Monday, November 12, 2007

How I Met Your Father, Part I

Thirteen years ago today Jay and I met and had our first date.

Several week prior saw the amicable ending of a very casual relationship I had with a really great guy at school. Our final date had been a Toad the Wet Sprocket concert in Terre Haute. After that same concert my friend and sorority sister A went to a party at Rose-Hulman where she got to know a young man in her ROTC squadron who had piqued her interest months before. Immediately after that party they began dating (and eventually got married). A's new boyfriend, E, lived with four other guys at Rose-Hulman, all of whom shared a mutual love for rollerblading. They enjoyed it so much, in fact, that they had a huge butcher paper poster hanging on the wall of their suite that listed all the cities, towns, and other venues where they wanted to skate. As soon as A and E started dating, DePauw was put at the top of the list.

It was a boring Saturday afternoon. I had gone to the Monon Bell game that morning with friends only to watch DePauw lose. My friend K and I were studying, which we planned to do for the rest of the afternoon and evening. We had decided not to go out since the only party was at Delta Tau Delta. Most of the football players were Delts, and the outcome of the Monon Bell game undoubtedly set the tone of the party. After the loss it was clear that the party would be rife with large angry drunken men, and that scene didn't interest us very much. As we were studying we heard a ruckus coming from the front yard of the sorority house. We knew that E was bringing his roommates over to rollerblade so we assumed that the noise we heard was them. Not having met E, K and I decided to go outside and check things out.

When we got outside A was standing with five guys. We met E and then she introduced us to the other four. K and I sat on the curb and visited for awhile, then decided to go back inside to resume studying. I lifted up my arms in a gesture requesting that K pull me up off the curb. She grabbed one arm, but before she had time to grab the other, one of the rollerbladers sped over and took it, pulling me up. I smiled and said thanks, and K and I made our way into the house.

Several minutes later, after we had settled back into our books, A came running down the hall, yelling my name.

"I'm in S's room!" (Confession: K and I were studying and watching "The Bodyguard" on a friend's TV)

A ran in, out of breath. "Do you want to go on a date tonight?" she asked.

"Which one?" I asked.

"Jay," she said.

I racked my brain but couldn't remember which one Jay was. "The tall guy?" No... "The redhead?" No...

Finally A said, "The one who helped you get up off the curb."

"Oh," I said, "I don't remember him. Is he nice? Funny? Moderately attractive?" A answered yes to all of them, so I agreed and she left.

A few minutes later all of the guys were piling into the room and I saw Jay again. Definitely cute. A little shy. Obviously nervous. We exchanged smiles and made plans. E, J (another of E's roommates), and Jay would go home and get cleaned up and then come back to DePauw.


Anonymous said...

I'm just chiming in with a question for you, unrelated to your blog about meeting Jay (I've been reading for awhile, having found you through one of your pastor friends..)....Can you recommend books to place in conversation with Sears on infant care philosophy? I'm 36 wks pregnant and especially curious about how I want to work out feeding and sleeping arrangements. I would appreciate any input you might have here......

Jenny said...

Nice, funny, moderately attractive? Knowing Jay then, of course he was moderately attractive (don't want to hit that point too heavily as I wouldn't want to embarrass him) but I would have given you a resounding YES YES on those other two as he was one of the two nicest Rose-Hulman people who possibly ever existed (the other being married to me). :)

HP said...

You were much kinder in first impressions. My first thought of Josh was "Cute, but he needs to cut his hair."

His first impression of me was to roll his eyes at my "Feminism Spoken Hear" coffee mug!!

martha said...

Shouldn't you be spelling it "J" in this story?

Isn't it great how one little gesture can change the entire rest of your corner of the world, not to mention your own life? If J hadn't helped you up, how different all of our lives would have been! (Except maybe Joshua and Clare's because would they even exist?)

Mary Beth said...

Hi Anon!

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to the home stretch!

I haven't actually read any of Dr. Sears' books, although I'm quite familiar with Attachment Parenting. Unfortunately, there aren't very many other authors that present an entire philosophy of infant care the way that Sears does.

Gary Ezzo's On Becoming Babywise and Tracey Hogg's Secrets of the Baby Whisperer are definitely the antitheses of Attachment Parenting, but since Ezzo's "philosophy" is based upon horrifying theology and has been linked to infant death, and Hogg's approach is a slightly more gentle version of Ezzo's, I can't exactly recommend them.

One author that you might want to check out is T. Berry Brazelton. He's a child development expert who's written a whole truckload of books on infant and childcare. His books are broken down into subject area such as feeding, sleeping, discipline, etc. I haven't actually read any of them but people I trust have found his books very helpful.

You will probably find that most infant care books address only one area, and that most of those focus on sleep. Somehow we've decided that how well a child sleeps at night is the barometer for "good" parenting, so everybody and their uncle wants to make a buck by convincing parents that they've found the key to sleep. A good counterpoint to Sears on sleep is Marc Weissbluth's Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I think that might give you an idea of what other methods are available and let you decide what works best for you and your family. Closer to the AP end of the spectrum is Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution.

There aren't many books available on feeding newborns, but a good no-nonsense, this is what life with your new baby is like book is Penelope Leach's Your Baby and Toddler. Of course, as a die hard breastfeeder I am a fan of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding published by Le Leche League.

I've found Harvey Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block and Happiest Toddler on the Block helpful for surviving those first few months of newborn-dom and the first few months of toddlerhood. Happiest Baby will talk some about feeding and sleeping, although Karp leans toward AP.

That's all that's coming to mind right now. If you need any other information, encouragement, advice, etc. please feel free to e-mail me at

Mary Beth said...

Jenny--Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him again as I definitely found him quite more than "moderately" attractive.


Martha--First initials were used to protect the innocent. Jay was hardly innocent in this story! :)

martha said...

No, I just meant because his name is also a letter and everybody else was a letter, so ... you know... 'funny to Martha' and 'funny' are two different things.

Mary Beth said...

I get it! I think I left my brain (at least the part of it that appreciates humor) on the table in Delivery Room 2.