31 July 2009

"Whatta man, whatta man, whatta man, whatta mighty good man"--Salt N Pepa

It's a sleepy Friday so howsabout you crawl into my lap and I'll tell you a story? *oof* Just watch the elbows.

Many years ago, I was in my mid-twenties, coming off a bad marriage, fairly new to the area and to my job, and living in my own little apartment. It was pretty low on the fancy amenities scale, but it had one thing going for it: it was mineminemine.*

I decided to throw a party and invited a college friend, Herman, down from Jersey** for the weekend. I spread the word and bought official party food (Ruffles and Molson) and even bought some records to play. Herman informed me that this was a mistake. No one wanted to hear a whole side of a Thompson Twins record. No indeed. He brought mix tapes and saved the party.

My boyfriend of a few months (read: rebound), Kevin, came over early. In hindsight, he wasn't a very good match for me but at the time I was one smitten kitten. I was hoping Herman would like my new beau. I wanted to feel good about my choices again after making such a dismally bad choice (my former husband). But, no. Herman and Kevin were sizing each other up in that icky way straight men do from the first moment they saw each other.

Party time (excellent) came and I was pleased that so many of my new friends showed. There were probably about twenty-five of us in my little apartment and we spilled out onto the balcony which looked down onto the parking lot. It was a first floor apartment and [key point -->] over twenty feet up from ground level.

I'd invited a co-worker, Rob. Rob had a really bad crush on Susie, who was about 15 years his senior by the way.*** He followed her around all night like a puppy begging for a Milkbone. ****

The beer flowed and the talk flowed and the music flowed and at some point somebody pointed out that there was a tow truck down in the parking lot and a car was being towed. Susie realized it was her car, parked illegally in a reserved spot. Susie called down to the tow truck operator to stop, she'd be right down. As you might expect, the tow truck operator ignored her. She headed out the door.

Rob, seeing his chance to play the hero, but having twelve too many beers to see the flaw in his plan, figured it would be quicker to get to the tow truck operator by going over the balcony railing. He nearly did, too. He scrambled up onto the balcony railing, all the while shouting that he'd be right there. Rob was about to jump off when Kevin wrapped his arms around Rob's waist and pulled him back, with a simple "You don't want to do that, Rob."

Susie had to pay the tow truck operator to get her car back and, crisis ended, the party continued into the night. When everybody left and Herman and I were cleaning up...

Me: So, what did you think of Kevin?
Herman: Mm. I wasn't impressed.
Me: You found nothing to like about him?
Herman: *pause* Sorry.
Me, *pouting*:
Herman, *grudgingly*: Okay, there was something.
Me *beaming*:
Herman: The way he wrapped his arms around Rob and pulled him off the railing, that was quick thinking. I liked that. That was something.
Me: ...well... yeah!

That was something.

We see stuff happen all the time, and even as we known it shouldn't be happening, we don't often move quickly enough to stop it. Kevin did. His instincts kicked in and, in that instant, he acted. He saved Rob from, at a minimum, a broken ankle. I don't think Rob ever thanked him. I don't think Kevin ever expected to be thanked. He just did what needed to be done.

Kevin broke my heart a few months later but on that night I was proud of him.

* And the landlord's.

** There's nothing "New" about it.

*** Can I get an "Amen" for older women?

**** Too easy?


Kate said...

Isn't it funny when we want someone we like and respect to like another person we're getting to know and they don't? We're vaguely hurt, but also wondering, "What the heck is wrong with me? Can't I ever pick them right?"

At least that's what I say to myself. Hrmph.

PQ said...

I've found that my friends are super intuitive about guys that I like...but they also know not to tell me when they don't like someone if I'm especially smitten and probably won't listen to reason.

Narm said...

I feel obligated to give an AMEN since the Lady Friend is four years my senior. What is the official age that you become a cougar?

Matt said...


Little Ms Blogger said...

It's funny that you asked your friend about your new beau. I never asked a soul about my ex and found out that my good friend, who I have known forever HATED him and never saw us together.

I asked her why she never said anything and she said I never asked.

When she met my now hubby, I asked immediately (right after exiting the door of the restaurant) and she loved him. She was so happy that I finally found a GIVER since my ex only knew how to be a taker.

Mike said...

Kevin obviously hadn't had enough to drink yet. Otherwise he would have joined Rob in his aerial rescue mission.

Al In The County said...

I love a story with a no broken bone ending. I gave up on happy endings years ago...

HP said...

I was thinking the punchline to the story was to be that he ended up being gay (b/c ya know...he was comfortable wrapping his arms around another guy). I think I like my ending better.

f.B said...


And Rob should've bought Kevin a drink after he sobered up and remembered his neck being saved.

GreenCanary said...

Jump! Jump! Jump! *chanting*



And this is why no one invites me to parties.

Alice said...

aw. not a good match for you, but still a decent guy, obvs.

ever since breaking up w/a boyfriend and having ALL MY FRIENDS come out of the woodwork and tell me how douchey they'd thought he was? i now ask.

Alex said...

I had three reactions to this story:

1) knowing how disaster can unfold before you like a slow-motion movie, while you find yourself frozen and powerless to stop it, I am impressed with Kevin

2) I found myself not liking Herman for his grudging attitude towards Kevin.

3) I was someone else's Kevin in exactly the same relationship in my mid-20s. :D

Reya Mellicker said...

Awww! I loved that story! Glad no one was hurt. Close call, but yeah about your boyfriend. He was a hero.

Love the phrase, "Coming off a bad marriage," as if coming off a bad bender. Nice turn of phrase.

LiLu said...

I can't EVER hear the phrase "Party time" without hearing Dana Carvey and Mike Myer's voices. As it should be.

Barbara said...

Twenties are real heartbreak years. But, you know, I learned something from every one of them and I'm glad I didn't get too anxious as I waited for Mr. Right to come along.

I want to think I would do the right thing in a moment of crisis. But I almost burned down our HS chem lab when I dropped phosphorous (I think that's what it was) on the counter and it ignited. I watched frozen as my teacher dived in to save the place. Sort of shook my confidence in my ability to act under pressure...

lacochran said...

Kate: It *is* funny how we want others to corroborate.

PQ: Good friends!

Narm: "Obligated"? I think the word you're looking for is "delighted".

Matt: :)

Little Ms Blogger: It's so nice when you're both givers!

Mike: Everybody is capable of stupid with enough liquid incentive.

Al in the Country: That surprises me. I'd think you'd found it.

HP: Your ending *is* better. My ending is real.

f.B: :) Rob laid low for a bit. I think he was embarrassed.

GreenCanary: Ha!

Alice: Friends see things we don't always see.

Alex: Huh. Glad sharing had an impact. Thanks for sharing your reactions.

Reya Mellicker: Glad you liked it. I was afraid it was too eh.

LiLu: As it should be. :)

Barbara: I'm guessing you'd react differently at this point in your life.