Those College Years In Song

Most people go to college to gain skills to get a decent job so they can earn a living.  I went to college to escape my small rural hometown, and my restrictive home.  I had no idea what I wanted “to do when I grew up”.  In many ways I still don’t.  It was and is the classic case of so many options so little time.

Anyway, thought it would be kinda fun to chronicle the years through the songs that provided the backdrop to many of my activities during college. 

First, my main purpose for going to college:

One of my very first encounters with Weatherford Hall, an all male dorm, with some really interesting guys.  This building was amazing, so were some of the guys in it.  I loved some of the music I often heard blaring out those old windows on a Friday afternoon as I headed back from my last class of the day gearing up to kick into party mode.  No, I did not go to college in 1975.  Even though this was an older song by the time I hit the college scene, I never heard it until college.  It was still very popular in the early 80’s.

Then, of course, I dumped my high school boyfriend and got a new boyfriend and here’s what I thought of him:

Yeah, like so many others after him, he didn’t last long.

But then I changed my major to business and found out what the guys in the business school were all about:

And, living in Oregon, this was my theme song:

But I quickly learned that most guys don’t want to talk because well, they just don’t.  Takes a much older and more settled man to understand that good conversation is actually good foreplay, but, whatever!

I remember slow dancing with my last college boyfriend to this song.  Today, Sting, is still one of my favorite artists, and, though I loved this song at the time, I realize it was not his best by any means.  In fact, not sure now why I liked it so much then.

This summer didn’t remind me of any particular boyfriend, but the title reminds me of how I felt about the summer I had to return hom between my junior and senior year:

And, of course, what’s college without a little Greek experience going on?  I definitely had my share of all things Greek and this definitely was the backdrop to many a function and house dance.  I somehow also connect this song with workouts with the lifeguards and swim team members…and rollerskating through the city (now it would be roller blading). 

Ahhh, those were the days!  Living on someone else’s nickel but still being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. 

Now, if I could just only figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

First Dates and Moonlight–More From The Friendship Files

I finally wheedled the story about Mexico Friend’s First Date with her Husband out of her.  Here it is:

Mexico Friend and her husband had quite the chemistry in the early years of their relationship.  Of course, Husband was irreversibly smitten the minute he saw her.  (We are all irreversibly smitten the minute we see her.  She really is an attractive woman. And she’s really nice.  In fact, she’s in the Makes Me Sick category.  I had to video tape her this week and as I was reviewing the tapes I was reminded just how much she Makes Me Sick.  The rule about the camera adding 10 pounds did not apply to her!  On the other hand the rule about the camera adding 10 pounds tripled with me. How fair is that?  See?  Makes Me Sick. But, I’m doing the ADD thing again.)

Husband knew what he wanted the minute he saw Mexico Friend.  He never let her phone grow cold and it wasn’t long after they met that they were on their first date.  It was a cold winter’s eve with snow on the ground.  The two of them went out for a nice dinner.  Great food, good wine, wonderful time together with chemistry catching the place on fire between them. 

After dinner, they decided to go for a drive in the snow.  Somewhere out in the country they pulled off on a lonely little unpaved side road.  In fact, it was probably more like a path.  There they were, alone, secluded, nature’s beauty all around and their young 20-something hormone’s raging, fed pretty well by the wine and the chemistry.  They decided to get to know each other even better.

Before long, they were in horizontal hold and things had heated up making it impossible to see out the windows of the vehicle.  That didn’t matter, because the sights they both wanted to explore were inside the vehicle. They were both thoroughly enjoying this Getting To Know All About You Game and they were just really getting in touch when  Mexico Friend opened her eyes for just a moment then opened them again. “There’s something shining in the window,” she commented. 

“It’s probably just the moonlight shining in,” her date responded in muffled short amorous breaths. Clearly, he wasn’t interested in anything but continuing the Getting to Know You game.

Mexico Friend glanced at the extremely fogged up window again, “I think that’ s either a really large moon or it is very, very close.” Relunctantly, Mexico Friend’s Husband slowed himself down and looked up.  He wiped off the window and jumped in shock.  There staring back at him was the face of a woman in her 50’s.  Apparently neither of them heard the woman drive up, turn off her headlights, get out of her car and tromp through the snow to the side of the vehicle where she stood staring in at them in their mostly nude state enjoying each other. How long she’d been there neither of them dared guess, but they knew what she’d seen was definitely the rated R version.

They scrambled to pull on their clothes as quickly as they could, and after dealing briefly with the strange woman who claimed this deserted path led to her house, they got out of there fast.  

As I listened to Mexico Friend retell this story, I noted that she broke one of the cardinal dating rules which is No Sex On The First Date.  When I questioned her about this she said, “Yeah, we did.  Two weeks later we moved in and six months later we were married and we’ve been going like that ever since.  We’re still like that today after 15 years of marriage and two children.” 

As I sat briefly pondering these words, she continued, “When you know, you know.  There’s just no question.” 

In looking at these two, I have to give them a spot on my Happily Ever After List.  These two have fun, humor, friendship and chemistry and they’ve kept it alive through the stresses of having children, job changes, job losses and tight finances and home remodeling projects.  In spite of it all, they are as in love as they’ve ever been.  I love these two because they provide for me a real life model of  many aspects of the kind of relationship I want.  These two have been able to weather life’s marital and financial storms for a decade and a half.  They’re doing more than just staying married, they really enjoy each other and they nurture their relationship by doing the fun stuff and staying in touch with each other as often as possible.

Sleepovers and Re-Gifting: Fundamentals of a Good Marriage

My friend was in the kitchen last night finishing the last preparations for her kids’ lunches the next day.  Her husband walked in, smiled mischievously and asked, “Want to have a sleepover?”

“A sleepover?”  After 20 years of marriage and three children, she knew enough to be wary when he approached her in the kitchen. 

“Yeah, a sleepover,” he grinned, “You know.  You sleep over on my side of the bed.”

She laughed and rolled her eyes at him.

“I even have a gift for you,” he continued with his devilish grin.

Without missing a beat, she zinged this next comment his direction, “Oh, I’ve had that gift before!”  She paused for effect, looked at him in the eyes and said, “I think that’s called re-gifting.” 

Stunned at her smooth return of his banter and somewhat crestfallen he shrugged, “Well, okay then.” 

It’s just too bad we weren’t there to see the look on his face as his wife of twenty years lobbed the creative flirty serve back to him without missing a beat. She did that in style.  She put him in his place without insult or recrimination.  She stepped it up to his level, and matched him stride for stride in his fun antics.  I’m guessing they sleptover and regifted and enjoyed every minute of it.  She didn’t tell me that…but she didn’t have to…I’m smart that way you know.

 

Ahhh, tis the season!  Sleepovers and re-gifting.  The stuff marriages are made of.

 

As I watched this same friend interact with her husband last week when they stopped by my classroom during conference, I was struck with the same impression after hearing this story: these two have a great marriage.  They’ve been through some stuff, it hasn’t always been easy, they don’t always get along, sometimes they can’t stand to be in the same room together and they have all the experiences of married people who’ve been together since youth, built careers, birthed and brought up children together and are now in their 40’s.  The new, giddy fairy tale honeymoon bliss is long gone from their relationship or at least it has dimmed signifcantly.  But they have a great marriage. They have a marriage I dreamed of having when I was a girl but somehow wasn’t able to experience yet as an adult. They still laugh and joke together, they still communicate, they still respect each other, they are still working shoulder to shoulder together in the thing they are building called their family, their marriage and their home.  In her own words she says, “After all the garbage and stress of life is done, when we can finally be alone, we really like it.  We still really enjoy being together.”

 

Now that’s a fairy tale ending that doesn’t get any better. I am envious.  In a good way.  I am so happy for them and their children.  I long for that for myself.  And I am ever so grateful to know these two people because they crystallize for me certain aspects of what I am looking for in a long term committed (yes, it is insane) relationship. They remind me never to settle…never…ever!  I love having these two in my life, because in the very short time I’ve known them, they’ve showed me that what I suspected could happen between a man and a woman in love, does happen, it does last and it is not simply wishful thinking on my part.  They inspire me.  In all their middle aged responsible duties to each other, the kids the community, the new house, they just simply inspire me.  They give me hope.  

 

If I were to say what I think makes their marriage so good, it is that they still enjoy being together and they enjoy being together…alone.  They probably still enjoy it because they still make time for each other.  They haven’t ditched out on each other emotionally nor have they chosen any number of escapes that people can and often do choose when they grow apart from each other.  They are both still in it, working on it and respecting each other for their part in the project.  They can play and laugh and flirt in the kitchen during the most mundane tasks.  They still have fun on a “connection” level not merely on an activity level.  I think this is probably a vital element in the success of their marriage.  They have the “happily ever after”.  Not the perfectly ever after, but the happily ever after.  There’s a difference and these two get it.  

They keep their marriage fun by having sleepovers and re-gifting. 

 

Someday, someday…I will eagerly accept the invitation to sleepover on my man’s side of the bed and I will just love whatever regifting he has to offer.  Until then, it is so encouraging to know, in this day and age where over 50% of marriages fail and even more remarriages fail, that happily ever after does exist.