That One Time In College…

Every day on my way to work, I drive by the Oglethorpe House in the historic district of Savannah. The Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD) converted the former motel into a co-ed residence hall for upperclassmen, graduate and transfer students and it always reminds me of where one of my most comical yet humbling college experiences took place.

At the beginning of my junior year, I started dating a guy from one of my classes. We met when he noticed I actually had the book for the class ridiculous, right? Later, I would learn he stopped purchasing books after his freshman year and this was how he met the majority of the girls he dated. So, let’s call him Detroit Red (DR).

DR was tall and sinewy with amber skin; funny and easy-going. He always smelled of cologne with light notes of marijuana and had more hooded sweatshirts than anyone I ever knew. He remembered my favorite ice cream flavor on my birthday and as it turned out he didn’t need books for his classes to achieve good grades. We didn’t have any issues or drama until the night we did.

One Saturday night, I was hanging out with my fiery friend, Butterfly. I can not recall what we did but, I knew it included a shot or two chased with gut-busting laughter. Butterfly had the complexion of latte and was flawlessly beautiful. She was the best cook I knew in college, fierce yet inexplicably the most easily frightened of all of my friends. If Butterfly ever starred in a horror movie the name of it would be, Grab Your Weapon and RUN! She did and still does have the ability to make me laugh like no other, frequently to the point of tears and stomach cramps.

But back to the story…

At the end of the night, I asked her if we could make a quick stop at Detroit Red’s apartment. He recently moved closer to campus so, it made sense to drop by since we were close, right? 

Disclaimer: I went to college in the early ’90s and no one I knew had a cell phone, so there was no calling ahead. 

Butterfly agreed to stop. The plan was for me to run up to say hello since my apartment was on the opposite side of town. Harmless enough, right?

Let me set the scene for you…

Detroit Red’s apartment complex was a converted motel, kinda like the Oglethorpe House but on a much smaller and cheaper scale. He and his roommate lived in one of the middle apartments on the second floor but, the steps to the second level were on the side of the building.

I got out of the car, walked to the side of the building, headed up the stairs and continued around the corner to DR’s place. I knocked on the door, his roommate peeked out of the window and opened the door a sliver so I could only see half of his face.

Hmmm.

SCAD's Oglethorpe House - Photo courtesy of Seriously Star
SCAD’s Oglethorpe House. Photo courtesy of Seriously Star.

Me (a little confused): Hey, Roommate. Is Detroit Red home?

Roommate: Hey, Slim (back in my off-campus living days, I actually WAS slim and in shape).  Naw. He isn’t.

Me: What’s up with you? You alright?

Roommate: Yeah, I’m good.

Me: Okay. Just tell DR I stopped by.

Roommate: Alright, girl.

He closed the door and I headed to the stairs (again they were located around the corner). I walked down the stairs to find Butterfly trying to get my attention and yelling at me from the car. I hurried toward her to find out what was wrong. Butterfly reported that while I was coming down the steps, A GIRL opened Detroit Red’s door and looked to see where I had gone. Now, for all Butterfly knew she could have been Roommate’s girlfriend, however, that never crossed either one of our minds. 

I only reacted. I knew there was a reason he barely opened the door…

Without a second thought, I dashed back up the stairs taking two at a time (man, I was in shape!) and ran down to Detroit Red’s door. I banged on the door hard with my fist like I owned the place and I was looking for my very late rent payment. Roommate, who at this point was doing his best to keep DR from having to deal with “a situation”, opened the door to a crack AGAIN but this time I KICKED THE DOOR OPEN.

Photo by Daniel Adesina on Unsplash

No one saw that coming…not even me!

I stormed into the room as Detroit Red (clothed) jumped to his feet from his bed on the far side of the room near the restroom. He walked toward me with his hands in the “calm down” position and followed me around the approximate 325 square foot room.

The girl, let’s call her California, immediately started screaming at Detroit Red, shouting all the questions you ask when you find out you aren’t the only girl your guy is “dating”. But instead of letting him respond, I loudly hijacked the conversation answering all her questions with venom. I headed to his dresser and started grabbing all the things I bought DR (which obviously wasn’t that much, I was a Broke College Student).

I was so focused on yelling and running around like a lunatic grabbing things that I hadn’t really looked at California. When I actually got a chance to see what this girl looked like I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Lord! Wait a minute? Is this really happening?

I turned to DR and said, “C’mon, really? Ugh”.  And slammed the door as I left.

Monday rolled around and I headed to my 9 AM class which was located in the library. In this particular class, we had to sit in alphabetical order. Guess who had been sitting behind me the ENTIRE semester? California! I think I threw up in my mouth when I saw her in the daylight. I had never noticed her before but, I couldn’t ignore her now. The entire class I could feel her saucer-like eyes on the back of my head as I tried my best to concentrate. After 50 agonizing minutes, the class was finally over. Only 600 more minutes of this class in the semester…I could hardly contain my excitement. 

I gathered my backpack, applied a fresh coat of Carmex and lip gloss, and got up to leave. Of course, California was waiting for me outside of the classroom. Fun.

California: We need to talk.

Me (my attitude was SO off the charts at this time): About what? I said all I needed to say on Saturday night.

California: How long have you been seeing him? Have you talked to him?

Me: Since the beginning of last semester. He called me a bunch of times yesterday. He never mentioned you…ever.

California: He called me too. But he lies so much. What did he say?

Me: That he was sorry and it was a mistake.

California (cutting her gigantic eyes at me): Well, he told me he wanted to be with me.

Me: That’s nice. I have another class.

And I walked away.

Later that night, Detroit Red called as usual. Still fuming, I decided I wasn’t about to LOSE to this girl. At this point, it was ALL about my ego. In my mind, I was the better choice. Plain and simple. The fact that DR was without question playing me, carried zero weight. 

Me: Listen, California and I talked today.  Did you know we are in the same 9 AM? Now, I have to see her every Monday, Wednesday, AND Friday until the end of the semester. I’m not dating you if you are seeing her, so choose, me or her?

Detroit Red: I choose her.

What the…? Huh? Dazed and stuck on stupid, I asked again.

Me: Did you hear me? I said… me or her?

Detroit Red: I heard you. I PICK HER!

The room started spinning and I thought I was going to pass out. My heart was beating in my throat. Did he just say he picked her over me? Seriously? With nothing left for me to say, I hung up the phone, defeated and embarrassed.

I remember laying on the floor in my room of the apartment I shared with another girl and calling my mom to update her on the situation. And then I got up. I liked DR and my ego was bruised but, that was it, no love lost. So, I showered, put on my pajamas, and took a seat at the small desk in my room to study.

What I learned from that experience:

  1. I was the side chick and didn’t know it.
  2. Make your own decisions, don’t allow someone else to control your destiny.
  3. If you ask a question, be prepared for the answer.
  4. Think with your head and not your pride.

Obviously, I survived. Sure, every time I saw Roommate he would laugh and remind me of the time I slammed their door so hard I shook the entire second floor and sure I survived one of California’s friends trying to run me over with her car… but, it could have been worse.

She could have been in two of my classes, instead of one!

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Daily Prompt: Third Rate Romance, California Love

Trying my hand at a Daily Prompt: Third Rate Romance 

My college friends love this story so I figured, why not share the embarrassment with the rest of you…again!

Here goes nothing…I re-present to you, “California Love”

At the beginning of my Junior Year, I started dating a guy from one of my classes. Let’s call him Detroit Red (DR).  Nothing serious but, we had fun and there was no drama until…

One Saturday night, I was hanging out with my fiery friend, Butterfly :-). At the end of the night, I asked her if we could make a quick stop at Detroit Red’s apartment.  He had recently moved closer to campus versus the country estate he previously shared with his roommate so, made sense to drop by, right?  I went to college in the early 90’s, no one I knew had a cell phone so, there was no calling ahead.  Butterfly agreed to stop.  The plan was for me to run up to say hello, since I was in the area and my apartment was on the opposite side of town. Harmless enough, right?

Let me set the scene for you…

Detroit Red’s apartment complex was a converted motel.  He and his roommate lived in the middle apartment on the second floor but, the steps to the second level were on the side of the building.  I got out of the car, walked to the side of the building, headed up the stairs and continued around the corner to DR’s place.  I knocked on the door and his roommate peeked out of the window and opened the door so I could only see his face. Hmmmm.

Me (a little confused): Hey, Roommate. Is Detroit Red home?

Roommate: Hey, Slim (back in my off campus living days, I actually WAS slim and in shape! I was also on the  Broke College Student Walk Everywhere Diet).  Naw.  He isn’t.

Me: What’s up with you? You alright?

Roommate: Yeah, I’m good.

Me: Okay. Just tell DR I stopped by.

Roommate: Alright girl.

He closed the door and I headed to the stairs (again they were located around the corner).  I walked down the stairs to find Butterfly trying to get my attention and yelling at me from the car.  I hurried toward her to find out what was happening.  Butterfly told me that while I was coming down the steps, A GIRL opened the Detroit Red’s door and looked to see where I went.  Now, I didn’t see the girl and for all Butterfly knew she was Roommate’s girlfriend. However, that never crossed my mind. I only reacted.

Without a second thought and my adrenaline pumping (mixed with the daiquiri I had earlier), I dashed back up the stairs taking two at a time (I was slim and in shape, remember?) and ran to Detroit Red’s door.  I banged on the door hard with my fist like I owned the place and they had been late with the rent.  Roommate (who at this point I’m sure was thinking, really? I’m trying to play this video game!) opened the door to a crack AGAIN but, this time I KICKED THE DOOR OPEN.

No one saw that coming…not even me!

I stormed into the room as Detroit Red (clothed) jumped to his feet.  He walked toward me and started to tell me to calm down. The Girl, let’s call her California immediately started screaming at Detroit Red, shouting all the questions you ask when you find out you aren’t the only girl your guy is dating.  But instead of letting him respond, I loudly hijacked the conversation. I headed to his dresser and started grabbing all the things I bought DR (which obviously wasn’t that much, I was a Broke College Student).

I was so focused on yelling and running around like a lunatic grabbing things that I hadn’t really looked at California. When I actually got a chance to see what this girl looked like I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  Lord! Wait a minute?  Is this really happening?

I turned to DR and said, “C’mon, really? Ugh”.  And slammed the door as I left.

Monday rolled around and I headed to my 9 AM class.  In this particular class, we had to sit in alphabetical order of your last name.  Guess who had been sitting behind me the ENTIRE semester?  California!  I think I threw up in my mouth when I saw her in the daylight.  Never noticed her before but, I couldn’t ignore her now. The entire class I could feel her saucer like eyes on the back of my head as I tried my best to concentrate. After 50 agonizing minutes, the class was finally over.  Only 45 more actual classes to go…  I gathered my backpack, applied a fresh coat of Carmex and lip gloss, and got up to leave.  Of course, California was waiting for me outside the classroom.  Fun times.

California: We need to talk.

Me (my attitude was SO off the charts at this time): About what? I said all I needed to Saturday night.

California: How long have you been seeing him? Have you talked to him?

Me: Since the beginning of last semester.  He called me a bunch of times yesterday. He never mentioned you…ever.

California: He called me too. But he lies so much. What did he say?

Me: That he was sorry and it was a mistake.

California (cutting her gigantic eyes at me): Well, he told me he wanted to be with me.

Me: That’s nice. I have another class.

I walked away. Later that night, Detroit Red called. I wasn’t about to LOSE to this girl.  At this point, it was ALL about my ego. In my mind, I was the better choice. Plain and simple.

Me: Listen, California and I talked today.  Did you know we are in the same 9 AM? Now, I have to see her every Monday, Wednesday, AND Friday.   I’m not dating you if you are seeing her, so choose. Me or her?

Detroit Red: I choose her.

Huh? Dazed, I asked again.

Me: Did you hear me? I said me or her?

Detroit Red: I heard you. I PICK HER!

The room started spinning, I thought I was going to pass out.  My heart was beating out of my chest. Did he just say he picked her over me?  Seriously?  This time I felt like I had been KICKED in the gut.  I hung up the phone. Defeated and embarrassed.

What I learned from that experience:

  1. I was the side chick and didn’t know it.

  2. Make your own decisions, don’t allow someone else to control your destiny.

  3. If you ask a question, be prepared for the answer.

Obviously, I survived.  Sure, every time I saw Roommate he reminded me of the time I slammed their door so hard I shook the entire second floor and sure one of California’s Friends tried to run me over with her car… but, it could have been worse.

Good thing I ran track. 🙂

There she is, get her!!
There she is, get her!!

Photo credits

I Don’t Care

A couple of months ago, I was back in the best city ever :-), for a fabulous wedding and to celebrate my dear Friend’s new job and relocation back to the East Coast. We planned to go out for dinner and drinks with some of her friends at around 9p to celebrate…just like the old days. On the drive over to the restaurant, my Friend and I were catching up when she says to me, “I predict you will say ‘my Husband’ about 11 times during conversations tonight.”

Wait, was she talking to me? Probably since I was the only other person in the car, but huh?

Have I graduated from baby updates to name dropping?

Do I say ‘my Husband’ constantly in conversations when talking about the Coach?

Have I turned into ‘that woman’?

To be fair, I am a newlywed and I enjoy it quite a bit, thank you very much. But this comment made me question the content of my conversations. It’s not like I squeeze in a ‘my Husband’ while talking about politics, food, fashion, reality shows or more importantly Scandal. Or do I?

Here’s what I realized…I don’t care! That’s right, I said it. I don’t care. Here’s why…

About 10 years ago, after breaking up with a guy I probably would have vomited on if our Georgia Peach had dated, I made a list. I mean seriously people, you make a list of things you need at the grocery store so don’t look at me all sideways about a list for a LIFE LONG PARTNER. A list of all the qualities I wanted in a Husband and what I wanted our relationship to look like. I tucked it away and over the years I would pull it out review it and revise it. Each time I would pray over the list asking God to remind me not ask for qualities in another I didn’t possess myself. I had on it things that would complement my personality like being family oriented and sincere. Sincerity was the quality my beloved Grandma Josie said she was the most drawn to when picking my cool Grandpa Joe. They were married for just short of 40 years when my Grandpa passed away (they had 11 children so there were CLEARLY other qualities they saw in each other). But, their relationship showed me a level of commitment to each other and to their family that remains with me and I pray to have in my own marriage.

So, after years of praying (and crying) for a great partner in life, I drafted the Coach.  🙂

I waited a long time for the right man for me so, I am more than happy to say with pride, my Husband. I love my Husband, love that we are friends, love being married to him, love that we have to work together to resolve our differences and that we work on communicating with one another, love that we are a team, love that he is a great Father to Georgia Peach and love that he is sincere.

Thanks for the great advice, Grandma Josie. I think you would have liked, MY HUSBAND. 🙂

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