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.