Calvin was a great guy, but he was rather quiet. Kept to himself. Didn't like to be the center of attention or to do all the talking, which, in retrospect, makes him perfect for me as I want to be the center of attention and doing all the talking, but that was then.
I was having a lot of fun. There were new guys to have crushes on. Not that they reciprocated: the one guy with whom I got along best was engaged. There was another guy, who has become a rather well-known singer/songwriter on the East Coast (oh yes I can googlestalk), who had no interest in me whatsoever, despite my frequent phone calls to him once the training was over.
What's that you say? That phonestalking a guy is not the way to his heart? Even if you've had one, exactly one, necking session with him late at night at a party where people were smoking pot, which is not something I had ever seen before? Not that that didn't go on at Rice, but I ran with a pretty squeaky clean crowd. Oh sure, we were sleeping with our boyfriends, but we didn't do drugs. We had our limits.
So no future with cute future Birkenstock-wearing singer/songwriter (now completely bald and slightly chubby, neither of which are disqualifiers, as hair is unnecessary and slightly chubby can hit all of us, but Primo is still a major hottie at 45, plus he wears nice shoes), who asked as we started said necking session, "Aren't you engaged?"
"Not any more," I answered. One does not promise to marry one man and then kiss another.
The kissing went no further. That Monday at training, he more or less pretended he didn't know me. That might be too extreme: he treated me as he had the rest of the time, which was polite indifference. Apparently, he had to be drunk to want to kiss me. I think I was just available.
What I realized was that if I could be that attracted to someone who wasn't Calvin, perhaps I was not ready to get married.
"NO KIDDING!" the audience is shrieking. "YOU WERE 22 YEARS OLD! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?"
Here's where it got complicated (other than the obvious parts of having to cancel the church, do something about the dress, and hurt someone I did care about but did not want to marry): I had moved out of my apartment before I left for training and stored the few belongings I owned in Calvin's apartment. The plan was I would stay with him on my return until I got another apartment. I saved a month's rent! That was a big deal back then. It was worth it to move out of an apartment to save $250 plus phone and utilities. Now it takes a lot more for me to move, but I was a poor recent college grad taking peanut butter sandwiches to work for lunch then.
How was I supposed to stay with Calvin if I had broken our engagement?
I had a brilliant idea. I wouldn't tell him until I moved out!
Oh yeah that was so smart.
Fifteen minutes after he picked me up at the airport, he wanted to know what was wrong.
He didn't believe me that it was nothing.
I told him.
It did not go well.
To his credit - he is a far more gracious person than I because I would have kicked my ex-fiance's butt to the curb - he did not make me move out of his apartment.
But it was an awkward week or two while I slept on the couch at night and hunted for a new apartment after work.
I still can't believe I did that to him. I still owe him an apology for that part.
I did apologize for being so indifferent to his feelings. That was years later, right before he was going to marry one of my college roommates and after the grad school jerk had been so horrible to me. Unfortunately, I think my apology was almost as bad as my original transgression. I told him I was so sorry for hurting him and that I had had no idea how it might have felt until I was mistreated by GSJ.
What I basically told him was that it had caused me no pain to break up with him. Nice, huh? Perhaps he is better off without me.