Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Donna and Dan - 25
Now, I know what you're saying ("Awwwwwww... how sweet!") and I know what you're thinking ("how boring!"), so I apologize in advance if you're not the sort to wax sentimental. Feel free to skip over them if you are so inclined. Some things you just do for yourself.
Now, set the wayback machine for that day back BEFORE we married, when we first met way back in September of 1981...
Kim Carnes was singing about Bette Davis Eyes, Brother John Lennon was still with us and singing about how it's Just Like Starting Over, while George Harrison sang of All Those Years Ago. REO Speedwagon, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, John COUGAR (not yet "Mellencamp"), ABBA, Bruce Springsteen and the Oakridge Boys (Elvira) were all on the radio. Disco had all but died in our land and few mourned.
Raiders of the Lost Ark, Stripes, American Werewolf in London, History of the World: Part I and The Evil Dead were among the movies playing that year.
Donna was raised in rural Carlisle County just outside of Arlington, KY, population maybe 400? She attended Carlisle County High School and was at the top of her class of about 30.
I was raised in the south end of Louisville, KY, near Churchill Downs and attended urban Manual High School. I was relatively smart but mostly an underachiever. That is to say, I was not at the top of my class of 400. On the other hand, Donna was only about 40th from the BOTTOM of her class and I was way up about 300 from the bottom of my class, so it's all relative.
Donna and I had graduated in May of 1981 from our respective high schools and we both had elected to attend Murray State University in far western Kentucky. We both had grown up in traditional Baptist churches and so, upon arriving at Murray, we did what all good Baptist college kids did: Found the Baptist Student Union.
We were both relatively shy and yet looking to establish new friends and began considering the options at the BSU. They had Thursday night vespers (a prayer service, I think), a choir and other activities and, early on in the school year, they planned an overnight retreat for college students to get to know one another and the BSU. We met at this retreat.
A volleyball game had started and, since I loved volleyball (and since there were several eligible-looking young women playing), I joined in. I noticed this one pretty gal wearing what looked to be her high school t-shirt - it listed the entire graduating class of maybe 30-ish people. Since my class was so huge compared to hers, I suavely chose to make fun of her school.
"THAT'S your WHOLE graduating class??! Our chess team had THAT many people on it!"
For her part, Donna says that I had caught her eye, too. Must have been my witty banter and mad volleyball skills. She says she was playing her best in order to try to impress me (she says she could tell I had a competitive spirit - not true, says I. She still disagrees...). I thought she played pretty well, for a girl (yeah, I was also much more of a sexist pig back in the day).
Donna is convinced it was her volleyball expertise that won me over and so she has not played volleyball again since that day, for fear of shattering the illusion. Actually, she had me when she smiled at my lame joke.
A friendship had begun...