But that was a good story, too. You can read part one here and part two here.
When I think of autumn and fallish, Halloweeny memories, for some reason this time in my life comes to mind first. (Note: marching band competitions come to mind second. Sad? Yes. True? Also yes.) In 1995 was a junior in college. I was living at home and commuting to a local branch of UCONN. I had a few acquaintances there, but not many and no one I was especially close to. It was a lonely time in my life in many ways, actually. But I was very happy nonetheless, because I felt really engaged in life.
I've written about this before, but after a miserable first year of college -- and by miserable I do mean miserable -- something clicked. I decided I was too young and smart to be so unhappy and to feel so out of control of my life. So I stopped feeling sorry for myself (Note: I think a lot of my motivation came when I somehow transferred my sadness into anger. It worked, but was unsustainable. I do not recommend.). And I turned things around.
A year later, I was barely 20 years old. I was in great shape and was working out regularly. I was managing a full-time class load in the honors program. And I had a part-time internship at a marketing agency. AND I had a part-time job at the cafe at the local Barnes and Noble.
AndAndAnd I was always looking for my next boyfriend. (Note: story of my life.)
At this time, I was mostly looking for love online. Not because that's where all the hot guys were -- trust me; 1995 had not exactly lured the stud muffins to the internet -- but because I wasn't finding them in real life. Again, I didn't really have any friends to hang out with. I wasn't old enough to go to bars or clubs, and even if I had been, I wasn't going to go alone. And because I wasn't living in a college town by any means, the guys I met were either much older (meaning married with kids) or in high school. The guys my age were away at college, or in their first jobs out of college and living in, say, New York City.
Meeting Kevin was, therefore, a lovely surprise.
I was scheduled to work an afternoon shift at the B&N Cafe on Halloween, so I decided to show up fully decked out in costume. I wore a very adorable (if every-so-slightly small) Minnie Mouse getup, including yellow mouse shoes, mouse ears and nose, false eyelashes, tights, and even the faux bloomers. My very dorky manager was a little concerned that perhaps I was TOO costume-y, but the district manager was in that day, and gave me his full approval.
Toward the end of my shift, a half-cute, half-handsome man came into the cafe. He looked to be somewhere in his twenties, and was very much "my type." He was tall and broad-shouldered, with dark hair and dark eyes. I remember him in a nice coat, like a fancy trench sort of thing, even though it's entirely possible my memory is messing with me. He was clearly a professional of some sort. And he was very smiley. We may have flirted while I made his coffee drink, but I think when you're in a Minnie Mouse costume, it's a little hard to tell who's smiling with you and who's smiling at you. (Note: ALSO story of my life.)
When my shift was over and I was headed out, I ran into this man again. He stopped me, I think, and asked something adorable about where I might be going, dressed as I was. We chatted a bit. And then the up-to-that-moment-in-my-life-unheard-of thing happened. He asked for my phone number. A young, professional, handsome man asked me for my number. WHILE I WAS DRESSED AS MINNIE MOUSE. Ah, memories. His name was Jeff.
Now, perhaps you're remembering lo those 4 paragraphs ago where I said something about "Kevin." Turns out, I'm getting to that.
I was rather tickled that Jeff had requested my number, and while I didn't expect him to call right away, I thought he definitely would call. And then a few days passed, and a few more. And then a week. And then it had been two FULL weeks before the phone finally rang and I answered it and a friendly man's voice I didn't recognize was on the other end.
"Hi. This is Kevin."
"Hi!" I said, trying to sound like I had some idea who it was. Because I didn't at all.
"Uhm, you don't actually know me."
That would explain it.
"But you uh -- this is going to sound strange. I think you met my friend, Jeff, at Barnes and Noble a couple weeks ago."
"Oh, uh, yeah."
And then I'm pretty sure Kevin started laughing, because the entire conversation was about to be hilarious. He basically told me that Jeff thought I was adorable and had a great personality, but forgot to mention that he already had a girlfriend. But Jeff thought that Kevin and I would hit it off, and so he gave my number to Kevin and insisted that he call me. Which he didn't really want to do, because how random is that? But then, what did he have to lose, because the worst I could do would be to hang up on him, and so far I hadn't.
I thought the story was pretty funny, and flattering. Because Jeff must have been persuasive.
I agreed to meet Kevin for coffee at the same B&N Cafe later that evening. And we did, totally, hit it off. Kevin was every bit as adorable as Jeff (if not more so), and sweet and funny. We dated for a few months, and had a great time.
We're still in touch.
I'm not sure what the point of this entry is, other than to say that it's kind of funny. You never know what's going to stick out in your mind (and heart). Why is that particular autumn and that particular boyfriend my automatic go-to when I think about Halloweens past? Of course, I have lots of other wonderful Halloween memories, bt that one strikes first. Maybe it was more pivotal than I even now realize?
What do you remember first?