March 20, 2008

Hail Fellow Well Met

I met Paul the first day of freshman college orientation, in the dining hall. Paul needed a place to sit. So did the guy we'd later name our first son after.

I met my first husband a month later, during a freshmen overnight retreat. We had to pair up with someone we didn't know, and interview them, and then introduce them to the group. Thanks a lot, stupid "getting to know you" exercise.

I don't remember when I met my friend Astarte, but it must have been after my freshman year of high school, because she was a grade younger than me and I didn't go to her middle school.

I met my friend Steve in fourth grade. In high school, he dissected a frog for me. He kept trying to argue me down logically: if I'd accepted a date with his friend Edward, why wouldn't I accept a date with HIM? He was just as smart, just as good-looking, just as nice. Plus, he'd handled the frog. I conceded his points, but there was zero chemistry. ZERO.

My friend Michelle was a year ahead of me. I just about cried when I found out we were assigned to share a room in the summer dorms, because I thought she was a jerk. She ended up being my closest college friend.

I met my friend Denise in chorus. We were both altos and there was an empty seat next to her. When I think of her now, I get an unpleasant adrenaline feeling in the corners of my jaw. She was one of the worst people I've ever known. If I heard that she'd died, I'd be relieved to know she was out of the world.

I met my best childhood friend Jen the summer before we started fifth grade. She thought I was going to steal her best friend away from her. Instead I stole Jen away from her best friend.

I met Al when I was playing playground tag in a group of high school friends and couldn't catch anyone. He was a total stranger, and he hissed at me, "Tell them Al's it!" So I yelled out, "Al's it!" and everyone SCREAMED and started running. Al said we could still be friends even though I didn't want to date him, but that didn't turn out to be true.

I met Melissa in a factory where we had summer jobs. I thought she was too cool to be friends with, but I was wrong. We stayed in touch for years, but eventually all she was sending me was email forwards.

I met Edward in English class. We were each other's very first date. We were 15, so his dad drove. We only went out once, which made me sad and confused. He died when we were 30.

Karen was my boss. After I quit, we became friends.

I met my friend Mairzy because she married an old classmate of mine and my mother sent me a link to the birth announcement of their baby.

John was always reading the sports pages during study hall. My friend Shannon and I talked with happy self-consciousness, knowing he was listening to us. He was kind. We had crushes on each other at the same time, but we didn't know it until after we didn't anymore.

I met my friend Liz at work. She correctly guessed my astrological sign; she said it was obvious. She called me "man," as in, "I love working with you, man, but you have got to stop talking about babies." Her boyfriend wouldn't have children, because he had to compensate for his sister's lack of concern for population control.

I met my high school boyfriend when he kept coming into the doughnut shop where I worked. His family was sick of doughnuts by the time I caught on. We dated on and off for two years. I didn't think we should date anymore, but I couldn't break it off either, so I got him to sign up with the military. That did it.

32 comments:

Pickles & Dimes said...

This was a neat entry!

I am slightly freaking out here because I met my first husband in the same "interview" way. We had a writing class together in college and had to interview someone we didn't know and then introduce them to the class.

(Also? I had no idea you were married before.) We have something else in common now - cool!

Jess said...

This post is amazing and also might be one of my favorite posts you have ever written. But I want to hear so much more about Paul and the first husband and how you were all at the same college and how well did you all know each other? And also I want to know about the guy you named your son after. DETAILS, PLEASE.

Shelly Overlook said...

I didn't know you (or P&D for that matter) were married before either!

CP said...

And I'll add a fourth- I didn't know you were married before Paul! I too want more details on Paul and college, etc.

Natalie said...

Count me in the "I had no idea you were married before" camp.

This was a fun entry!

donna said...

Yes, more details please Swistle! You can consider it a treat in our Easter basket.

LoriD said...

I think the first post of yours I read was the "I was married before" post. It's funny, but I just assumed that first husband was your high school sweetheart and Paul was discovered after the first marriage ended. How interesting that they are from the same era.

I loved this post.

fairydogmother said...

I'm with, well, everyone: this was a really fun post. I love it!

Shelly said...

Awesome post! I love this idea!

Mairzy said...

I agree, this is a great idea. I should see what I can do with it.

Just for fun, I still occasionally go back and read the comment on my other blog where you introduced yourself (although I'd already heard about you from August's family, of course).

I don't remember meeting my husband. I do remember talking to him because I felt sorry for him that nobody else paid much attention to him. Ha, their loss.

Not that I'm curious about your first husband, but if you ever posted any more about it I'd read it.

Swistle said...

1) I added a link in the post to what I think is the only other time I've mentioned the first husband.

2) Feel free to yoink the post idea, and then link to it here--I want to read yours, too!

Kelsey said...

That was lots of fun to read! I've been reading for a while, so the first husband didn't surprise me, but I am in the camp that would continue to read more details of the college years!

Jerseygirl89 said...

What a cool post. And I too have the earlier, regretted college marriage. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one with youthful indiscretions (I celebrated my "divorce day" right up until Hubby and I got engaged.)

jennifer said...

I really LOVE this post. Fascinating! I'm yet another person who was previously in the dark about a first marriage. Makes you even more mysterious, Swistle.

Tessie said...

Further proof that cheesy icebreakers should be BANNED POSTE HASTE.

I call people "man" too. Heh.

Farrell said...

I love this and might even steal it. I also met my ex-husband the second day of college's freshman orientation.

desperate housewife said...

I think I DID remember that you had been married before, but it still took me off guard a little. I always forget you had a life before becoming Swistle, wise mother of five and doting big sister to the masses!

Maggie said...

I love this!

I met the man who I almost married on my first day of college orientation as well. And he said instantly that we would be together forever. He was none to pleased with me four years later when I broke it off. Perhaps an interview exercise would have helped?

Saly said...

I love this; so fun!!

Pickles & Dimes said...

Thanks for putting the link up there; I was looking through your archives to see if I could find it.

Then when I read it, Shauna from Shauna Loves Chocolate had a comment on there, but my first thought was, "Jesus! I even COMMENTED on this post!" (I didn't.)

Kristin.... said...

This was quite cool. I may also "yoink" the idea but am still learnig blogging, so not sure I know how to link it. Love the word "yoink" by the way.

Lisa said...

Wow, I too had the "what was I thinking marriage" The first time I met him I hated him. Need to trust my insticts. As I told my brother during the divorce, if I ended up, old, alone, homeless and without children (my biggest dream since birth) it was better than spending another minute of my life with jerkface. Luckily we had no children.

the new girl said...

I love this post, Swistle and I'm going to rip it off.

Are you sick of me pilfering ideas from you?

the new girl said...

Sorry.

Just read through the comments.

I am definitely ALWAYS going to read the comments first from now on.

GAWD, I can't even stand myself.

may said...

So interesting! I think you met your friends in way more interesting ways than I met mine. (Also: you have lots of friends. And ex-boyfriends. Tramp.)

By the way, did I meet you at your mom's work when you were pregnant with the twins? I think you must have been. Wow, back then you only had 2!

And definitely work on "Swistle: The College Years." I think it'll go over a lot better than "Saved by the Bell."

Meredith said...

Fun entry! I tried it myself, with dubious success...http://amidreamingmere.livejournal.com/412614.html

Swistle said...

May- I think so. And you and Mr. May wanted to discuss with me a book you'd heard I didn't like, but none of us could figure out what book it would be.

Tessie said...

I forgot to mention that I LOVE the title of this post. Perfect and lovely.

Jen said...

This is best childhood friend Jen coming out of lurking to say hi. I remember well when we met! Switstle the high school years were lots of fun! I was present for the meeting of first husband. Did not realize the extent of his creepiness at the time! Eek!

Swistle said...

Best Childhood Friend Jen- HI HI! I KNOW! We had more fun and less suffering in high school than I think we were supposed to have. And Husband One really didn't seem all that creepy, did he? He probably ISN'T. Probably just...um...focused on his life goals. Or something.

Misty said...

As they would say where I grew up...

Girl, what you givin' away? You are obviously what I title "a pheromone sprayer."

More men wanted to date you than were in my high school (Not really, but that is the best hyperbole I can come up with.)

Kristi said...

Gosh, I too LOVE this post and the title to go along with it. If ever I were to "yoink", this would be Yoinkable!!!

Yes, this post is so yoinkable!

OK, got a little over excited there for a minute - shutting up now.