Monday, October 18, 2010

18 years

18 years ago today, I went out with a boy.  Not just any boy.  This boy was It.  The One.  Not that I had any inkling then.  Back then, he was Rebound Boy.  I had just dumped Loser Dude and was in desperate need to find someone who could restore my faith in men.  Someone who wouldn't go to a party with me only to leave with another girl.  I had thought this new boy was pretty cute and very sweet, but considered him off-limits as my best friend was totally crushing on him.  You don't crush on your best friend's crush.  It's an unspoken rule.  So when we met I duly noted he was hot (and had the best shoulders I had ever seen...OMG) and then promptly wrote him off.  Later, my best friend crushed on someone else.  Still later, she noticed that this boy quite possibly might be interested in me.  We talked about it, and then schemed up a test to tell if there was something there.

He had invited both of us to a movie night at his dorm, and we went.  "We'll see where he sits," we said.  "That'll tell us."  When it was time for the movie to start and everyone was comfortably seated around the common room, my friend and I gave each other knowing looks and then took seats at opposite ends of the remaining couch.  He turned from the VCR, sized up the situation, and squeezed himself between my friend and her end of the couch.  "Right, then," I thought.  "Well, that sums that up."  I gave him one more shot later, after the movie, and tried flirting, but it was about as useful as flirting with a tree trunk so I gave up and went home.

My friend arrived hours later, breathless and drunk.  "So I asked him, 'cause I've been drinking and I do things like this when I'm drinking, I just came right out and asked him if he likes you.  He turned 40 different shades of red and said, '  Yes!  No!  Are you going to tell her?'  That was a dumb question.  Of course I have to tell you!"  I was unconvinced, "Well, he's sure got a funny way of showing it!"

A day or two later I went to a sorority dance and took Just Friends Guy.  Since I had just broken up with Loser Dude and didn't know whether the new guy really liked me (who says "" in response to a simple question?), I took someone we were all friends with.  All I could think about, though, was this new boy.  I feigned a headache and asked Just Friends Guy to take me home.  He did.  I sat at my desk and looked at the new boy's name and phone number written on a post-it and stuck above my desk.  My friend had given it to me months before when she went over to his room to study.  I looked at the note for a long time.  I looked at the clock.  It was after 10.  I can't call him this late.  He's probably sleeping.  On a Saturday night.  In college.  Okay, so probably not.

I took a deep breath, picked up the phone, and dialed his number.  He answered quickly, and it was quiet in his room.  "Whatcha doin?"  "Studying."  I believed it.  This guy was completely dedicated.  The first time I met him, he was studying.  If he wasn't playing, coaching or reffing volleyball, he was studying.  I tried to sound casual.  "Oh.  That's nice.  Want to take me for a ride in your new car?"  He had just gotten a Saturn and was very proud of it.  "I'll be there in 10 minutes."  I danced around my room for 8 minutes and then tried to walk downstairs and out the door without my knees wobbling.

We drove around the country outside of town and talked.  It was peaceful and relaxed.  Everything was just casual and easy.  We liked the same music...always a good sign.  When he dropped me back off, he asked me out for the next night.  I accepted.  The next day, October 18, 1992, M and I went to watch a soccer game, and then saw a free movie on campus.  Cape Fear, of all flicks.  Talk about creepy.  Hey, it was free, and at that point in our careers we would have been lucky to scrape together the change from under the seats on our cars to get a value meal at Taco Bell.  He took me home, and, ever the gentleman, asked if he could kiss me.  I accepted.  Then I got out of the car and barely managed to keep it together until I got in the front door, where I completely swooned.

It's unbelievable for me to think back to that night, and remember everything that has happened since then.  I mean, 18 years.  Really?  That's just under half my life.  The thing is, we still like the same music, and I still like it when he takes me for a ride in his new car, and I still swoon when he kisses me.  I wouldn't change one bit about the last 18 years, not even the rough times.

Happy 1st Date Anniversary, M.  Who knew my Rebound Boy would last this long?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After 18 years, one would think that her writing skils would rub off on the "new guy"...they haven't, not one tiny spec, so here goes. I am one lucky guy to have known Amy for 18 years. A wise man once said, "Good luck, buddy"...we have been blissful ever since.

Luv ya, Aim

11:21 PM  

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