As I struggle through this journey of evaluating my relationship with my husband, I’m taking a stroll through our history and trying to relive some of those memories that pulled us together in the first place. I hope it helps me.
I was not college bound. No one in my family had gone to college. I had worked part time jobs since I was 14 years old, and at 17, I went to work full time. Within two years I had gone as far as I could go in the company. At 19, my bosses encouraged me to go to college. All my high school friends were at university. It certainly did seem like a sensible idea. My father lived in one state and my mother in another. I had the choice of in-state tuition in both. I chose to move away from home.
I was such a “good girl” in high school. No drinking, no drugs, no sex. I didn’t have a curfew, because I didn’t need one. I arrived at University mid-year, December 1983, and I decided I was going to have fun, be free. I dated, and experimented. My roommate was involved with a fraternity on campus. She invited me to the fraternity for a super bowl party on January 22, 1984. I met a lot of people that day, maybe even spent some time with a young man in a van if I remember correctly. He was very sweet. Asked me if I wanted some of his pot, ha. We talked, I declined the drugs. Later that day, my roommate introduced me to a boy. A quirky, skinny boy with glasses wearing faded Levi’s and a baseball cap, and beautiful blue eyes. It wasn’t love at first sight.
Later, I could see him staring at me from across the room. He seemed nice. Eventually Blue Eyes started calling our dorm room. I thought he was courting my roommate. I was dating someone else at the time. When my roommate wasn’t around, I talked with Blue Eyes on the phone. We got to know each other a little that way. Blue Eyes was running for student body president. He didn’t stand a chance against the incumbent preppy young Republican type he was running against, but I was impressed by his fortitude. He was incredibly busy with classes and the campaign.
At one point Blue Eyes invited me to his dorm to study. I went on a date with the other guy and ended up back at his rental house. I called Blue Eyes to tell him I wouldn’t be by to study. I honestly still had no idea he was pursuing me. I thought we were friends. After I cancelled our study date, he kind of blew me off. I had no idea there was anything there but friendship. I was extremely physically attracted to the other guy I was dating and I couldn’t keep my mind off that, so not sure I even noticed the cold shoulder from Blue Eyes. Things started to cool off with the other guy, but there was always a party going on somewhere and I barely missed a beat. My roommate was a big partier. Along with house parties, and clubs, and bars, I attended parties at Blue Eyes fraternity, but he was rarely there.
Eventually Blue Eyes started calling our dorm room again. My roommate insisted he was after me, not her. I honestly did not believe her, and then Blue Eyes asked me over to his dorm room for his homemade lasagna. I thought it was cute that he wanted to make me dinner. I went to his dorm to find his fraternity buddy there, so it was the three of us for dinner. Lame. The fraternity brother did not like me, that was clear. Blue Eyes walked me out to my car and I kissed him good-bye. I told him if he wanted something, he just needed to ask for it, and then I left him there with a big grin on his face. I could not believe how shy this guy was.
After that, it became obvious that Blue Eyes wanted more. One night I went to his dorm room to study. We ended up on his bed and there was a whole lot of kissing and heavy petting, and stuff. Neither of us were virgins, but at that point I did not think our relationship was ready for full on sex, and Blue Eyes actually seemed shy about it. We both eventually fell asleep. I woke up at 4:30am and scampered back to my own dorm room. I had class at 8. I was at class all day and there were no mobile phones or email accounts back then. When I got back to the dorm, I asked if there were any messages for me at the front desk. Nothing. I went up to my room and asked my roommate if Blue Eyes had called. Nothing. I was a bit surprised, to be honest. Early evening I got a phone call from two of Blue Eyes’ fraternity brothers. Blue Eyes was suffering from intestinal problems and had had to fly back home. He wanted me to know how sorry he was he wasn’t able to get ahold of me himself before he had to leave. Huh, I had never dealt with a sick friend before.
When Blue Eyes returned to school, we went on a few casual dates. He took me to a concert and tried to hold my hand, but I realized I wasn’t ready for a serious relationship with him, so why lead him on by holding hands, etc… He took me out for my birthday before we all left for summer vacation. After, we went to his friend’s apartment and made out. This date solidified in my mind, my desire to keep the relationship casual and keep my summer options open. I said good-bye to Blue Eyes. He flew home. My roommate and I left for a long road trip to both our hometowns.
When I returned to my Dad’s house after the road trip, my Dad met me out on his front porch with a pile of letters from Blue Eyes, and a questioning eye. Who is this Blue Eyes anyway? I took the letters and moved in to an apartment for the summer. The letters were full of poems and love notes. Blue Eyes obsessively wrote about me visiting his hometown during the summer. He had his heart set on it. He was prepared to send the plane ticket. Whoa. I had to put the brakes on this guy and quick. I had no intention of visiting him. I felt more like a prize in some game than a real human being he had feelings for. I had some concerns, but mostly I wanted some space. I wanted to be free for the summer, and I don’t play games. I don’t lead people on. Blue Eyes was very sweet, and all. But I was just not ready. I wrote Blue Eyes a letter, which he still not so affectionately calls the Dear John Letter.
I said that I liked him, and all, but I just wanted to be friends.