Sometimes I have to post the day’s awesome thing from 1000 Awesome Things to my blog. Today’s:
#234 3:00am conversations with your best friend
I love where I am in life right now, but there are moments in my past I look back on so fondly that I almost wish I could experience them again. Most of the 3:00am conversations I’ve had happened in college. This was one of the best things about living in the dorm. Not all things about attending WWU were great, but parts were. The campus is small and felt very safe in those days, so walking outside after dark or even in the middle of the night was no big deal; leaving the computer lab at midnight, I rarely felt the need for an escort.
But when I had one—male or female—it certainly made the walk back to the dorm more fun.
Of course, the male escorts were usually more fun, especially if the walk to the dorm took us near the library or that one classroom in the Ad building. (Note that when I say “male escorts” I in no way imply that there was a male escort service on campus, nor did I run one—a quite popular one, I might deny—from my dorm room. No. Those were just well-substantiated rumors for which I could never provide Jen’s Big Black Book of Escorts or financial statement proof for the years 1986-90.)
I’m not gonna lie (about this next part)—with the male escorts, there was a chance of gettin’ some goodnight action outside the dorm. There were all sorts of in-the-shadows private spots, which many of us much preferred to the brightly-lit dorm lobby known as Makeout Central. If the moral code police had been smart, they would have installed sweeping floodlights on the roofs of every building on campus. Dorothy Foreman would die all over again if she knew what happened outside the building named for her.
(Don’t read this next sentence, Mother Mary...)
Because how many of us girls got lucky after a walk back to the dorm way past curfew?
I remember one night in particular in my junior year, my boyfriend and I stood outside the dorm saying goodnight. It was super-late and we were delaying our goodbyes, talking, laughing, kissin’ a little, and generally just being silly. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see two heads up in my hallway window, but every time I looked up they would quickly disappear. My BF was being uncharacteristically sweet until I pointed out that we were being watched, and then it was pretty much shake-hands-thanks-for-a-nice-evening-Miss-Jen and he left. I gave the standard excuse at the late curfew check (Computer lab! I was in the computer lab! Big paper due tomorrow! Totally not outside getting kissed!). When I went up to my hall, Sonya (she of future sister-in-law fame) and Jenn P were giggling, “Oh, he was so cute with you, you guys were adorable together, blah blah blah…”
Pretty sure he never acted sweet to me in front of the dorm again, or anywhere. If I forget what a jackass he was the rest of the time, that night is a lovely memory. I only have two with that guy, so I almost cherish it.
On April’s first date with Jim, they parked in front of the dorm and talked for hours into the night. April said Jim’s car was a total shitbox, so she cleaned it out for him. We were all YOU CLEANED OUT HIS CAR ON YOUR DATE? Romantic. Also, I’m not sure “cleaning his car” was all that much of an accomplishment because she left a huge pile of trash in the gutter next to the car. That litter pile got smaller over the next week or two, and we laughed every time we saw it because it was still so big even after it started blowing away. Yeah, this happened in those days long before Jim started taking care of his vehicles and we all adopted proper trash disposal habits.
It was during winter quarter my sophomore year that it started snowing late one night and my roommate, Marilee, and I just had to get out in it. I don’t know why the dean let us out that late; maybe we snuck out. We called Victor (he of future husband fame, though that thought woulda made me laugh LOUDLY at the time) and he met us outside. The three of us walked down the middle of College Avenue, huge snowflakes falling all around us. Our world was peaceful but-cept for our glee, which was joyfully noisy. This is another of my happier memories of college, of dorm life, of living with friends, of not getting enough sleep, of that small college town.
There were oh-so-many 3am talks inside the dorm, too, and they took place in our rooms, hallways or parlors. The WWU site’s dorm tour currently describes our hall parlors like this:
Each floor of the dorm has at least one lobby that any woman can use. Women can be found studying, relaxing and worshipping together in the dorm lobbies.
HA! Oh sure, we studied in the parlors. We also had cartwheel contests, marathon prank call jams, parties for no reason, and many, many bitch sessions. The only “worshipping together” was under slight duress, when the RA would call us together for a hall meeting. The way WWU tells it, we read our Bibles together as often as all that other stuff. Good one!
The 3am talks were something I missed tremendously after graduation, and they are very rare occurrences in my life now. There are occasionally late chats in my neighborhood; we might gather with our neighbors outside on weekend nights, or I sometimes deliver PTO things to Heather or Sunshine (after we’ve texted to make sure we’re all still awake)—those kinds of meetings have a slight resemblance to the long-ago college days. Less kissing, maybe. Maybe.
Life like it was in college is happily in my past. But, oh, those long dorm nights with friends were very fun times for this girl. Awesome, in fact.