When I was…
…18 I left my parents in Alaska and moved back to California to go to college. My sister Jennifer was a senior at the same college so there was a bit of a comfort zone going in. I remember getting on the plane with my then-boyfriend and flying together to Anchorage. My heart was so torn as I was excited to be taking off to college and independence but so sad to be leaving him; for being 18 I loved him as much as I could have. Little did I know that within 48 hours I would lay my eyes on my husband for the first time.
When my plane landed my sister picked me up and we made the 2 hour drive to the college town I would spend the next 4 years in. It was out in the middle of nowhere but it was beautiful. The stereotypical college town: everybody on bikes or walking, tree-lined streets, old houses turned into apartments, brick buildings and a huge creek/river running all through the town and campus. I loved it. Jennifer spent the next 24 hours taking me to buy a bike, showing me how to navigate ‘arena registration’ and purchase my books for the first time. Again, the comfort zone.
The next morning she drove me to the same dorm she had stayed in 3 years previous. I walked in the old brick, square building and stood in line by the mailboxes. Students and parents swarmed all around me. Some already knew each other and some looked scared as could be. I was glad at that moment that I was a military kid; I knew I would make friends and was comfortable with change. When it was my turn I walked up to the table and began a conversation with one of the Resident Advisors in the dorm. He was attractive even though he was super skinny, had receding hairline and had a little gap between his two front teeth. It would be later that I would notice his strong, capable hands, beautiful tiger eyes and wicked sense of humor (his butt was pretty good too).
“Here you go, you’re in room 352 and your mailbox is right around the corner there. Your RA is Addie. Let her know if you need anything.”
That was it. That was the first encounter and I don’t think either of us thought a thing about it at the time. Tim doesn’t even remember it. But then I do have the ‘tape recorder’ memory according to him…
The next couple of days were a flurry of activity: unpacking, figuring out what needed to be purchased, navigating town on a bike and meeting new people…lots and lots of new people. One afternoon one of those new people came and knocked on my door. My roommate was so busy pining away for the boyfriend she left at home that she had already gone back home for a visit! New Friend told me about how all the R.A.’s were taking the residents to a place called The Grad for dancing that night. She wanted to know if I wanted to get ready together and go. I told her and ‘yes’ and off we went in a huge sea of 18-year olds.
We walked the mile or so it was to the place and inside there was loud music, picnic tables and big screens the videos played on. Having no interest in meeting any boys I stuck with the girls I had met and danced in a group. I noticed lots of people dancing on top of the picnic tables and when George Michael’s ‘I Want Your Sex’ (a song I loved but at the time was way too niave to really understand) came on the next thing I knew someone had pulled me on top of a table to dance.
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