Monday, November 13, 2006

A literal stroll down memory lane...

So, this weekend my hubby and I did some big-time reminiscing. I mean like giganto.

We got up Saturday morning, got everyone fed and dressed and dropped the kiddos off at my in-laws house. Then, we got back in the car and drove an hour up the road to the town and college campus where we met. Our old stompin' grounds! It wasn't homecoming, we weren't meeting anyone there, it was just something my hubby proposed about a month or two ago and it sounded fun, so we just went for the day. We left our day pretty unstructured, as I was sick (and still am) with a pretty yucky cold.

It was probably one of the best days of our married life.

The whole way up we played the "remember when" game. We were laughing about the STUPIDEST things we've seen, said and done together. We also laughed about what a complete idiot my husband is for not trying to marry me sooner, but that's a whole different Oprah right there.

Before I get into our day -- my hubby attended school there from '90-'94 before he moved back east for law school. I was there from '91-'95 and then stayed till '97 for grad school. Just use that as a frame of reference.

One of the first things we noticed when we drove into town is that "The Gambler" is not "The Gambler" anymore. This was very distressing to us, as our first drive back into town smacked of change on a fundamental level. How in the HELL could that happen? I mean -- that was where you went to get REALLY "happy" with your friends. It was a complete dive -- a country bar with penny get the idea. The best part about it was that it was TOTALLY within walking distance to my house. *sigh* I sure hope "Jack's Place" provides the same opportunities for drunk dancing, groping and obnoxious memory making that The Gambler did.

Okay -- change #2...we drove past my house, which is a few blocks away. CRAZINESS!! The entire block was wiped out on the other side of the road...they tore down all of those houses and built apartments! It was nuts! I still remember that we were friends with all of these looney guys that lived across the street from us and we'd walk to class with them a few times a week. It's crazy to think that now their house is gone. (Am I sounding really old yet? Are you detecting a theme here?)

Moving right along -- the shock wore off of that and we decided to head to campus. We turn onto the street and both go "What is THAT?" A *very* nice building that definitely was NOT there when we were at school. We both were like "Ummm, we were not consulted on this and that is NOT how we remember it." Well, adding a building didn't prepare us for what was around the corner -- they flippin' STUCCOED our dorms!!! Our dorms when we were there were white wood with black trim. Now they are a yellowy tan stucco with lots of brick. We both just started laughing when we saw them because it was like "what is THAT?!?" I think part of it is -- that was our special memory -- that's where we met. That's where he first toted my luggage around. Hee hee. I swear to you -- we both were like "ooookay, this is gonna be a strange day."

And it was.

We took bets on what would still be in the University Center, what wouldn't etc. Let me tell you, those of you that know me will know this is a big announcement -- THERE IS A STARBUCKS in the UC!!! How in the WORLD did I miss out on THAT?!? Ugh!!! All of that time that I spent there with no Starbucks???? Come ON!! Those kids better appreciate that one!

OMG -- I just called them kids. And meant it. And I'm TOTALLY a "ma'am" to them. Crap.

Anyway -- the bookstore is now owned by Barnes & Noble, so that was bizarre. We spent almost $300 in there buying clothes and hats and dumb stuff but it was so much fun! We wandered around and basically both couldn't believe it really had been over 10 years since we were there together. Just insane.

Okay -- so after that we decided to go to our favorite restaurant for lunch. It is a complete DIVE but they have the BEST carolis (like calzones) and really cheap beer. Hey -- Georgia was elsewhere so I was on that. We ordered the Bazookas, just like old times and guess what -- I actually finished mine. We just laughed the entire time we were at lunch and enjoyed ourselves entirely. Of course the humongous beer did its usual make me frisky thing, so I spent the next hour telling my hubby to pull over so I could attack him and he spent the next hour laughing at me. Good times...

Okay -- so after lunch we decided to drive over to where he used to work. That meant a trip to a really fun little newspaper stand and he was very good -- we were only there a few minutes because that man could stay there for HOURS. They have any magazine you'd ever want to read and then some. After that, a trip to the STUPID little nascar store. Ugh. The lady just HAD to tell him that his driver stuff was 50% off so that took forever, even though this store is like the size of a broom closet. That didn't stop him from taking his sweet ol' time. Nerd.

(This is very long, and please know that I am not EVEN doing our day justice.)

Okay -- so I finally yank him out of the nascar nerd store and we get back in the car. This time we decide to drive over to the other side of campus and walk around -- over by the library. It's funny -- I can't describe how it was like an instant flood of memories walking back into that library -- I spent soooooooo much time there in grad school. LOTS of time. The sight of the dang copy room -- I don't even want to think about how much money in dimes I spent in there making copies. Insane. But I told my hubby, I really wish it was closer -- I'd LOVE to spend more time in there again. Seeing all of these kids in there studying, laughing with their friends, it made me realize just how completely EASY I had it in college -- I never, ever thought I'd be longing to do that stuff again, but I think it would be SO fun!! Oh, and by the way, coffee kiosk in the library now, too. Gimme a break -- spoiled brats!! (That's jealousy speaking, there.)

We walk around, laugh about places we used to hang out and where we always seemed to run into each other -- and then we get to that new building that we saw on the way into town. Oh my word -- that place is a brand new "dining hall" but it looks like a fancy freakin' RESTAURANT!! We were like "Are you KIDDING me with this???" Sheesh.

By this time, I was feeling not so hot so we decided to just drive around some more so I could get back to my beloved bottled water and cough drops. (Uhhh - yeah. Old. I know.)

We drive around and look at a park we used to love and the other side of campus. I feel a recharge of energy (youthful??) so we walk around some more. That's the old part of campus that they stuccoed to make it "new" again, so it felt weird to us because nothing looked the same. They'd built some more dorms, and changed the way everything looked but that same ol' feeling was there walking with him. Pretty nutso.

Back to the car we go -- and off to dinner at another favorite place. We had a great dinner and made our Christmas list of gifts we need to buy while we ate. (Yes, by this time, it's official -- we are crusty ol' farts.)

On the way home, I'd like to point out that my husband saved our lives. I'm not even kidding. We were on a pretty rural road that didn't have any street lights. We were on the main road and coming up to a cross street. There was no stop sign or anything but my hubby started slowing down. I was like "What are you doing?" Just about then, he starts saying "Oh my God, she's NOT gonna stop" and lays on the horn. I totally didn't even see it but this girl driving a sedan BARRELED through the stop sign coming the other way and would have NAILED us right in my passenger door if he hadn't been so alert. I cannot explain to you how close it was and how my heart literally was pounding away. I looked back to see the girl's car stopped on the other side of the main road on the shoulder. My guess is she was figuring out how to clean the poop out of her pants. I was shaking and hubby was very calm but told me he saw her because her phone was lit up and he could tell she wasn't slowing down. He said that ever since those crazy Volkswagon commercials started, he's always aware of getting t-boned like that. Thank GOD for him because I'm serious, it would have been a NASTY accident. Scares me even to think about it.

Anyway-- we ended our day with picking up the kids, getting them home and to bed. We both just laughed at how funny it is that we ended up together like this. We met when I was 17 years old and now here we are married, in the suburbs with a minivan and two kids.

Anything is possible, people. Never say never to anything -- we are proof that it may take awhile, but crazy things happen every day.

I'm so very, very grateful that life is like that.

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