Disclaimer: It is easy to remember my virginersary because it is the day before my birthday. But I think I would still remember it had it happened on another date.
Our junior year of college started. Calvin and I had been writing letters all summer and were hot to see each other again. He had been working for his uncle out of state all summer, so we had not been able to see each other. School started late August, which is just when everyone wants to be in Houston. It's the best time of the year.
I kid, I kid.
July is better.
I need to back up a little. All of our sophomore year, Calvin and his friends had been talking about their friend, Laurence, who had gone to Rice our freshman year and then spent his sophomore year elsewhere at Big State U where there would be more and prettier girls. The male-female ratio at Rice those days was almost 2:1, which was great for the girls but not so great for the guys.
And I will go out on a limb here and venture that the smart girls who end up at an engineering school are not necessarily the same girls who have a clue about hair, makeup and clothes. As in, if you made a Venn diagram of Rice girls and pretty, flirtatious, cutely dressed and accessorized girls, there would be very little overlap. Sure, there were some extraordinary young women on campus who were both smart and really put together, but the rest of us were either clueless or didn't care.
There was a certain reverse snobbery at Rice. In the same way that suddenly, the athletes were at the bottom of the social scale (not the least because it was uncommon for Rice to ever win a Southwest Conference football game - oh, how I miss the SWC), the girls who (obviously) tried were also scorned.
It was an inverse of the high school universe, where many of us (or maybe just me and I am projecting my NOT BITTER AT NEVER HAVING BEEN ASKED TO A SINGLE HIGH SCHOOL DANCE on others) had been on the sidelines looking in at the cool, popular kids. Nerds are not valued in high school, but at Rice, almost everyone was a nerd. But everyone was weird in his own way. Nerd was the necessary but not the sufficient.
Laurence was one of those rarities: smart, athletic, good looking and seemingly unaware of his looks. He could have had just about any Rice girl but maybe he thought he could do better. Or maybe he just needed to be closer to home for a year.
[Primo is also smart and athletic and good looking, but he was not athletic in college, unless you count drinking beer as a sport. Since he and I started tennis lessons last summer, he has become a pretty good player and will only get better, but his parents didn't put him in any sports. Any. I was a total klutz and my parents forced me to play soccer in 7th grade when Lubbock started the first girls soccer league. Primo's parents, however, are intellectuals and didn't think sports were a good idea for Primo. They were so wrong.
Primo was also not as cute in college as he is now. He was a skinny little 16 year old runt when he started, but he grew and put on some weight and his skin cleared up and he figured out what to do about his hair and now he is a hubba hubba hottie.]
Laurence returned for our junior year.
I had never met Laurence.
The first time I saw him, he was stripped to the waist doing I don't even remember what. Painting the dorm room? That doesn't seem likely. Why would a student waste his own money on paint? My freshman year, my suitemates and I painted the bathroom bright yellow, but that was just because Laurie's dad paid for the paint.
Whatever he was doing, he was half naked.
You've seen the abs on the sculpture "David?"
Laurence's were better.
I kid you not.
And you know all that stuff about how women aren't as visual, blah blah blah?
In Laurence's case, I made an exception.
He was gorgeous.
And NICE! He was also nice!
I fell in lust.
I looked at Calvin, for whom I had also felt lust, but this was stronger. It was lust unadulterated with You were late to pick me up or You forgot my birthday or We had a fight. It was pure fantasy you never fart lust.
After a few days, I broke up with Calvin. So many men! So little time! I was sure that Laurence, who before the breakup and indeed, ever since, including the time we met up in France for a day when I was on vacation and he was working there, has never shown one squidge of interest in me, would ask me out.
But even if he didn't, surely other guys would. Two to one, people! Two to one!
Not one single guy.
What was going on? Was I hideous?
No. At least, I don't think so.
I had been dating Calvin for several months.
I was branded.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I waited a few weeks just to give it time, but no luck. There was not one single other guy on that campus who wanted to ask me out. Or who would ask me out, better said.
So I went back to Calvin.
This has to have all happened before The Event or I would not have broken up so easily. I hope.
Calvin was skittish. We went out to eat at this Italian restaurant in Montrose where we got adventurous and ordered snails, which was not my best food moment, as I have decided I do not wish to eat anything that I want to keep out of my garden, but if you put enough butter on anything, it will taste good.
He told me that when I broke up with him (the Laurence breakup - I haven't gotten to the big breakup), he was waiting for his parents to jump on the bandwagon and tell him that they didn't want him to be their son any more.
I should have stuck with the breakup, given that's where the relationship was going to end up anyhow, but. Well. I have no excuses. I was barely 20 - not even. What did I know? Thrashing around and bruising hearts in the process.