Twenty years ago tonight, I was strolling through the University Center at Tennessee Tech with my friend Jennifer. Two guys we knew walked up, wearing very nice suits. They looked good. Jennifer already had the hots for one of the guys. The other one was a guy I'd seen on campus a lot, and been sort of curious about. Curious, but skeptical: he seemed like trouble, like a slacker, someone who played a lot of music on the patio at Tech and didn't actually go to class.
But he had an energy, a vibe, that I found intriguing. His whole presence seemed to sort of vibrate with it. He looked damn good in a suit. And he was eyeing me like, "Hey, baby."
In fact, he probably said, "Hey, baby."
They invited us to go to one of the few restaurants open in Cookeville, TN, late at night: Waffle House (of course I had no idea then what significance this restaurant would have for me twenty years later). Jennifer and I thought, What the hell. Actually, I suspect that Jennifer though, OMG, I'm going to get to hang out with Wilhelm! I know that I thought, What the hell. I've got nothing better to do tonight. And this guy is really attractive.
At the Waffle House we ordered some coffee, and the Waffle House meal I always got those days: one piece of raisin toast, and a poached egg (really? Yes, that's the kind of thing I ate back then). And then we made out. In the booth at the Waffle House. Jennifer and Wilhelm went at it, and I looked at the guy sitting beside me and thought, again, What the hell?
As it turns out, we weren't all that skilled at kissing each other. Even today, kissing isn't our strong suit. But we were very, very interested in getting to know each other better. I was the super rule following emphatically feminist good girl. He was the guy who challenged all rules on general principle and wanted to explore all the forbidden spaces. It was a terrible idea for us to get together. Really, who would have thought that this could work out?
And as of today, we've been together for twenty years.
Happy anniversary, Biffle!