People dated before the invention of the Internet

Sometimes I have to remind myself that there was dating before the internet. While I have totally bought into this whole online thing – I often think fondly of the time when we found dates and relationships in the old fashioned way – left the house, met someone, fell in love and lived happily ever after.

Picture it:

I am a freshman in college and it is finals time.  My friend and I are pulling an all nighter in the library.  A little after midnight, we walk to the Union for a snack of a sesame bagel with a 1/2 inch of cream cheese and a large coffee with milk and 2 sugars. Yup – those were the days. Don’t forget – I was 18 – and cute as all fuck – even though that has no relevance here 🙂

We are waiting for the guy to smear the ample cream cheese on my bagel as I see my friend talking to a guy.  This guy has the quintessential finals outfit that we all have on – jeans, sweatshirt, a backpack hanging on his shoulder and his baseball cap is back side front.  My friend introduces us – “This is Geetika and this is M.”

We both say hi and I remember thinking, “I wish I didn’t look like shit, cause he is a hottie even though I disapprove of that baseball cap, front side back.” Looks like I was judgemental even at 18.

My bagel was ready; I shoved it into my bag and my friend and I walked back to the library.

Next semester I am sitting in the library again and I hear, “Is anyone sitting here?”

I look up and its M, looking cuter than hell.  Luckily, I am showered, with my silky hair down to my waist and an appropriate outfit.

“No,” I smile and he pulls a chair and sits next to me. I forget the conversation that must’ve taken place except I gave him my number because he asked. The number to my room in the dorm.  This is 1988.

That evening I am in my dorm and he calls around 10 PM.  He asks if I want to go out for ice cream.

I don’t eat ice cream or other cold things but … “Sure, that would be lovely.”

I run to the bathroom, brush my hair, put on some lip gloss and that’s all I need to do to be pretty at 18 years old.  Today – it would be a whole different story.

Few minutes later he is downstairs, standing by the main door.  He is so fucking cute with the 80’s acid washed jeans folded at the bottom and wearing what I think were boat shoes.  I don’t know if he opened the car door or not but we drove out of the campus. This being Long Island – the boonies, where everything closes at 10, we end up at a grocery store picking out our ice cream from a grocery store. I don’t know which ice cream I picked but I remember it was on a stick and I also remember dropping half of it on my lap in the car.

We must’ve talked about everything one does when one is getting to know the other As we approached the entrance to the campus he said, “Do you have a curfew?”

“Of course not.”

He drove past the sign that said Stony Brook University without another word and we drove around for another 2 to 3 hours.

At about 3 in the morning he parked outside my building and shook my hand.  Yes he shook my hand!  I walked the few feet to my building, run up the stairs, turn the light on and scream, “I am in love!!!”

My room mate opens her eyes, gives me a look that says Fuck off, pulls her comforter over her head, turns around and goes back to sleep.

Whether I slept that night or not is unimportant.  I was smitten. I was in love.

The next morning I walked into my accounting class and who is sitting in the back row but M! Wow, who knew? We sat together for the rest of the semester and I blame that turn of events for the fact that I never learned to balance my check book and am a financial basket case.

At the end of the class he says, “wanna study for the test this evening. I could come over.”

The test was in two weeks.  “That sounds great. How’s 9?”

“See you then,” he says and we walk to the next class, which luckily for my educational career is not with him.

That evening he came to my room. My room mate is conveniently not there and didn’t show up for the rest of the night. These are things that make me believe that there is a God. We sat on the floor of my room with our backs resting on my twin bed. He took my hand and pretended to read the lines on my hand. I know I know that is the oldest trick in the book, but my hands in his – I couldn’t think or hear anything anyway. The books remained unopened  on my desk and he left the next morning 🙂

That was it – we were a couple. We dated for the next 7 years. Just like that. We were that couple that would irritate me today – always together, so good looking, so happy, never fought – at least in public.

He was my first love and probably the love of my life.  My mother asks about him to this day. “That M was the best boyfriend you ever had,” she always tell me.

I am sure she is right, but that same imaginary God who kept my room mate out all night that first night we spent together also made it such that M and I didn’t end up together.

But that’s okay. Such is life. Thinking of our time together still makes me smile. We are still friends, even though not like the one I talked of in my last post.

Those were simpler days – I cannot sustain a relationship more than a year today. I have my theories about that which I will write about another time but today I just want to keep the smile that M still puts on my face.

Until I date again!






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