What happens when a college friend comes over to show off his girlfriend...
only to find out she would be MY soul mate and love of my life!
It was the Winter of 1998 and I was back from six months of cruise ship work in Europe, just settling in for my usual two weeks to a month break. My old college buddy Jim had decided to stop by and show off his new girlfriend Darlene. It was 7PM and Jim figured they were dropping by early, not realizing that I was still on "Europe Time" and to me it was 12 Midnight!
Needless to say, I looked like crap. All the better for Jim. But, even though I looked like an unmade bed with my hair sticking out in ways that defied gravity, I would later find out Dar still thought I was cute.
Darlene (Dar) was really cute herself with that long red hair of hers. She was very smart and seemed to have changed Jim from the self-involved, opinionated person he was. They had stayed for a while and I was a good enough host to offer them a drink but, I was just too tired. Too tired to notice Darlene was checking me out, too.
It wasn't until the second visit I realized how attracted she was to me and how much I WAS to her. When they came over I dragged out some old scrap books of parties Jim & I had gone too. She had noticed our legs and feet had gotten interestingly close to each other. But, as God is my witness (and I've said this to her) I was NOT trying anything. But, then we went in the other room and starting to watch this Sci-Fi movie on HBO that was "ripe for the picking". It was "Starship Troopers" and I would soon discover that I may have considered myself the "Pun King" but, she would prove to be the "Pun Queen".
It was like something out of Mystery Science Theater, watching both of us exchanging puns about things going on in the movie:
There was a scene where someone is found with their brains "sucked" out by the aliens to which Dar replied,
"Boy, he needed that like a hole in the head!"
I quickly answered back with,
"You could say it was a real no-brainer".
And all Jim did was sit there unaware of what was happening. You could say it was love at first pun! They would eventually get up to leave when Dar suggested to Jim, as if performing some Jedi Mind Trick,
"Why don't to go warm up the car, I want to give Rick a hug goodbye."
She gave hugs as if she was channeling all the love she had into each hug and when she pulled away I almost didn't let her go. She realized this and gave me one last quick burst of a hug.
Now, I didn't end up with her right away. Jim would eventually go back to his "normal" self and decided to move on. But, I would stay in contact with her any way I could. It went from simple letters sent from the ships to e-mail to eventually looooong phone calls when I got my own place in Florida. There always seemed to be something drawing us together and I would end up returning to Massachusetts after 9/11 and that's when it was obvious that no matter what came between us, we were destined to be together. We finally ended up living together in a nice serene cottage out in Westfield where she was able to finally relax after being on Dialysis 3 times a week. This the result of her losing use of her kidneys to a real nasty kidney disease (MPG) in her teens.
I read on one of the cards she sent me once that this was the happiest time of her life. It was my honor to give her the love she so rightly deserved. So, I have my college buddy Jim to thank for showing her off that cold winter night in 1998. If it hadn't been for him I would never met my little "Pun Queen". Dar would go on to become the love of my life. She passed away January 30, 2006.