Getting married was an event that forwent all of whatever girlhood dreams I had about getting married, save for the ooey-gooey yay-ness of it.
I had met my ex my first year of college. I had originally written him off as not being serious enough for me, thanks to the music department's freshman orientation meeting, where the chair was lecturing us all in the smaller performing hall about the do's and don'ts of campus and of the music program.
The chair of the music department was recounting a story involving beer being found in one of the upperclassman's' lockers the previous year and, in trying to make an impression on us as to his personality, told us we didn't want to be stupid like that. Told us he didn't want to name names. Then promptly followed that comment with the link "like" and then the name of the student.
I took note, figured I knew at least one person to stay away from, but then was so promptly dealing with being pregnant, such menial worries got swiped from memory.
In the interim, I stressed big time over a whole bunch of other shit, not the least of which was academic life taking a hit with pending and real-time motherhood. Then, the father of my child and I split and I started to stress out about providing for my kid because, true to form, when he left, everything left. Including support.
However, I did start to lift my head about my options.
I was struggling to hold onto whatever little dreaming I had left, even though it was altered. By the time my daughter was approaching her first birthday, I had been disenchanted with life. I mean, I was still the emotional, dreamy Latina underneath and I wanted everything for my daughter that I would not be getting, but... I was kind of a clusterphuck loss for what to do with myself. Nothing had gone like I had wanted, but I had not really figured out how to deal with it.
So, I did what any other disenchanted Latina of mixed heritage would do (maybe? I only speak for myself, really): I started to eyeball some guy friends in the music department for the upcoming Valentine's Dance. Narrowed it down to one. Told my BFF, who had been told "by a little birdie" that the one I was thinking about asking was also thinking about asking me, too. Cool!
He worked near the taco-slapping, hard-grinding fast food place I worked at, and would always come in for some food. After the exchange with my BFF took place in music theory class, he came in and awkwardly asked me. We went to the dance. He wore his tux. He made supper for all of us that night (3 couples going together.) He bought a rose. I made him dance every dance. I went home to where the ex-boyfriend was still taking up space in my bedroom. I fell asleep on the couch.
In the midst of the bizarre set-up that was having my ex in my home, this guy really made me feel special. And man, was he tall! After the dance, we took several opportunities to hang out. Coffee, music ed student parties, various low-cost/no-cost activities like his friend's friend's pontoon boat, jamming with friends at his apartment, watching movies. One special night, he even took me down to the river and pulled me up the hill, taco-grease-smelling monkey suit and all (because it was right after work), and read me two poems that he wrote.
He even explained the beer incident on campus and was pissed that the chair of the department had brought his name up in that freshman meeting. A couple of his buddies put it in his saxophone locker as a joke, only the joke ended up getting discovered, and the music chair had his own thoughts and opinions, various ones of which led him to arbitrarily mention names in that meeting a year and a half prior. I don't want to name names, either. Scott Prebys.