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Thursday, September 07, 2006

How I Found My Young Old Man, Part I


Esereth commands and we comply. A love story:

My Old Man is my best friend. He’s big number one on my list of Sexiest Men. He’s the only man I’ve ever been totally, one-hundred-percent committed to. It seems inevitable that we got together, and in many ways it also seems entirely improbable.

When I met him, he was just M, not yet having attained Old Man status, and he was not my “type.” I didn’t actually have a type per se, but to the extent that I did, my type did not permit of some of the qualities I found in him: self-deprecating, given to pessimism, prone to quiet moods, and at times socially awkward. None of these qualities ruled him out as a friend, however, and numerous other traits ultimately made him a cherished one. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Before I discovered that M. was raucously funny, silly as hell, deeply intelligent, warm, and genuine, I misinterpreted him as arrogant and too-cool. I was a second-year graduate student charged with the task of chatting up the new first-years at a coffee and donuts deal. It was probably too early in the morning for me to muster a more generous (or less superficial) conclusion about the new class, but looking around the room I quickly deemed them a boring lot. There was one exception, a tall guy with dark waist-length hair, sporting a chain wallet and hoops in both ears. He looked like the most interesting person in the room, or at the very least someone with whom I could have a decent discussion about music. I made my way over to him and struck up a conversation. He didn’t seem to respond to my trademark friendliness and charm, his answers to my questions were brief, I had to work to keep the chat going. I gave up before long, finessing my way out of our tête-à-tête and reaching a hasty conclusion: haughty east coast dude; doesn’t know exactly where Wisconsin is; thinks he’s too cool for the Midwest.

Later I realized that what I took for arrogance was really shyness and discomfort in an unaccustomed social situation. But before I could arrive at that realization, I had to demonstrate that I, too, was too-cool. It soon turned out that the haughty east coast dude was the same first-year that was rooming with one of my best friends in town. When I went over to see my friend DK’s swank new apartment, he introduced me to M. “Yeah, we’ve met,” I said offhandedly. DK seemed convinced that we would hit it off. “M. plays guitar! E. plays guitar!” he noted, attempting to open an avenue of conversation. “Wow. What a shock.” I said, “Just like every other guy I know. Let me guess: you’ve been playing since you were fourteen.” Oh my fucking god, what had poor M. done to receive such a bitchy reception? In my defense, I was going through a period of annoyance that so many guys I knew had been playing guitar since they were fourteen and as such could be a pain in the ass to play music with (if you happened to be a twenty-six-year-old woman who’d only been playing a few years and was still getting your chops down). That was before Feral Mom and I began playing guitar together and formed our kick-ass all-girl rock band, after which I mellowed considerably on the guitar issue. But that’s another story.

Due to that pleasant interaction and a couple more like it, M. concluded that 1. I was totally unimpressed with him and possibly hated his guts, and that 2. I was a hard core, take-no-bullshit chick that he definitely wanted to befriend. Little by little, I discovered that, in addition to having mind-bogglingly good taste in music (he loved Fugazi and Joni Mitchell), M. was a sweet, funny, and unpretentious. A watershed moment in our budding friendship came when I learned that he had been with his current girlfriend KD for four years. Having benefited from my own though-college-and-slightly-beyond relationship with a supportive guy, I had great respect for a man who could maintain a relationship of that longevity, and with an unapologetic feminist (KD was even a Women’s Studies major). And as M. and I got to be better friends, he was also becoming tight friends with my lovable-yet-impossible boyfriend, KC. What could be better?

But how, with all these boyfriends and girlfriends and all this platonic regard in the picture, how will this ever blossom into love, marriage, and a bouncing baby O? Tune in next week…

10 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. T said...

Thanks for this! I love hearing people's stories of how they met their one and onlies.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh!! I hate you!! I can't believe you're leaving us hanging...That was such a great beginning, and of course I don't really hate you, nor even dislike in the slightest, but still! An ending, I say, I must have an ending!

Ahem. The real reason I stopped by is that I just left my dentist. A new dentist. A dentist who knows how to speak, and moreover is friendly! Last one was a slug. Anywho. Apparently I brush too vigorously. I have eroded my gums. I am shocked, appalled, and a little proud...I mean...I worked so hard! Yay me! Anywho. I thought of you as I was lying there in the chair. And I couldn't wait to tell you my...er...bad news. Oh well. At least I didn't have any new cavities. And we talked about my one-visit-wonder former dentist, and how icky-ola he is. And mr. new dentist seemed surprised that he had even filled several of the ones he had filled, "It's so tiny...is that a sealant or a filling??" I think I may have a crush. (shocking, I know).

10:07 AM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

I love this story! Meanwhile, the other members of the band secretly think M. and E. would be a "good match." Just goes to show you...your band members know best--on matters of love, anyway.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Its like Josie and the Pussycats...on crack!

6:14 PM  
Blogger Esereth said...

So, you treated him roughly and he was like, "Yeah! She's got balls, I want more!"? That's pretty cool. Tell more.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous DoctorMama said...

Waist-length hair?
Chain wallet?
Wow.
And people are shocked by red jeans?

6:46 PM  
Blogger E. said...

Yes, Feral Mom was one of several wise people who knew me better than I knew myself.

I didn't see the Josie movie, but I like to think of our story more as Pride and Prejudice on weed.

And though I didn't usually go for what Feral Mom would call the "Jesus boy" type, my man worked a chain wallet and long hair to excellent effect. (The hair is long gone, so to speak. The chain remains, and I must say it still has its appeal, accenting as it does certain of my favorite areas.)

There will be more, as soon as I'm done grading this stack of Jane Austen essays...

7:37 PM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

M. did indeed rock the waist length hair. Even my mother (devout Catholic, rapid Republican, prone to the exclamation "Golly Neds!" when startled) remarked on M.'s "beautiful hair" and was genuinely sorry when he cut it off.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Whoa...hold everything. Is that a Sitemeter I see at the bottom of your saucy blog?

10:19 AM  
Blogger E. said...

There are many reasons I love mother o' Feral Mom (most importantly b/c she brought Feral Mom into our world, thus enriching us all and making the world a little more feral), but one is "Golly Neds!"

Yes, FM, this summer I caved and gave in to the lure of the Sitemeter. I figured I had some extra time on my hands and could obsess for a few weeks. Mainly, of course, I enjoyed seeing the search terms that brought people to Oral Hygiene Queen. Since school started I have been trying to completely ignore the thing.

10:29 AM  

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