Thursday, June 4, 2009

Laying The Groundwork?

Or did college simply set me free to be who I am?

Ever get a phone call and something inside just knew you were destined to be friends with whomever was on the other end?

That's what happened in August 1984.

I had just received my room assignment and two hours later, the phone rang. It was one of my soon-to-be-roommates, wanting to get to know me.

I think we talked for two hours. And this was before free long distance! But something told me we would be good friends.

At the end of the month, we had indeed ended up on the same side of the suite; I'd arrived first and opted for the top bunk; K arrived and chose the other side, far bed. En arrived and took the other side, near bed, but left soon afterwards. Er arrived the next day, and had no choice but to take the last remaining bed. And we were all hoping the good-looking guy with her was her brother! (No such luck...he turned out to be her boyfriend!)

Right away, the two E's paired up, since they were both more attractive than myself or K, and quickly got themselves invited to the parties. Fast-forward to April; Er needed one of us for a blind date, and En refused. I agreed, and while it not only kick-started my alter-ego's series, that decision solidified our friendship. She discovered that while I was quiet, I did have a wild side to me after all, and during the next four years we shared tears, traded sexual knowledge, confided over boy problems, and have had each other's back more than once.

We lost touch with En, since she didn't return the following year, and when K didn't return the second year, I managed to keep in contact with her, so BJ (who took En's spot in our room), K, E, and I became a close foursome. E and I transfered to Ball State, and since I got there first, I secured a room for us, plus introduced her to all my new friends in the dorm wing.

Over the past two decades, we've drifted somewhat. K married and divorced; BJ announced she was through with men; E married and moved to the northern part of the state; I finally married and began reproducing. And when E's spouse started abusing her, I was right there to 'kidnap' her, provide a place to stay, and help her get counseling. Her decision to leave opened up her husband's eyes, and he agreed to get help for his anger issues. So far, he's not touched her again, so answered prayer there!

And now she's only 90 minutes north of me, so I stop in whenever I can.

College was a learning experience, not just for furthering my education, but forming lasting friendships, life experiences, and ultimately meeting my future husband, though I didn't know it until two years AFTER I graduated.

Tomorrow: My adult friends after marriage.

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