Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Picture This

It still makes me shutter.

Monday morning I saw Dee at breakfast. He was already sitting with friends so I just said "Hi" in that awkward day-after-the-first-kiss kind of way. After classes, we sat together (with a group) at lunch. It was fun, and we teased and laughed easily. Dee said he was going to study in the "apt" that afternoon. He didn't invite me, but I figured he'd told me because he hoped I'd join him. After about an hour I took a candy bar upstairs. The door was closed so I knocked and then opened it. Dee was sitting on the couch with another girl.

Her name was Susan and they were looking at her camera. How stupid could I be? Of course he'd like a girl with a camera! He loved cameras! I was an idiot to think the kiss meant anything. For all I knew, he'd bet HIS roommate he could kiss ME! I'd told him I had a boyfriend . . . what was I thinking? That he liked me? Who likes a girl who talks about FDR?? Stupid, stupid, stupid!!! And I just walked in on them! Oh, how dumb! I quickly handed him the candy bar, backed out of there, and fled.

Down in my room I could feel tears prickling behind my eyes. Could I be jealous? We were just friends, weren't we? I'd only known him a week. He wasn't even my type! Besides, supposedly I was in love with my boyfriend . . . of course I was. This was just a little fling, after all. What did I expect? I was just embarrassed by the situation—no big deal.

By mid-afternoon I had a roaring headache and an upset stomach. What would I do when I saw him? Just act normal? Act like I didn't notice or care? I couldn't show how humiliated and hurt I felt. It was all a disaster. He didn't like me after all. He'd probably liked Susan all along.

The Infamous Susan

I came down to dinner late and sat with a group at a big table. Dee came and sat in the only seat left, at the other end. I smiled and acted totally put-together and casual. Susan happened to be sitting at the table, too. I ignored her. Everybody was talking and the subject of having kids came up.

"How many kids do you want?" someone asked at my end of the table, and I said "Twelve."

"Marty wants 12 kids!" and then from the other end someone else said "Dee wants 12 kids, too! You guys ought to get together!" It was kind of amazing. This was 1969, birth control was the new thing, population explosion and women's lib—nobody wanted 12 kids! Yet here we had each independently told a group that we did. The conversation went on, but it was like we were the only ones at the table when we smiled at each other.


There was a concert downtown that night, and some of our students were performing with the University orchestra. I came downstairs ready to go and saw Susan walk up to Dee. I kept my distance, and then when a group started to leave I joined them. Right then Dee came up behind me and took my arm, asking if I was ready to go. Part of me felt so relieved and happy I wanted to cry. The other part of me bristled that he was acting like we were a couple, when he had been dallying with another woman all afternoon while my heart was breaking. The relieved part of me won out, I let go of my pride and we strolled downtown together.

Salzburg at night

After the concert we went to the Blaue Gans, a restaurant we have been back to many, many times over the years. Dee bought me dinner, (one of only 2 times the whole semester that we didn't go Dutch) and we had our first "relationship" talk. He asked me what was the matter (I had been less than perky, in that totally annoying, girlie way) and after very little coaxing I told him how embarrassed I'd been to walk in on him and Susan. He told me it was unplanned, that she had just gone to that room to study as well, and it was very uncomfortable for him, too, knowing how it looked to me. We both told each other how much fun we were having together, and reminded ourselves that we already had individual future plans, so we could enjoy our time in Salzburg without strings.

We had weathered the storm. Our friendship was in tact. We walked home feeling at ease, and relaxed. We held hands, but there was no kiss goodnight. We were on solid ground. I hated Susan.


~Your boyfriend caught you with another guy. How did you react?

~How many kids did you want? How many did you have? How did you decide?

~Tell about a time your heart was broken.


Tiffany said...

Such a great story! (Reminds me of my parents who wanted 12 kids too!)

Me? I wanted six. Then I had one and revised my plan.

cannwin said...

Those dang other women.

I've come to the conclusion that I don't want to put a number on the amount of children I want. It seems selfish to decide how many children to let God give me.

With that being said, I also say I don't want thirteen.

So I currently have 4 and I'm not sure what to expect from the future. I'm not ready to try for more, not for a while. This last one did a number on me...

I think I'll wait a few years before I think about it.

Shanel said...

Well, I've not ever been "caught" with another guy... or girl so to speak but I've dated a couple of people at the same time:)

I always said I wanted 3 kids... or 4... but I have none due to CRAZY infertility...

My heart has been broken many times. First at the age of 17.. dated a guy who was 24 with parents approval. Move from AR to FL with him... found out he was cheating on me. Next when I was 21 and married I found out that my husband was cheating on me with a girl I worked with and went to church with --and we had the same first name... I went crazy!!!! There's more heartbreak but I have lived and learned:)

Katie H said...

My husband nearly broke my heart. I thought he was dating someone else - she was, in fact, interested - until I realized he's just too nice & didn't even notice her attentions. Kind of hard being married to someone who's just generally sweet to everyone. ;)

We don't have kids yet. I vary from day to day between wanting three & six. I guess it'll depend on what the Lord has in store for us!

I love this story, by the way. Can't wait to hear more. You are such a good writer - I'm hooked.

Michelle said...

I hate Susan too!

Love your stories. The pun at the beginning was priceless.

Heidi said...

12 mom... wow. Can you imagine five more of us in 5 different cities with 4 grandchildren each? Yikes! It was pure kismet.

The Grandmother Here said...

Oh. I'm so glad to be past the dating and heart-ache stage.

We were planning on having eight children but then number six turned out to be the poster child for celibacy.

crissy said...

When I was young, and my mom told me about how she had to be naked for appointments while pregnant I decided I never wanted to have my own, I'd just adopt.
As I got a little older I started to think 4-5 would be a good number.
The number moved up to 6 when I decided I had to have an even number of kids.
After my first, 6 turned to 8. Hey, if my mom could do it, so could I.
Then, some random day, the number 10 entered my mind, and it just sounded and felt right. So I'm planning for 10, but I'm open to whatever I'm given.
10 isn't even a crazy number, anyway. Before we started our family my husband said he wanted 15-17 kids!

Kay Dennison said...

Never been caught with another guy. Wanted 4 kids -- got two and docs said I was done after my illness. Sigh.

Christie said...

You are much cuter than Susan. No wonder he liked you best.

Diane said...

I would have felt exactly as you did, and behaved in the same way! I felt transported back many years.

The Susan in our relationship was named Yolanda. And from the picture of Susan there, you had no worries!

the wrath of khandrea said...

this is one that i'll pass on mulling over. your story was very entertaining though.

twelve? really???

Abby said...

I love reading your story! Twelve kids? I go insane with two!