|McDowell Hall, the centerpiece of St. John's College in Annapolis, MD|
It's 10:30ish on Friday night, and the DH (which stands for Dear Hubby, in case you're not familiar with the lingo) and I just returned from an impromptu date. [I must pause here to say that such dates would not be possible without the generous support of good old bro Lowe. Toby living here makes such dreams a reality...thank you, Toby!!!!!] We went to KC's Midway Public House, a short and pleasant walk from our apartment. We mostly just noshed on nachos and talked about whatever random things came to mind. It was mellow and really nice. We even had a coupon; score!
On the walk home, I got to reminiscing about the "good old days" at college. They were good days (and, since it's been five years since I graduated, I guess they are getting "old" too). I learned so much there, met wonderful people, had good times, etc. I'm thankful, though, that I don't have to look back at that time as being "the best time in my life." My life now is good, and it contains all of the things that I so desperately looked forward to when I was in college: being married and having a child. My primary answer to, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" was always "a wife and mother." I didn't have that in college, obviously, but I spent the majority of my emotional life in college trying hard to find "the One" that was going to help me fulfill my life dream. My parents met in college and fell in love and got married right after they graduated, so that was going to happen for me, right? I mean, that's just how it WORKS, right? Right?
The pain of my college years was that it was about three years straight of crushing on a couple guys (different ones at different times) who were just not that into me, as the book title goes. But I was soooo painfully into them. Oh, how much ink and how many tears were spilt in the pages of my many journals about how much I wanted so-and-so to love me the way I loved them! Melodrama rarely feels like melodrama while it's happening. I don't want to belittle my feelings completely, either; it really did hurt. They are called crushes for a reason, peeps! They will absolutely crush your spirit if you let them ("they" meaning the crush you have, not the person you're crushing on.) I went through high school with a few crushes here and there, but I was able to withstand the feelings of "no one asked you to a dance, hence you are going to die an old maid" by telling myself, Don't worry, high school guys are immature and those relationships don't go anywhere. College is where it's at! Apparently, it didn't occur to me that "college guys" are only a few months removed from "high school guys," so I didn't see a whole lot of improvement overall. But as I said, feeling hopelessly unlucky in love was my constant emotional companion during most of college. I was afraid that if I didn't leave college with a ring on my finger, then it was never going to happen...because who meets their spouse in "the real world" anyway? I realize, of course, that a great many people meet after college (or never go to college)...but since your parents are your definition of normal, and mine met in college, therefore, I needed to, too.
I did exit college with a serious boyfriend and a ring (but the ring was a family heirloom gift from my grandma, so it didn't quite count) in addition to my degree. I moved out to Portland to start my teaching apprenticeship and be nearer to him. We broke up in 2007, halfway through my apprenticeship, but I was definitely in love with Portland and Arbor and wasn't going anywhere. I honestly had no idea how on earth I was going to meet anyone that I could fall in love with; it wasn't college! I know that sounds really ridiculous, but it was still rattling around in my brain that I could really only ever love and be loved properly by a Johnny (someone from St. John's), and St. John's was thousands of miles away.
Amazingly enough, I was wrong. I found an intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, philosophy-loving, quick-witted man (who didn't yet have a college degree...who'd have thunk it?!). And he liked me; and then he loved me. Still does, as a matter of fact.
Right now, he's snoozing in a chair. I told him I was just going to write a quick blog post, so he sat down to wait...and I guess half an hour isn't so quick. Here's the short version I should have written: I used to think no man was ever going to love me. But I was wrong. It's never been such a pleasure to be so wrong!
|Underneath the Gateway Arch in St. Louis (June '09)|