Twenty-five years ago today, I made a spur-of-the moment decision to join my college roommate and a friend of hers for a night out on the town on the streets of State College, PA–home to Nittany Lions and our alma mater Penn State. Now that friend and I are working our way through our 22nd year of marriage.
It still amazes me how two people can find each other when they aren’t even looking and that thoughts and dreams can meld so completely that they seem like they come from the same mind.
Every month until the Hubs and I finally tied the knot, we celebrated the anniversary of our meeting with a special dinner. We took turns cooking for each other, and on the really big occurrences (like the ones that fell on an annual anniversary), we’d splurge for the salad bar at Ponderosa. We’d order only one drink and steal a second straw from the dispenser, so we could share. True love apparently means sharing your iced tea.
These days, we’re too busy being parents and meaningful members of the workforce to celebrate monthly, but we still take the time to remember the significance of November 17, 1989. Today, I’m dipping into the Stiletto Momma archives, so you can celebrate too with Driving Do-Rags and Destiny….
What am I doing here?
This is all kinds of “not me”. Sitting in a dark car outside some stranger’s apartment building, heat blasting through the vents of the old ’78 Ford and Jon Bon Jovi telling me the trials of living on a prayer from the cassette in the tape deck.
This better not be a mistake. I hope she knows what she’s doing. Of course, she’s half drunk already and it’s only 8:23.
Wait, it’s 8:23? I’ve been sitting here almost 15 minutes now! What can be taking so long? She was supposed to go in, find him, and come right back out. All I’m supposed to do is drive…and wait apparently.
I have no clue who this guy is. She said she met him in her chem class. For all I know he has bottle-thick glasses and buck teeth. Chemistry. Complicated math. Test tubes and Bunsen burners. It all spells “geek” to me.
When we were planning all this back at our apartment, she said he was cool, but…, I don’t know. This just feels weird.
Maybe it’s because I’ve never been the driver. Or maybe it’s because we’ve never done this with some guy we barely know.
Does that clock seriously say 8:29, now? What is taking her so long?
Should I go in and get her?
No. I don’t know where to look. She didn’t give me an apartment number. She said his name…but was it Mark? Matt?
Ohhh! I don’t know!
Let’s go already! Come on. Come on. Come. On.
Wait a minute.
Is that her? Yes! Finally, we can get out of here!
Just be cool. Just be cool. I don’t want this guy to think I’m nervous or new at this. She probably told him I’m the cool roommate. The one who’s 21 .The one who has the car. The driver for this little adventure.
I see her, but where’s the chem nerd? That can’t be him walking a step behind her….Can it?
No way! Now he’s beside her, and they are both heading straight toward my car.
This cannot be happening!
If that is some geeky chemistry nerd, I need to seriously check my definitions. Here he comes…swaggering?…yep, that’s a swagger…toward me in these black leather boots that he probably thinks make him look tall, and I bet he’s at least six foot to start with. And that biker jacket! It doesn’t do anything to hide the muscles underneath it. Plus the dark scruff on his chin, and…is that a do-rag on his head???!!!
This is not good. This is not good! What has she done?
Oh, crap, they’re getting closer!
Don’t let him sit in the front. Don’t let him sit in the front. Don’t let him sit in the front. Please don’tlethimsitintheFRONT!
They’re opening the doors!
They’re getting in, and…HE’S SITTING IN THE FRONT!
I can’t believe she did this to me, but she’s back there laughing at some joke told on the other side of the door, and then there’s introductions and a sing-songy high-pitched, “Hiiii” from me and then a CLAP! as he slaps his hands and rubs them together.
“Whoo hoo hoo!” he booms in a big voice and smiles in a way that softens his entire rough face. “Let’s get this party started!”
And just like that, I’m pulling away from the curb, en route to a Friday night party with my college roommate chattering excitedly in the backseat, and to my right is some would-be hoodlum.
And the hoodlum turns out to be a pretty nice guy who gallantly offers to parallel park my big boat of a car when we finally get to that party…and who barely drinks the liberally flowing beer so he can carry on a coherent conversation with me…and who helps see my intoxicated roomy back to our apartment then stays to talk until 5 a.m….and who takes me out on a real date the next night.
Who was that menacing leather-clad do-rag-bound hoodlum?
He turned out to be my hubby.