Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago....Part One

Fifteen Years (and one month....and one day) ago…. Thursday, Dec 4, 1997

There she was- minding her own business- opening the coffee shop at the University’s Baptist Student Union one early morning for her friend who ran the joint. She was a college freshman finishing up her very first semester in college. She was enjoying her various 101 classes, though struggling with the whole concept of “studying” since the recent high school valedictorian hadn’t really needed to study up until this point. School always came easy for her, which was good since she was currently working two jobs (getting paid a whopping $6.50 per hour at each- the “good ol’ days”) and had a 45 minute commute (one way) from her home in the country to the University and basically had zero time to study, anyway.

She was probably thinking of this one guy she worked with- we’ll call him Mr. W- on whom she had a very large crush. However, she felt it was hopeless thinking about him since he didn’t seem to know she was alive and, besides, guys never asked her out, anyway.

She was working at the coffee shop, which wasn’t one of her “real” jobs, in order to fund her trip to the Passion Conference being held in Texas that year. Even though she had two jobs, and a full-ride scholarship, she didn’t have much money to spare and she *really* wanted to go to this conference with the new friends she met at the BSU.

So, there she was that cold December morning, all alone with her thoughts. One topic on the forefront of her mind was the upcoming BSU Christmas party which the BSU freshmen had the honor of planning each year. She fancied herself a pretty good cook and loved to bake, so she volunteered to be in charge of organizing the food. Her contribution to the party? A couple of cheesecakes- her favorite food behind pizza. If there was anything this current pre-med student cared about, it was good nutrition food- especially foods that contained cheese. There was no way this girl would ever be able to give up her cheese!

The Christmas party had a 1950’s theme and she was envisioning herself in a poodle skirt, bobby socks, and a ponytail with bangs. How she was going to get a poodle skirt by the next day was a bit of a puzzle to her, but it wasn’t enough to keep this perpetual optimist from thinking how very awesome everything was going to be and how many accolades she would receive about her cheesecakes.

As she was thinking about how much Mr. W. would be impressed by her cheesecakes, if only he came to the BSU, and how much fun she would have at the Passion Conference, and how she was going to prepare for her finals, she barely noticed her first customer come in the side door.

As she was preheating the cappuccino machines, she finally noticed she wasn’t alone and briefly turned to say she’d be with them in just a minute, barely registering that it was a guy and that he was smiling. As she was turning back to her work, her brain caught up to her eyes and she snapped back around in a double take at that gorgeous smile and then caught a glimpse at his eyes- the most beautiful smile and eye combination she’d ever seen. He was wearing a black coat over a teal polo shirt and his eyes seemed to match his shirt, though she was a little blinded by his gleaming white, perfect smile.

Temporarily dumbfounded and inwardly hoping her gasp wasn’t as loud to everyone else in the room as it was in her head, she had to close her mouth to prevent the drool from escaping and tried to get her facial muscles to mirror back a smile….and hopefully not the “debonair smile” she’d seen countless times in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, her favorite movie.

She became instantly self-conscious and hoped that she looked as cute as she thought she did when she dressed this morning- she had on her ever stylish zip-up red flannel over a white long john shirt, jeans and her beige work boots (“Doc Martens” she bought at WalMart). She never was one for being at the forefront of fashion, but, oh who was she kidding- she was rocking those work boots and she knew it.

She managed to find her voice and took his order. As he was chatting away, she was lost in her thoughts, again. He was cute. Very cute. TOO cute. He’d never go for a girl like her. She’s too much of a nerd and opinionated and not very attractive. She’s smart, nice and funny, but, no guys ever ask her out, so might as well just take his order and talk to him. Maybe they could become friends and she could help him with his future relationship issues- he could get any girl he wanted and probably already had a girlfriend, anyway. Besides, guys that look like him are usually stuck up and vain. Ugh. What a douche. A cute douche with the most perfect smile and eyes…..*siiiigh* Wait…what’s that he just said? He’s going to the Christmas party tomorrow? Did he just say he was going to wear a black leather coat while sticking his thumb up and saying, “Heeeey,” like the Fonz? Is he still smiling? At me?? Is he kinda slow? Well at least he has a good sense of humor. Did I put on deodorant this morning?

She made him his cappuccino and hoped it was the best cappuccino he ever had. He took a sip and visibly shook himself saying, “Wow- this is strong. Is it really a cappuccino?”

At first horrified and then taking umbrage at being questioned on her both her knowledge of and ability to make a good cappuccino, she quickly informed him that it was and if he didn’t like it, he should have ordered a latte.

Registering that she was hostile offended, he quickly said, “No, no. I love strong coffee. It’s my favorite,” and then flashed her that gorgeous, knee melting smile once again.

Ok. He was forgiven. For now.

They continued to talk about the party and soon realized how much time had passed and that they both needed to get to class. He waved goodbye and told her he’d see her at the party the next day and once again lit up the room with his smile.

As she followed him with her eyes, a painfully goofy smile on her own face, she sighed, and finished up her shift before heading out to class, once again lost in her thoughts. Would he come like he said he would? Would he fall in love with her....I mean her cheesecakes? Was he going to turn out to be a vain jerk?

Oh heck. What did it matter. A guy like him would never go for a girl like her, anyway….

(Part Two: The Christmas Party is here.)

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