Monday, August 27, 2007

Five Memorable Nights

Here it is... FINALLY!
Thanks again to Twyla for the tag!
Here goes, in chronological order...
Junior Prom (1987):
Lori made reference to this night in a previous comment.  Twyla's tag didn't say that the memorable nights had to be good nights, and since I've been having a difficult time coming up with memorable nights, I thought what the heck, might as well toss this one in!  In all honesty, I wouldn't have gone to the Junior Prom without Lori's... prompting, let's say (but for the record, I in no way blame her for the night).  At the time, Lori was dating Steve (who lived and went to high school in a neighboring town) and Steve wouldn't go to the prom with Lori unless his friend Darren went, which of course meant that Darren's date had to be a student at our high school, which is where I entered the picture.  I bought a dress, and Darren bought me a corsage of yellow roses, and... well...
As I recall (Lori, correct me if I'm wrong), the boys sulked the entire time we were there, and occasionally would disappear for short periods of time.  I don't think we danced at all.  Lori mentioned in her comment a few posts back that she remembered us sitting at the table hanging spoons on our noses to amuse ourselves, and I remember that, too.  We finally left in our separate cars.  We ended up parked somewhere - God only knows where - and let's just say that any attempts at after-prom activities were a complete joke because Darren was 6'4", I'm 5'4", and we were jammed into the tiny front seat of his EL CAMINO.  Darren graduated that year, then joined the Navy.  I saw him once after that, I think it was actually while I was in college and home visiting my parents, when he showed up at my house at 2am, knocking on my window.
Don't ask.
Senior Prom (1988):
A few months after the Junior Prom, Mou and I sat watching my brother and new sister-in-law having their wedding pictures taken.  I recounted the story of the Junior Prom to Mou, who was horrified.  He promised on the spot that he was going to take me to my Senior Prom the following year, to make up for the Junior Prom experience.  Since he lived in Tennessee and I lived in Ohio, I smiled politely while thinking 'Yeah, right!'
We must have joked on and off about it - it's been so long I don't really remember.  About a week before the prom, though, he called saying he wanted to give me his flight information.
At the time, he was working as the night auditor of a hotel in (or maybe just outside) Nashville.  He'd gotten Friday night off for the prom, but had to work the next night and consequently would not have time to drive home.  So he was flying up Friday morning to take me to the prom Friday evening, then flying back to Tennessee early Saturday morning.
You're joking, right?
No, he was not.  I was stunned.  My parents actually let me skip school so I could go with them to pick him up at the airport.  I wore the bridesmaid's dress I'd worn the year before at my brother's wedding, and Mou wore his 'interview' suit.  We drove in my green Ford Pinto (and it was a stick shift at that!).  We had a blast.  We danced like fools.  It was the only time in my high school career that a picture of me other than my 'official' school picture was in the yearbook (I'm trying to get my hands on a copy of the yearbook so I can scan the picture and post it here!).  We stopped at McDonald's on the way home, then were back up in the car at some un-Godly hour to head back to the airport.  It's probably my all-time best memory...
People's Restaurant (the college years):
I went to a tiny college (Berea College), on a tiny campus, in a tiny town (also called Berea) in Kentucky.  The campus was so small that if you lived on campus you weren't permitted to have a car (don't think about it too much - just keep reading) because there truly wasn't room for 1500 students to park.  Amazingly, we got along.  If we were desperate, we'd walk to Wal-mart, which at the time was only about a mile (I think) away (just don't buy too much, because then you have to carry it back).  The local pizza places delivered to campus if you didn't want the college food-service meal of the night.  But sometimes you just felt like you needed to get away. 
Down by the highway (about 5 or so miles from campus), there was a restaurant called People's, a little Mom-n-Pop place that was open 24 hours.  One night, Rick, Vicki, Teresa Paulina (maybe?) and I decided what the hell, we were heading down there.  We were young and strong and healthy, we climbed the mountain every year (don't ask), we were walking to People's.  Mind you, it was probably already 6:00 or 7:00 in the evening when we decided this.  So we walked.
We sat at People's the rest of the night, talking and drinking coffee and eating fried cheese balls.  Don't turn your nose up at the fried cheese balls!!  These were the original thing, before you found mozzarella sticks on any menu...  little nuggets of sharp cheddar cheese breaded and deep fried, dipped in ketchup.  Holy moly that was good stuff.  I'm sure the waitress was tired of us by the time we left, sometime in the wee-hours of the morning, to start our lllooonnnggg walk back to campus, but we didn't care.  We were young and life was good.
BRUCE! (1992 OR 1993):
Mou and I are both huge, huge Springsteen fans.  My older brother got The River when it came out in 1980.  I still remember listening to it...  not with him, mind you, because I wasn't allowed in his room (although I always made sure I knew where the Playboy magazines were stashed), but I could hear it through the door.  I was only 11, but I was hooked. 
Bruce was playing in Lexington in November of 92 or 93 - was there a Human Touch tour?  Anyway, Mou got tickets for us as a birthday present for me.  I drove from Ohio to Kentucky for the concert, and as we were driving into Lexington we heard on the radio that the show  had been canceled - unbelievable!  It was rescheduled in December, though, and we were there.  It was absolutely incredible.  It sounds very cliche, but there was electricity in the air.  I don't think I've ever felt so excited as I did that night when the music started.  I screamed so loudly that I couldn't hardly talk for the next 2 days.  It was the first concert I ever went to, and it absolutely ruined me - he played for almost 4 hours, for pete's sake!  How could anyone compare after that?  AND I smelled pot for the first time that night (seriously...  I was 23... how sad is that?)!!
The date (1995):
I can't even remember the guy's name now.  He was a friend of a friend (my friend was friends with this guy and his wife) that I'd met once at a party.  He and his wife got divorced, and he asked my friend if I was seeing anyone (which I wasn't).  He had tickets to see the Gin Blossoms at a local bar that's known for the bands they can get to come play there (known in this area, that is...  anyone heard of McGuffy's House of Draft in Dayton, OH??).  We went out for dinner and a movie a few weeks before the concert, and everything was swell.  Being the oh-so-modern girl that I am, I offered to pick him up for the concert, since it was near his house, no use for him to drive all the way to get me, then back again, blah, blah, blah.  Let me tell you, I'm so glad I made that offer.
When I got to his place, he was already... tipsy.  He'd had an argument with the ex-wife shortly before I got there, and decided to calm down with a few mixed drinks.  I drove to the bar.  We sat at a booth.  We got drinks.  They were pretty crowded, so it took a while for the waitress to come take our food order.  Apparently (I learned later), he was 1) diabetic and 2) hadn't eaten much that day, which in combination with the alcohol meant that he was PRACTICALLY PASSING OUT AT THE TABLE.  I kept plugging away, trying to make conversation.  Finally, the waitress got there, and this was just the end of it for me...
Waitress:  What can I get for you?
Him:  I'll have the t-bone.
Waitress:  Do you want fries or a baked potato with that?
Him:  No, make that the ribeye.
Waitress:  Okay.  Do you want fries or a baked potato with that?
Him:  I want the ribeye.
Waitress:  Okay.  I got that.  Do you want fries or a baked potato with that?
- Folks, I am not exaggerating... -
Him:  I'll take the ribeye steak, medium-rare.
Me:  He'll have a baked potato with that.
Waitress (giving me the 'I feel so sorry for you, honey' look):  Okay.  (Then to him) What kind of dressing do you want on your salad?
 - You're kidding me, right?  Were you not just present for the last few minutes??? -
Me:  Give him blue cheese dressing
Him:  I'll take the ribeye, medium-rare.  Did you get that?
She walked away.  He drank more beer and slumped lower in his seat.  About 10 minutes later, I got up.  He roused up, and I said, "I'm going to get something from my car."
And I left.  Yes, I left him sitting there.  The guy working the door said to me as I passed by him, "If you leave, you can't get back in."  I smiled at him and said, "Believe me, that's not a problem."  I learned later from my friend that he figured out after an hour or so that I wasn't coming back, and that one of the bartenders drove him home when the place closed up.  He felt very bad, from what my friend said, and wanted the chance to apologize in person and make it up to me somehow. 
So there are my FIVE MEMORABLE NIGHTS.  I'm sure there are more...  I hope there are more... but these are the ones that came to mind when she tagged me for this.


Twyla said...

FINALLY!!! :-) The kids will not leave me alone right now, but I'll be back to read this is a bit.

Twyla said...

Just finished reading it. It was well worth the wait. :-)
Okay, now I'm going to comment on every one. LOL
I only went to my Senior prom...and it sucked. I'm glad you at least had a good time at one of your proms. If only everyone had a friend like Mou. That is awesome that he flew out for one night.
The night at the restaurant sounded awesome. It doesn't matter what you're doing, as long as you're with a group of good friends. I'd give anything to go back and hang out with all my old friends, one last time like we used to.
As for the concert, I'm not a big fan of Bruce (please don't hurt me for saying that), but I can completely understand your excitement that night. I remember being at one concert when I was 20 and it didn't feel real. I was so caught up in the moment.
Now I have to say, that you have more guts that I do. Walking out on that guy. LOL I've wanted to do that before, but never dared to. You rock. But I already knew that. :-)
I hope all my rambling made sense. I'm trying to get it all out before the kids interrupt me. LOL

Ruth said...

I have to say, I was rather proud of myself for walking out on that guy. I'd never done anything like that before, and quite frankly I shocked myself by doing it then. Talk about a liberating feeling...

Teresa Paulina said...

LOL I remember Peoples!!! I also remember working at peoples the summer of 101 ways to butcher mac and cheese!!

We had fun! And the waitress was SICK of us!!!

Mou said...

Oh, wow, Ruthie...

That prom night was a great one! I remember being exhausted since it was such a whirlwind journey, but, man, I don't remember sitting down! I think we danced our bums off that night. But, hey, we couldn't repeat that junior prom, eh?

And the Bruce concert. Awesome night, but remember the bizarre Hooter's incident from the night of the cancellation...?!?

Mou said...

And, Twyla, I try my darnedest to be a loyal friend. Your commentary is much appreciated.

Just Me said...

Oh I remember the Bruce fascination. I seem to recall devestation upon his marriage to some supermodel? Loved his music, but, as you'll recall-MY intrigue was always Duran Duran...still is when I'm in a nostalgic frenzy.
Good memories. Thank you!

Lori said...

Yes, your memories of our Junior prom are very accurate. Lousy dinner, even lousier dates. When they snuck off, it was to hit a bottle of hooch they'd smuggled in. It's sad that hanging spoons was the best entertainment of the whole evening. I'm glad you had a much better Senior prom. I was still dating the loser and he flat out refused to go, so I went stag and sat with you and Mou, if I remember correctly.

I still have that Springsteen boxed set album. Want it? I never listen to it anymore.