Empty bobbins are moments in life where we pause and reflect. It’s like when your bobbin runs out in the middle of a project, and you have to pause everything you’re doing to reload. Here’s one such reflective moment. This is a recollection on how small moments can have unforeseen effects.
Our story begins in July of 2000. I had just gotten on to the campus of Berry College for my freshman orientation, and I was excited to be spending the next four years on this gorgeous campus. Berry College has what’s known as “The Berry Bubble” where the outside world seems to get cut off, and our sense of community was so strong we could go back to older ways now considered dangerous, liking giving rides to other students when we didn’t necessarily know one another yet.
I guess that bubble-effect is immediate because I slowed down and offered a lone guy, clearly a new freshman like myself, a ride to the buildings where orientation was to begin. It was July, after all, and even in the Appalachian foothills the heat was profound. His name was Jonathan, and we spent the rest of that afternoon chatting and getting acquainted with the campus and our peers.
The first week of classes, he was still about the only guy I knew on campus, and my roommate had met him, too, so she and I decided to be brave and visit Jonathan over at the boys’ dorm. I’ll admit, the boys’ dorm was a unique experience, and before my college years were up I’d have a lot of memories there – some innocent and some not: my first time getting intoxicated (1 of 3 times in my entire life), my first D&D game, realizing I’d forgotten a music performance there, staying up all night watching movies in the lobby, and even learning how to do a 3 point haircut. But it all began with that first trip to visit a friend.
My roommate and I ventured up to that top floor, reserved for freshman, and found Jonathan’s room, door wide open to anyone who wanted to stop by. That’s Jonathan to a tee – open, friendly, and one of the nicest people I know. He still is, by the way. Top-notch dude. There I also met his roommate, and it wasn’t long before that roommate and I started talking. But that relationship didn’t last much longer than our freshman year, and it was definitely for the best. One good thing that came out of all this was that I met his friends, affectionately known as the computer kids. You see, I was a music major, a group notoriously close knit and always nose-deep in a practice room. I didn’t have a lot of the same classes as these guys because of rehearsals and private lessons. Most of my core classes were early in the morning – not so for them and anyone else who could manage it.
I met the computer kids, and through them, my junior year, I started going to a LARP (Live Action Role Play). Yes, it’s geeky. If you’re judging and raising an eyebrow right now, then you have permission to go and step on the nearest Lego. I got the last laugh, as you’ll see by the end.
Anyhow, through this LARP I met some of the most wonderful people who are my dearest friends to this day. These friends decided that I would make a good match with a guy named Herb. So they told a white lie on one side and a white lie on the other, and eventually he and I went on our first date. I had just gotten out of an engagement and had no interest in dating, and he wasn’t “on the hunt” for a girlfriend. That meant it really was the perfect scenario because neither of us was feeling pressured or pressuring the other. It was a relationship built on a foundation of not being too serious or pushy, and that has become a trend with us. This kept our wedding from turning into something other than a celebration and union (no stress or over-the-top displays), and holidays are pretty fun because we don’t get too wrapped up in the presentation of it all. And we’ve kept that same idea throughout our marriage (10 years and counting) –never take yourself too seriously. Always be able to sit back, breathe, and laugh about it and about yourself. Fourteen years since our first date, ten years since our marriage, two children, two cats, a dog, and a house later – I’m still head over heels for this tall, bearded guy who surprises me with sour gummies when he goes to the store.
It’s funny how life works, though. I always wonder how my life would be if I hadn’t stopped that day back in July of 2000 to give Jonathan a ride.
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