In college, Leslie had small hoop earrings, and his car was a maroon Monte Carlo, which he drove with the driver’s seat laid way back while blasting Good Charlotte from his booming speakers. I had a Good Charlotte license plate on the front of my Impala, so we were pretty much well-matched from the beginning. I have to say, my first impressions of Leslie were wrong. He was not a player, nor was he overly-confident. We got to know each other better over the weeks by “chatting” via MSN Messenger. (Does anybody else remember that popular mode of conversation?! Chatting was what we all did before texting took over the world.) Leslie’s screen name was “there is some truth behind all sarcasm,” and mine was something like, “Yeah, my initials are M.F. Got a problem with it?”
Meanwhile, feelings for Andy were dwindling, and I eventually broke up with him. The next day, Leslie texted me and asked me how things were going with Andy. (I’m assuming he was aware of our unwinding relationship and was just waiting for his chance to pounce.) I replied that we had broken up. He replied with, “Oh ok. Want to watch a movie tonight?”
So our first date consisted of sitting on the floral couch in Leslie’s dorm room, shoulder-to-shoulder, watching Signs, the alien thriller starring Mel Gibson. I was so nervous, I couldn’t stop shaking, but I concealed it well. I remember Leslie’s roommate was in the room off and on throughout the movie, and when he was in there, Leslie and I wrote notes to each other on a piece of notebook paper. (Can you say awkward for Leslie’s roommate!?) One of the things I remember Leslie writing/drawing on the paper before he passed it to me was a bar graph. Under one very short bar he wrote, “All the other girls I’ve ever dated” and under the second, much taller bar, he wrote, “You!” Melted my heart. It really is the simple things that made an impact on me back then and still do today.
We had our first kiss on that floral couch. We had many late night conversations on the couch as well, discussing everything from our beliefs to the dynamics of our homes growing up. Everything lined up like a dream, and I was on cloud nine.
One night, we were “chatting” online and I mentioned wanting a Snickers bar. Leslie told me to meet him downstairs in 5, and I did. That was the first night I rode in his car, which smelled overwhelmingly like his cologne. He drove me to the Shell gas station by campus and bought me a Snickers then drove me back to the dorm. I was pretty sure I was head-over-heels by that point.
It didn’t take us long to define ourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend, and once we did, we were inseparable. You want to talk about a guy that is smitten early on in a relationship, one day Leslie and I intentionally both wore white button-up shirts, jeans and our brown Birkenstock sandals to class. We walked in hand-in-hand and that group of guys that sat by him gave him so much crap. He didn’t even care. What is it about the early stages of a relationship that make us do such silly things like that?
Weekends when we would both go home were killer. We would email each other, miss each other so badly and hint around to our parents that we just may have found someone really special. Someone we could see ourselves marrying.
It was scary to feel so strongly about each other almost right from the beginning, but we both knew that we had that feeling about each other – the one they say you feel when you meet the right person. When it’s right, you just know. Yeah, we felt that.
To Be Continued…