**Now that this blog is my new home, I'm re-publishing some of my favorite posts over here.**
(originally published SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2009)
Let's face it. I'm too lazy (or pregnant) to keep digging up pictures, taking them to work and scanning them, and then creating witty dialogue to accompany them. Plus the scanned pictures aren't making it back into the albums, because surprise! I'm too lazy (or pregnant). So I'm going to try something new for Flashback Friday - stories unaccompanied by images.
The Hayes/Martini Saga - First Comes Love (At Least, for One of Us)
Most of you know this story, so feel free to skip this post. Lee hasn't heard it, so I'll start at the beginning.
I have zero confidence. Being a mother is the first thing in my life in which I am completely, wholly, outstandingly comfortable and confident. Before that - nada. But I put on a good show. To make up for my perceived lackluster appearance, I developed wit (okay, became snarky). When I went out with my two best friends, who are both undeniably gorgeous, I always wore the Sarcastic Michelle hat. It worked well because the gorgeous guy always flocked to my hottie best friends and the one-lining sidekick was always left chatting with me.
Until I met Ryan. He is indeed witty, but that was the absolute last thing I noticed the first time I saw him. In fact, it wouldn't have bothered me if he were mute. It could've been the side effect of too many Marlboro Lights (this was before I switched to Camels in an effort to quit and found out Camels are oh so much better (not better for you, son, because you will never, ever smoke)) or it could have been the Extra Winterfresh that was hidden under my tongue. Whatever the reason I found myself wiping drool from my lip because before me was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen. I say man - of course he only weighed 125 lbs and probably could've gone three days without shaving and no one would've noticed, but all I saw was 5 feet 8 inches of perfection.
My first thought? "Wow. That is the most beautiful boy I've ever seen." And then I went on to class, sat in the first row, turned in my homework on time, and answered every single question the professor asked because I had read the assigned material. (Yes, son, your mom and dad always did their homework and went to class.) I didn't put much thought into the hunky boy because he was one for my hottie best friends, not me.
I soon learned that beautiful boy lived on the second floor of my dorm. In the days before Falking (Facebook stalking), we had to rely on much more active observing and gathering. For example, hanging on the wall by his door was a red poster adorned with Dalmatians and bubble letters. Based on the poster, we knew he pledged Pike, knew he lived in that particular room, and therefore knew his name was Ryan. I would've expected something like Adonis, but Ryan worked just fine. By this time the other girls of 4South had also noticed Ryan, and one clever sister named him Dream Lover Pike (DLP for short). In fact, she still calls him that and it makes me giggle like an 18 year old.
It just so happens my new best friend at college was also really tall and pretty. But this time it worked in my favor - Ryan was shorter than she was! So she enlisted the help of another Pike to introduce me and Ryan at a Pike party. We had just walked into the Lodge, and apparently I had begged and pleaded enough that our matchmaker immediately went to work. So Ryan and I met at the bar of the Pike lodge on a Wednesday night in the spring of 1997. Can't you just picture it? A gigantic throng of drunk college students, pressing into a pass-through space big enough for two average-sized adults, pushing their way to the bar for another drink, fighting for spots on red vinyl-covered stools, not even trying to avoid leaving cigarette burns on a neighbor's new party shirt. Romantic, baby, fo' sho'.
He may have caught my name, maybe not. I figured I'd continue the stalking and see where it led. The next night was AGR (how do you type those Greek letters?) Paul Bunyan Days and the party was hopping. I was the DD. So as my peeps and I stood in the crowd listening to the live band, I was perfectly aware of my surroundings. Suddenly DLP appeared right in front of me and asked me to dance. I don't remember the dance, don't remember the song, don't remember what we were wearing, and don't remember what we said. But I remember how he smelled. Yummy. I would later spray Obsession on cotton balls and keep them in my glove box, just to catch a whiff. But that's a story for another day.
I'll sum up this saga with the progression of our courtship: I was a faithful stalker; Ryan was going through the most difficult period of his life. I was sure to be at every party he might attend; he grew used to seeing me at every turn. More effort went into making him want me than anything else I've ever done.
Obviously you know the ending - it worked. . . eventually. Sigh. I must go hug DLP now and save the rest for later.