniversary! (and birthday, right?) Why am I not surprised that we have yet another co-incidence. Way "spooy".

Listmaker- Thanks. It's still good for a grin.

Beth- Thanks. Good to know about the name. Much more classy (but not quite as descriptive) as what we knew it as. Actually, as Dolo was from Phoenix, it may be a Southwest thing. I do believe much of the fruit was eaten, although certainly not (ahem) by me.

Colleen- OK, any idea as to why it was called a Hairy (Harry) Buffalo or just one of those bits of college lore? Maybe I'll have to google it.

Babs- Thaaaaanks.

9:30 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

What a great story! Thank you for sharing it, Diana. I love the "Royal Couple" thing. :-)

3:24 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Yeah - wapatui - I knew a bunch of med students a few years back who threw outrageous wapatui parties (like right after huge exams...)

6:08 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

What a sweet and hilarious story. And so wonderfully told: A+ !!!!!

The nice but annoying putz dates? I went on several of those, but the "nice" component was usually much subordinate to the "annoying" factor--or absent entirely.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

LOVE the story! It's nice that you wrote that out, too for your own children someday.

X and I have our 1st Date anniversary coming up on the 18th next week and I was thinking of doing a similar post. We are even celebrating it this year since it is the 5 year mark. At a minimum, it is an excuse to leave the kid with my mom and have a fancy dinner. :-)

10:02 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- Thanks. Most people don't get the reference, now, and I refuse to change my name to "Camilla".

Teri- We usually went in for lots of beer, (good local microbrew), and fried food at the local pub. The drunken wapatui parties were probably more fun, or at least led to better stories.

Rozanne- Aw shucks. They sure make one appreciate it when you meet a good guy.

Cagey- Thanks. Our poor kids will probably be so horribly sick of us, it will be the grandkids who give a rip. Please, please, please do write yours up. I was getting up the courage to ask you to do so, figuring it would be a wonderful story. I am a sap for such things. You wouldn't want to disappoint, would you?

(oooh, she plays the guilt card)

9:21 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I love it. I cried, I laughed, I ate popcorn...wait, no, grilled cheese sandwiches, actually.

I think spooy is the coolest word ever.

One of my favorite shows is How I met your mother and this is now one of my favorite stories.

Don't change your name to Camilla.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- Thanks. Looooove grilled cheese, especially with the classic mug o' tomato soup, which, given your tomato abhorance, is probably not what you had with yours. I think we should all use the new word "spooy" in odd places. It can be our secret word.

9:44 AM  

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