Thursday, October 09, 2008

October Love Stories

Mary at Owlhaven, inspired by my friend Megan at Fried Okra, is telling the story of how she and her husband met and fell in love--in installments. She's encouraging others to join her, and Jenni at One Thing is doing so, hilariously--which totally inspired me to join in. I've thought about telling this tale it's time!

Part the First

Papa Rooster and I think that the first time we met was at church. We were both freshmen at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, and it was one of the first weekends we were there. Wheaton Bible Church had advertised a Sunday School class for college students that sounded really great--and was--and many of us were checking it out. I have a vague memory of meeting PR and his group of friends in the doughnut line in a basement Sunday School room.

It seemed like I always knew who he was, though, because his picture was plastered all over campus for the first few weeks we were there. I'm serious! He was running for freshman class president, and the running mate he picked was none other than Mr. A--the same fellow with whom he is now in a ministry partnership at our church! Who'da thunk it back in 1983??

Anyway, he and Mr. A were a sharp pair. PR had grown up in New York, near the city, and had a certain East Coast polish to him--I would later learn that he had played lead roles in musicals in high school and had considered going into theater at Wheaton, but he changed his goal to getting involved in Student Government and becoming freshman class president. Mr. A was a farm boy from Nebraska--a full Swede (while PR is half Norwegian). He was a character by anyone's measure, full of colorful exclamations like "Shoot the dog" and "Holy buckets!" He was smart, funny and likable; PR was serious, confident and outgoing. They were a great team, and they looked so cute in the picture on their campaign posters--a Miami Vice pose in the Edman chapel doorway, their hair parted in the middle and feathered back in the 80's style. ("That's when I had hair to part," PR always says when he sees that picture.)

And just for your viewing pleasure, what have we here??

(I know the guy on the left looks like he could be one of our children, so I better say that Papa Rooster is the one with the tie!)

Meanwhile, PR knew who I was from a picture too, although I had no idea of that fact.

Every fall Wheaton put out a publication with all the freshman's pictures in it called "Who's New" (also referred to in the guys' dorms as "Who's Next").

PR, like all the freshmen guys on his floor--and most of the sophomores too--had put in his time with Who's New and had picked out two girls he really wanted to ask out. Yep, I was one.

(Can you pick me out?)

(Hint: I'm not in the second row. And I look like I could be one of my children.)

(Answer: I'm in the center of the top row.)

However, a smart sophomore guy beat him to it and managed to tie me up for the next 18 months! That gave Papa Rooster plenty of time to take out all the girls that caught his fancy, but none seemed quite right for him. By the time he ended up his sophomore year, he was done with Wheaton girls.

It took me most of sophomore year to lose the lawyer, a really great guy that didn't dump easily, though I kept trying and changing my mind. (He is our attorney to this day. Estate planning needs, anyone?) That summer, back home in Ohio, I hung out with an overly self-confident local boy studying to be a doctor--but only because I was in love with his baby blue MG Midget convertible. And he liked to take me out to nice places for dinner, too.

It was a superficial relationship that was memorable for the one great quote I got out of it. Back at my house at the end of our third or fourth date, he noticed my salutatorian's trophy on the shelf. (In those days there was only one per graduating class.) (Just sayin'.)

"Wow," he said. "When I first asked you out, I thought you were just an attractive girl. Then I was pleasantly surprised to discover you were a good conversationalist and fun to be with. And now I find out you're smart, too! I got more than I bargained for!"

I had no idea how to BEGIN to take that. It was about the cockiest, most insulting series of compliments I'd ever received!

But I sure enjoyed the rides...

Only Baby Blue was much more dreamy.

So. Fall of our junior year. Papa Rooster was So Done with Wheaton girls, and I couldn't wait to date all the cutest, humblest guys I knew at Wheaton. Enter God.

Okay--that's a bit dramatic. But it was a strange circumstance that led to our first contact--and my most embarrassing moment EVER.

Stay tuned for Part Two!


Heather said...

I can't wait for the next installment!

Islandsparrow said...

First on the left?

Yes, I remember the 80's part in the middle feather it back style. My bother in law (who was very cute - like his brother) only just changed his. :)

Crystal said...

This is a great story!! I'm looking forward to part 2 - and the moment memory :))

mama said...

I love this stuff!!

Jeanne - Your whole blog - but especially your recollections of things past are so great! And what wonderful keepsakes for your children. Can't wait to read more -


Amy said...

I LOVE THIS STORY!!!!! Although I am searching my memory to remember who you dated for those 18 months . . . you need to send me a hint! And now I want to dig through my bookshelves to find my copy of "who's next"! . . . someday I'll tell you about the "East Side View Finder" - ask Lori . . .


At A Hen's Pace said...

Okay, I guess I better tell which picture is me! I'm adding it to the story now....


Owlhaven said...

this is great!!!


Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

I had you both picked out! I'm either getting better at this or you two haven't changed much (other than the aforementioned hair)(or ... ahem ... lack thereof).

Summer said...

Jeanne: I'm having so much fun reading this story. Oh, I just love those pics!

Margaret Cloud said...

This is very interesting post, you did a good job, I could not remember that many facts if my life depended on it.

Wildwood Mama said...

Great photos. And that car!

I'm late posting mine-