20 years ago today

I moved into a new apartment.

May 15 was, maybe still is, moving day in Morgantown, WV. It’s the day that apartment leases all over town began. Finals had been over a week or so and graduation was the prior weekend. It was time to pack up & move to a new place, maybe to stay in town for the summer, maybe to go someplace else for the summer, maybe to leave & never return.

My boyfriend of 2 years had left a few days before – never to return. He was off to spend 2 years with Peace Corps in Africa. There had been plans to continue the relationship long distance. Plans we both meant at the time, though with time, we’d both let it go.

I still had senior year & plans for grad school in my future, including an intensive French class over 6 weeks in summer school. (6 credit hours in 6 weeks!) I was moving into a 3rd floor apartment, over the pizza shop where I worked. I’d be rooming with 2 of my sorority sisters, who had moved out of the sorority house. I can no longer recall where I lived before this apartment, not the sorority house. I’d moved out of their in January & sublet a place with a couple people I barely knew, but I lived in 11 places in 7 years in Morgantown & it’s gotten a bit confused in my mind.

Anyway, I had boxes of things & some furniture & they had boxes of things & other bits of furniture and there are no elevators. We made many many trips up and down many many stairs that day. There was no air conditioning and it was unseasonably hot too. You had to get it all moved that day though. Other people were bringing their things into your old apartment while you were taking your stuff out and still others were taking their things out of your new apartment while you were bringing your things in. Unless you got lucky & had a place nice enough you chose to renew the lease, May 15th was a very stressful day. Not many people remained in the same apartment 2 years in a row.

By night everything was moved, we were tired, hot & needed a drink. In the basement of the building, under the pizza store, was a bar, owned by the same people as the pizza place. Naturally we all knew one another & the pizza employees hung out down there after work & pizzas would be ‘made wrong by accident’ for the bar employees and beers would get poured wrong by accident for the pizza employees.

On this night, when we arrived hot & tired & thirsty in the bar, there were several of my co-workers hanging out & we joined them. One of them, who I’d been working with for over a year & found incredibly unappealing personally, though I knew people who found him attractive, began hitting on me.

And hitting on me

And hitting on me

All. night. long.

Finally, in desperation, I threw myself at a different one of my coworkers & began hitting on him, to avoid the guy.

20 years later he is still protecting me from the unwanted advances of other men.

(this is the part where I would insert a photo of us from 1989, but my scanner software crapped out on me and will not reinstall no matter what I do. so here is one from 2006. Imagine us each about 30lbs skinnier, 20 years younger and with much longer hair – much much longer in his case)

outside (21)

Happy Dating Anniversary Sweetheart!

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