Friday, November 09, 2007

Mixmaster

To the amusement or annoyance (or both) of family and friends, Trey and I still celebrate the anniversary of our first date.

Goofy? Yeah. But it's a fun and easy day (11.11.88)
to remember a fun and easy time. Although I do wince at the memory of the spiral perm, acid-washed jeans and bedazzled ankle boots I so proudly sported that night. Yeesh.

I should note that it's not always an elaborate observation; according to a 2005 calendar I recently unearthed, it appears that I marked the date with an eyebrow wax.

I feel certain that I was thinking of my beloved as each errant hair was torn from its follicle.

This year, we're taking the show on the road, back to where it all began.

In the morning, we'll kiss the muppers good-bye and leave them in the very capable hands of their Nana, Uncle John and Aunt Mar. Then we'll be free to spend twenty-four hours 'round our college stomping grounds, in Austin.

I think every one of the forty acres holds some memory of Trey and me, young and in love. The love, I'm happy to report, hasn't faded one iota with the passage of time, but some of the memories have gotten a little hazy.

Thank goodness I kept a journal. Too bad I don't have the foggiest idea where it is.

However: I was able to dig up and dust off a diary from 1993, in which I rather melodramatically recalled the events that had led to my happy status as FIANCEE, y'all.

Rereading it this afternoon, I was struck by a pair of revelations. First, at one point in my life, my writing was actually legible. Today, not so much.

And second, I dedicated less of my adorable twentysomething scrawl to the night of our first date, and much more to the night we met. Which was nineteen years ago this very evening.

Now, I'm no Ree; I lack the material, mad writing skillz and attention span to weave a breathtaking tale with more cliffhangers and hiney tingles than a Friday-afternoon episode of Days of Our Lives.

But I think our little story warrants one blog post, at least. So, with minor editing for only the most cringeworthy snippets, here's my account of how it all began.

+++

In my first three months as an Austinite, I occupied the world of a wide-eyed freshman: classes, dorm life, new friends, a vast dating pool and the demands of sorority.

Sorority meant near-constant meetings and regular mixers, all of which required my attendance. I chafed at the rules and regularly questioned my decision to go Greek, but I had a small, comfortable group of friends in my pledge class who made it easier for me to stick things out a while longer.

Said friends were excited when, at yet another meeting, it was announced that our next mixer would be with the Betas.

One friend bemoaned the fact that her ex-boyfriend would probably be in attendance. We repeated his name and solemnly agreed that, at the request of our sister, Trey Franklin would be declared off-limits.

I cared as little about the ex-boyfriend as about the mixer itself. I'd been invited to another party that sounded like more fun, but when my friends Bry and Jenn asked me for a ride to the mixer, I reluctantly made the commitment to attend.

So on Wednesday, the night after George Bush was elected president, I donned a cream turtleneck, a black argyle cardigan and a black miniskirt, and Bry, Jenn and I struck out for a bar called Sixth Street Live.

Downstairs, a guy was cranking out some sad country tunes. As we walked upstairs to join the mixer, I spied a group of unfamiliar faces sitting around a table. I guessed that they were Betas, but there was a girl in their midst, and they weren't making any efforts at mixing.

I remember feeling a little indignant: were they interlopers? Or did they think they were above this scene? And why was the best-looking guy in the room just sitting there, not smiling? Who did he think he was, anyway?

I shook it off and kept moving. But the crowd was lethargic, and in short order, I was ready to go somewhere else. Bry and Jenn seemed content to stay a while longer, so I put on my best party face and chatted with friends, biding my time.

Meanwhile, the best-looking guy in the room had decided to stretch his legs. I saw him maneuvering through the crowd and hoped he would come over to me. There was just something about him: he was tall, of course, and handsome, and I wondered what it would be like to talk to him.

But he didn't seem to notice me, so I talked to other people instead. In mid-sentence, I'd glance around the room to see where he was, who he was talking to. Occasionally, I thought he was looking my way, too, but he never acknowledged me.

Now I found myself forming an opinion of the guy with no name.

I know you, I thought. You're one of those cocky frat guys with not much going on upstairs, and a wallet in your pocket stuffed with your dad's credit cards. You're not gonna waste your time chatting up a freshman from some town in Mississippi that's so small, it's not even on the map.

This was the monologue playing in my head as I chatted idly with a gaggle of pledge sisters staged opposite a group of Betas, with Mr. Obnoxious front and center. My friend with the broken heart nodded toward the boys. "That's the guy I was telling y'all about."

As we all tried unsuccessfully to look without staring, I followed the direction of her nod, and my heart caught in my throat. "Which one is he?" Jenn asked. "The one in the striped shirt," came the answer.

I glanced again, praying that Mr. Obnoxious was wearing plaid. Nope: stripe city. In a desperate bid at subtlety, I gestured in his general direction, asking my friend, "Him? The tall one?"

"No," she said, "it's the guy standing next to him."

Why was I flooded with relief when he obviously wasn't interested enough to talk to me? This was getting ridiculous. It was definitely time for a change of scene, so I found Bry and Jenn and gave them a five-minute warning.

As they wandered back into the crowd to say their good-byes, I broke away from the pack and found where I'd left my purse. Feeling disgusted and dejected by this utter waste of time, I leaned over... and felt someone tap my shoulder.

Turning around, I looked up... and up, into the handsome face. It said, "Hi, my name is Trey Franklin." I smiled at the face, swallowed hard and tried to be cool.

And then we talked. We talked about Austin, about the South, about names, about our families. He was a history major working for a law firm, a junior from Houston with Georgia roots wearing, I noted, a triple-starched Brooks Brothers shirt.

Lo and behold, he actually seemed like a really nice guy, if a little too suave. God, that smile: my heart must have been beating double-time.

I couldn't believe what I was hearing when he told me that the Betas were having a burgers-and-beer casual at the house on Friday. Would I like to come? I said yes just as Bry and Jenn suddenly materialized, ready to go.

And then, feeling so giddy I was nearly reeling, I got in my car and left without giving him my phone number.

But you know what? He has it now.

9 Comments:

Blogger Franklin5 said...

What she doesn't tell you is that I saw her the second she walked in the room and would have walked over to her that very moment.....if she hadn't been hanging out with the girl herein described as my ex. Love at first site, you bet it was! Still is.

Love you Amy!

Trey

6:01 AM  
Blogger Sugar Photography said...

awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

7:17 AM  
Blogger Franklin5 said...

Post script: needless to say, there was a wee bit o' tension 'round the sorority house when I finally made the connection that I was smitten with the friend's ex.

I'm not going to tell you that matters were helped when it was revealed that Trey's sister? Was the ex's best friend.

But the nail in the coffin of my brief, failed career as a sorority girl was discovering that the sorority president had also had her heart broken by that tall Beta.

After that, my Greek letters were Sigma Gamma Delta: Sorority Girl Dropout.

Love you, Trey.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Minivan mom said...

OH! Oh I just love this post. OH! If I didn't love the two of you so much, I would want to vomit at the sticky sweetness of it all - except that I know the two of you and you really ARE this cute and sweet and I just love you too much to not just smile and sigh.

And giggle that in 1988 I was in 9th grade. 8th grade if it is the spring of 1988. (ducking as you throw something hard at my head).

Rich and I always acknowledge each Thanksgiving as the inception of it all, since we began dating Thanksgiving weekend 1995.

Love you both, and SO WISH our house wasn't toxic this weekend.

8:07 AM  
Blogger life with the wisners said...

i am lovin' this. lovin' the mental picture of your hotness, what with your argyle and all.

and i here to testify to the tall, dark, and handsome. i mean, i HAVE been his date before too.

here here to minivan mom. the sticky sweetness is almost too much. until we remember it is the two of you. and you can't help but laugh and smile and say, "awwww."

9:55 AM  
Blogger Heroes for Children said...

Y'all are so sweet together! I couldn't imagine a happier couple. Have a great time in Austin!

2:20 PM  
Blogger Kristen said...

You're giving Ree a run for her money, More! More! I can hear the soundtrack of Cocteau Twins and the Cure playing the background!

7:09 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

OMG. You guys are so damn cute. And I would just like to say, when you throw something at MVM, would you toss a little extra something for me? Whippersnapper thinks she's so hot 'cause she doesn't have to use an earhorn. If I can get my rocker going at top speed, I could spitball her myself!

Happy Anniversary, you two!

10:27 PM  
Blogger sarah kate said...

love. this. post. and the entire story, post scripts and all (and the fact that trey got around, wink, wink, nudge, nudge). seriously, no longer holding it against you that one of our most favorite westwood families was not in attendance at a westwood function, now that i know the fabulous weekend that was had and how special it really was.

7:31 PM  

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