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.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...