For almost two months in the fall of 2004, I only knew M as “the good-looking-guy-from-the-dance”.
After Hallowe’en, I immersed myself in my new life at school. I slowly adjusted to the somewhat overwhelming format of my new classes, though as a girl from small town South Porcupine, sitting in a lecture hall with 500 other students would never feel “normal”.
I continued to meet new friends on campus, and slowly established a core group of good friends, many of which I still hold close to my heart to this day. If we weren’t in classes we were hanging out in someone’s apartment or at the Fossil, the local pub down the road with amazing Tuesday night karaoke.
After spending a good part of my youth feeling a little like an outsider as the girl who didn’t drink, my friends at university never batted an eye. There was something happening on campus every night, and I was always included.
That is, except for Friday nights.
Every Friday night, my church hosted a regional activity for “Young Single Adults” aged 18-30.
It might sound a little hokey, but the events were usually really fun and very well attended. There were dances, games, speakers, etc–but mostly it was a space and time to get together with friends you didn’t get to see all the time. Often groups of us would meet there, then go out for a later dinner or dessert and close out a restaurant somewhere downtown. During the week my life was on campus… but every Friday evening I went to YSA.
In the weeks after the Hallowe’en, I saw “the good-looking-guy-from-the-dance” a handful of times at these activities. He wasn’t there every week, and he was never with anyone that I knew… and I was still too intimidated to just go up and introduce myself.
So, he remained “the good-looking-guy-from-the-dance” at a distance, and I was oblivious to the fact that even as I noticed him, he noticed me too.
This is the part of our story where my cousin G and his friend A like to take credit for helping M & I meet.
In 2002, A served a mission for my church in Denver, Colorado. A mission typically lasts for two years, and as he was preparing to come home, my cousin G was called to serve in the same place. These two boys from Ontario met in Denver, thrilled to each know someone from the same area of Ontario. They became friends, and just before A came home, G told him about me–his “fun cousin” that was living in the city. He encouraged A to look me up when he got home, after after a few weeks…
One Friday evening, as I was sitting in the foyer talking to some friends after another YSA activity, a boy I had never seen before walked up to me. He smiled and said hello, then cheekily asked if I was “H”, having fun with the fact that I was more than a little bewildered that this total stranger knew my name. I laughed a little and responded that I was, and out came the story of how he had met G and was sent to meet me. He was nice and friendly, and we talked for a bit before I headed out to take the TTC back to my cozy campus.
I saw A at YSA a few times in the weeks that followed, and he was always friendly and came over to say hello. He was usually on his own, but on one Friday night I noticed he had some friends with him. As he walked over to to chat one evening, I noticed he walked away from a group of boys that seemed to be waiting for him.
There, in the group, was “the good-looking-guy-from-the-dance”. To this day I can still see him standing there in his good brown leather shoes, fitted jeans and collared shirt, casually waiting for his friend to finish talking to me. When I caught his eye he smiled at me, and I knew then that come hell or high water, I needed to know his name.
I coyly asked A who his friends were, and he walked me over and introduced me to the group. It was then that I learned that the tall man with the good smile and good shoes had a name: M.
He was friendly but a little distant, though I didn’t really learn why until much later. All I knew at the time was that it was after midnight, and they all had a 40 minute drive home and were anxious to get it over with.
So, I said goodnight to A and watched as “the good-looking-guy-from-the-dance-with-good-shoes-named-M” walked away, and I secretly crossed my fingers that I’d see him again.
…but at least, for now, I had a name.
[Original Post: http://lifeisgoodblog.ca/2008/03/the-meeting-chapter-two.html/]