It was June 1st, 1980. Middle school ended two days earlier. Oh and by the way, there was no middle school graduation or big ceremony!! We simply completed our year, took our exams and as expected, was promoted to the next year, which happened to be 9th grade…but I digress.
Michael and I had been friends for the last two years. We had enjoyed hanging out at lunch with our mutual friends and were simply enjoying our friendship. Around the beginning of April, something started to change. Someone else I knew started talking about how cute she thought Michael was. Now, I had seen him almost every school day for the past two school years and had never really saw “that”! I just knew that he was a nice, quiet guy that laughed at my jokes and enjoyed just watching us all goof around at the lunch table. He would sit there, eating his ice cream sandwich, legs stretched out, crossed at the ankles. Every now and then you’d see his head nod in affirmation that he had heard what we were saying and he’d be smiling or laughing quietly. Never a big guffaw–that just wasn’t him back then!
So, after I was told that he was so cute, I got to thinking…”Hmmm, maybe he is cute!” So, one night after a band concert, I went to spend the night at a friend’s house. After goofing around a bit, we were like, “Well, now what do you want to do?” Well, of course, MY first thought was, “Let’s call guys!!” So we took out our school directory and took to dialing–yes DIALING–you know a rotary phone. So, of course the first name we looked up was Michael Ro… at that time, we weren’t sure how to pronounce it. He came to the phone, we told him who we were and then proceeded to try to have a conversation with him.
Now, why we thought he would be more talkative on the phone when he barely spoke two words with any of us at the lunch table, was beyond me. My friend was there with the phone in hand asking him questions and he’d respond with as few words as possible. She covers the phone and whispers to me, “he’s not talking much at all”. So, I suggest, “Here! Let me try.”
So, I get on the phone and start yapping! Now, for those who know me, know that I could talk to a tree, so his silence was not daunting at all. Well, actually, our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey! How ya doin’?
Me: Me, yea, I’m doing fine. Yea, I like school, do you?
Me: So what are you doing this weekend?
Me: Yea, probably the same for me. I think I’m gonna go to the mall or something.
Me: Oh really! Oh, I didn’t know that.
Me: Wow! That’s hard to believe!
After a little more of that, my friend whispers to me, “he’s really talking to you?” To which I cover the phone and responded (well, actually I just downright lied to save face, but hey, I was only 14), “yea, he’s talking. I don’t know why he wasn’t talking to you.” So, I go back to the phone and continue with my make-believe conversation with Michael. By this time, I’m sure that he thinks, no, he knows that I am a complete nut!
Well, that must have been what he liked, because he called me the next night and we continued ACTUALLY talking on the phone every now and then for several weeks. Slowly, we were simply getting to know on another. This was now the beginning of our summer vacation and I think we realized that we would not be seeing one another on a daily basis at school any longer, something changed. Our feelings changed toward one another.
We knew that we were headed to different high schools. I was on my way to McCallum and he was on his way to Anderson. We knew that we were too young to officially “date”, but we knew that we still wanted to see each other.
We made plans for our “First Date”. We each took a bus and met at Dobie Mall down on the Drag so that we could eat lunch together and then just hang out. He had to bring along his 5 year old little brother, but we didn’t mind. We had lunch at McDonald’s and then hung out at the arcade there and then walked around the UT campus a bit.
That summer we talked on the phone EVERYDAY for no less than 6 hours. That was our only means of communication. There was no texting, no FB, no chat rooms…just the good old fashioned talking on the telephone. We were able to see each other once more that summer.
We have been through so much since then–good and bad. Our relationship has flourished so much that we can honestly say that we love each now much more than we were ever capable of back then!! We truly are soulmates and we have learned how to complement one another successfully!!
Fast forward to now and he’s talking about trying to have another baby. NOW WHO’S THE NUT!!!!