Seeing that I’m older AND wiser AND still single, it has become abundantly apparent that deciding not to break-up with my high school boyfriend before jetting away to college a thousand miles from him was probably not one of my more stellar plans. The fact that I was sleeping with a new guy who lived down the hall from me about a week into the first semester of my freshman year didn’t sway me from my I’m-going-to-marry-my-high-school-sweetheart-even-though-he’s-not-that-great agenda. I was a sweet young thing with a mission, damn it, and I was determined.
Looking back on those years, I don’t have any idea how my whole scheme ultimately ended. All I know is that I’m not married to that tall, thin, pot smoking kid from high school who had waaaaay more potential than was ever going to be realized. Unfortunately, I’m also not married to the hot guy down the hall who swept me off my feet and into his bed pretty much the minute I landed on that fertile Iowa soil.
Coming from Southern California to Iowa at eighteen for college amounted to some serious culture shock. I had never walked beans, tipped cows, or detassled corn before. Luckily for me, half of the kids on campus came from Chicago and had never done those things before either. I was an odd one, Charlie Brown, coming from Thousand Oaks, California to attend college in the middle of a corn field, but I liked it that way.
Being different has its perks. I was known as the “girl from California” right away and would hear that pretty regularly when I introduced myself. It was kind of like being a minor celebrity without having to sign autographs. My clothes were a little different. I had smoked pot for years. I had surfed (badly—but no one had to know that). And, I could easily keep the boys at bay with my little, “I have a boyfriend back home.”
All except one.