February 9, 2013

Our Story, Part 1: We Were Only Freshmen

Posted in Our Story tagged , , , , , , at 8:30 pm by Debbie

As I learn to live with grief, I have begun to understand ever more the importance of keeping the memories alive, cherishing them, holding them close to my heart, and remembering them fondly. Memories are what keep the love alive when the loved one isn’t. This post is the first in a series where I’ll share our story of 30+ years together. These are just some of the memories I’m holding on to.

The year was 1980 and I was a freshman at Southwest Missouri State University (now called Missouri State University.) The Beach Boys were in town. What do college students do when the Bead Boys are in town? They have a beach party. At someone’s house. With sand on the porch. Shorts, swimsuits, and flip flops were the featured attire. No matter that it was November. And cold.

At some point in the evening, a friend stopped by the party so I could give directions to her and her date to some place that I supposedly knew how to get to. Keep in mind that my direction giving is lacking in the remembrance of most street names. I return to places based on visuals and landmarks. I give directions the same way. Nevertheless, I grabbed a beach towel to wrap around my arms and headed out to her date’s car. That was the night I met Dave Kipp. Yep, he was on a date with a friend.

The next day my friend asked me what I thought of him. I was honest. I told her I was not impressed and that I thought he was arrogant. I believe I actually called him an asshole (though I really don’t remember what he said to make me think that.) I think she went out with him one more time and then realized I was right.

Fast forward past Christmas vacation and one or two not-all-that-exciting-dates-with-duds to a night in February. We were at another party (we were college freshmen, what did you expect?) Dave was there with a friend (who shall remain nameless, but is very likely to post a comment at the end of this post.) The two guys saw two girls they were “interested” in and flipped a coin to see which girl each would talk to. Meanwhile, I saw him from across the room and remembered meeting him earlier in the school year. I wondered if he was as big a jerk as I first thought. Dave “won” me in the coin toss and ended up asking me out that night. I was curious. I said yes. By the way, I didn’t find out until years later that asking me out was part of a coin toss. Geez. Men.

On our first date we went to see Caddy Shack at the Student Union. I had already watched it at the theatre, but didn’t offer up that detail. But then it was kinda obvious as I was pointing out the good parts before they happened. After the movie we went back to Dave’s dorm room with some friends and spent the rest of the evening talking. We laughed, we joked, we talked of our plans for the future, and we all got to know each other pretty well over the course of a few hours. By the time we were all ready to call it a night, it was so late (or early) that two of us had to sneak out of the “boys” dorm and back into our own to avoid breaking curfew. Those were the days. So much more fun to be sneaky than to not have the rules at all.

If you had asked me at that moment to be honest about how I felt, I would have told you that I was sure I had met the man I was going to marry. Years later I learned that Dave felt the same way, which, of course, scared the heck out of him. After all, we were only freshmen.

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1 Comment »

  1. smilecalm said,

    may he live on in your kindness and gentle smile.


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