On Monday, December 3, I drove up to Mike’s house. Before heading over, I stopped at the mall for new pjs (a light purple tank and purple and cream striped pjs pants – yes, I still have them – I’m starting to sound like a hoarder) and then to Schnuck’s for the makings for Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. I couldn’t find the cheese that I needed for the recipe (even after casing the entire store, asking two employees, and practically having a panic attack) so I ended up buying refrigerated prepared sauce, refrigerated pasta, and a roll of Pillsbury breadsticks (yuck!).
When I arrived at Mike’s house, he wasn’t home yet, so I waited in my car and he arrived home a few minutes later. As we walked into his extremely tidy home there were three peach roses in a vase on the table. Before I’d even unloaded my groceries, he handed me the roses. Flowers, for no real reason, and I didn’t have to get mad to receive them. I think this was a first and while I was definitely crazy before, this tipped the scale even further.
Mike and I made dinner together, which was totally gross. The pasta and sauce wasn’t that good, the chicken was tough, and the breadsticks burned. Definitely not a showcase of my culinary talents, which at the time were not very extensive, but I could follow a recipe and bake a mean pumpkin roll. After dinner, we “watched TV”. Since this story is PG rated and intended for my children (not to mention both my mom and MIL read the blog) we’ll just end the evening there. The next morning, I had to leave for school by 6:30 because I had an eight o’clock class. Mike didn’t have class until 1, so he had the morning to kill. I can still remember looking back over my shoulder to wave by to Mike as I walked to my car that morning – looking sexy (ha!) in my grey Abercrombie kids sweatpants (yes, I could still fit in kids sizes back then). Everything felt right with the world.
The following week was finals week, and I decided to get a room at the Varsity Inn so I could study. We won’t even talk how ridiculous this was, but a hotel room was definitely more quiet than my home where Grandpa kept the TV blaring constantly. I drove to Charleston on Sunday afternoon and checked into my $20 a night hotel room, which was worth just that. Seriously, this place was disgusting and creepy (there is a reason they tore it down a few years later). I was afraid to even touch the blankets, so I covered the bed in my sleeping bag, setup my laptop, and studied like a crazy woman. Mike showed up later that evening, and I can still picture him standing outside the door in an Eastern sweatshirt and jeans. By this point, I was in way over my head. Mike stayed at the Varsity Inn with me for two nights and we actually did study quite a bit – along with other activities – including going out to dinner with Tiffany and going to see our first movie together, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
My last final was on Wednesday, which was also Mike’s 25th birthday (that still seems old, even though I’m nearly 30…). Mike had another final on Thursday, but neither of us could handle another night at the Varsity Inn, so we drove up to Mike’s house together. We were tired of eating out, so we made Chicken Dijon which was actually very good and has become one of our staple recipes (I may have to make it next week…). I was clued in regarding what to expect from Mike’s family when we listed to Mike’s answering machine and his Mom was belting out “Happy Birthday.” I think all Mike and I wished for was that we’d be spending many more birthday’s together.
I dropped Mike at his final on Thursday morning, went out to lunch with Tiffany, and headed home. After nearly a week with Mike, I felt like I’d lost one of my limbs. All I could do was count the days until New Year’s Eve, when we planned to see each other again.