Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Twin Posts From Different Bloggers

So, Ms. B and I were sitting around this past weekend chewing on possible blog post ideas for the upcoming week. It is a familiar complaint of mine (and I'm guessing everyone else from time to time) that I can never think of anything to write about. After a drink, or two or three, she thought it might be fun for each of us to write an account of how we met in college, and post it on the same day. Then be able to read each other's perspective on the same event. Brilliant! You can read her account of how she met me (also known as the best day ever!) over at Tapdancing on the Edge of Reason.
It was the fall of 1987, and I was just beginning my Jr year, though due to no less that two Major changes and an obscene number dropped classes, I was probably still a Sophomore. I was heavily into my Nouveau Bohemian ways and dressed the part (my mother liked to call it my bag lady look). You could usually find me wandering around campus in a long twirly skirt, and oversized sweater, two pairs of glaringly different socks to get that oh so together layered leg warmer look, and granny boots. My hair was usually sporting a braid or two, and from that braid usually dangled an errant earring of unusual size. Are you getting an image? No? Let me help you. Imagine (if you dare) that Jerry Garcia and Stevie Nicks got together, drank too much wine, and had a love child. Are you properly horrified? Good, now where was I?

Oh, yes, my third year at East Carolina University in Greenville NC (that's the armpit of the south, in case you're wondering).I was a proud English Minor heading off to her first writing class. Poetry writing that is. The catalogue had read "Introduction to Poetry Writing", implying that those who were there had little to no experience in writing poetry. Silly, naive Chanda. The class was a combination of English majors, all experienced in writing, and writing workshops,thus expecting this class to be easy; jocks and sorority girls all taking the class to satisfy their graduation requirements, also thinking this class was going to be easy, and one or two poor souls who could barely put two sentences together. I'm not really sure what they were doing there. All of this, paired with the fact that the class was way too crowded ensured that our professor/frustrated poet/cranky bitch was in a foul mood. Needless to say the welcome to class speech was less than motivating. She should have just walked in and said "get the fuck out", but I suppose that would be less than poetic.

So there I was on the first day of class, poorly situated in our round table formation of desks next to the premenstrual teacher, surreptitiously taking in my fellow classmates. About half way around the circle I noticed this girl in cat sunglasses, a spikey asymmetrical hair cut, complete with a long braided rat tail falling across her shoulder, and a mason jar full of some sort of bright orange liquid. I was intrigued by that mason jar. It didn't look like orange juice, it was thicker; did someone actually have the brass cahones to bring a mixed drink to a 9:15am class? If they did, they had my total respect. The class met twice a week, and on eacj morning we met, there was the girl with the mason jar,folding origami birds and making their wings flap at anyone who looked askance at her.

One of the required projects for this class was to pick from a list of poets, choose a partner and present a lecture to the rest of the class on that poet. Great. I put off approaching the seemingly unapproachable masses for as long as I possibly could, procrastination being something in which I am particularly gifted. As D day approached, the girl with the mason jar walked into class, plunked a tin of home made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies down on the teacher's desk, and invited everyone to help themselves. Wait a moment! Homemade baked goods? With chocolate? How bad can this girl be? Maybe I should ask her to be my partner. So I did, and she turned me down, flat. The bitch.

Ok, so she was going to leave me to my own devices with the poet I had chosen (Nancy Willard), but the door had been opened, and an easy conversation started in that hallway, and continued across campus. I was on my way back to my apartment, where my roommate at the time was more than likely sleeping off the past night's digressions. She was well on her way down a destructive path of hard drinking and promiscuity, that even back then, I could tell went way beyond the normal college level excesses. Ms. B explained that she too had a troublesome roommate she was less than excited to go home to. She asked if she could come up and hang out a while. Six hours later we had formed the beginnings of a friendship that is still going on twenty years later.

That afternoon she asked if I could give her a ride to the grocery store, then back to her apartment. As we drove by a particularly infamous fraternity house, she rolled down her window and yelled "Fascist Pigs!". I knew right then and there she was my kind of people.

8 comments:

Revenant said...

Hee, hee. That sounds awesome. I haven't called anyone a fascist for at least a week! Thanks for stopping by.

flutter said...

I totally love you two

Hanlie said...

That was fun! Makes me wish my best friend blogged!

FairiesNest said...

Cool idea! I'm off to read the other side!

maggie, dammit said...

Twin comments from the same blogger:

You guys are the fucking shit. I love you terribly.

transplantingme.com said...

i read them both and love that they could almost be not the same story. and how great to be friends 20 yrs later. i also met my best college friend in an english class.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful article,thanks for putting this together! "This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here. Keep it up!"
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Susan said...
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