That Time I Stalked Tarzan
When I was a kid love was a certain picture: I’d meet someone in college, get my bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal down the street, wear my mother’s long-sleeved dress worn by the previous two generations, and squeeze out a few little ones by age 23.
But as plans go for me, I managed to throw a wrench, fork, and kitchen sink into it.
Instead of the strapping young football captain, I met and fell in love with a circle of women. We could have cared less about any guy that walked by.
11 of us crammed into a 3-bedroom sorority house. The house came equipped with two shower stalls in a creepy basement, the “shoebox” that I shared with the brunette version of crazy I call my best friend, and a chapter room that was darkened every Saturday to cure our subsequent hangovers.
A lot happened in that house. There was the time that the extra side of crazy (we’ll call her Sarah) and I sat in our room across the hall and prank-called the chapter room 30 times. Or when we threw empty (plastic) bottles of liquor at the ceiling and faked sleeping whenever someone came in. Or when Sarah thought the cure for my broken heart (aka, the ginger ignored me at a party) was to play Taylor Swift over the loud speakers for all of campus to hear.
And then there was the one night when I got a call from a friend who lost her bra in a boy’s room across campus—I happened to be out cruising the streets with my bike gang so I turned my single-speed low-rider around, rode through the hallway, stormed the room, recovered the bra, and delivered it to the frat house she was hiding out in.
We didn’t really have time for boys, other than forgetting their name in the morning and running across campus in their over-sized t-shirt and 1 (singular) flip-flop. Walk of shame? Psh. Run for glory.
Going to school in a small town can get boring and if we weren’t locked in by the snow, drinking a half-gallon of Arbor Mist to each of us, we had to get creative.
To curb our boredom Sarah and I devised a game: Silly Crush, and announced it as the rule in the house. Everyone had to have one, no questions asked. We made sure social media, the white board, cat calls were all involved. These crushes were blatant. It wasn’t someone you actually liked–it was just entertaining to have a crush on them. The more they weren’t your type the better. Dating someone? Didn’t care. We needed something to talk about.
My spanish professor’s long-haired, motor-cycle riding, poetry-writing, film-making intro/extro-vert of a son. Needless to say I didn’t pass her class. Twice.
Tarzan happened to walk into my Business 101 class that semester and I died a little.I ran home and immediately announced that God apparently loved me this week and I had a silly crush. You can imagine that my attendance was perfect that semester.
Some might have called what we were about to have stalking, but I knew what love was. And you just don’t give up on that.
I made sure to tell everyone. Sarah and I picked out children’s names and what our home would look like.
One day he even came over to the house to study with me. I spent hours cleaning (let’s face it, 5 minutes), made sure I was showered and casually comfortable and all the other girls weren’t around. We’d look back on this one day and laugh about how we first met. Our kids would love the story.
We studied and I’m sure he was focused on how beautiful and natural I was. And then he went to get on his motorcycle and it was dead—my silly crush was stuck! IN MY HOUSE. FOREVER.\
…well, until someone got the brilliant idea to push the bike until the clutch popped…
Determined not to give up on our love, I made it a point to be embarrassingly awkward when I saw him out. He rarely attended parties and preferred to walk around staring at the trees or something (I mentioned how sensitive he was, right?).
On one such occasion he finally asked me out. Well, to the bar, down the street, or did my professor?
Either way, we ended up at the one bar in town, with 3 of my favorite English professors.
It went like this:
Johnny Walker, right?
Well, if you’re buying!
We raged over literature and made fun of the brown-nosing students in the program. I didn’t want to seem like the least valuable to my professors, so I kept up with their shots until I’m sure I puked in the bathroom.
Tarzan was a gentleman, and carried me across the threshold into my house and the waiting arms of my sisters.
I’m pretty sure I told him I was in love with him before chucking the contents of my stomach into the bushes, again.
I’m also pretty sure he told me he wasn’t into me.
Sarah recounts it a little better:
Tarzan: If you like someone you should just tell them and not get super drunk.
Me the next morning: Ohhh, I get it. So he’s gay.
The moral of the story: Valentine’s day that year was spent in a mumu, with my best girls, booze, and making some frat boys perform in a wet t-shirt contest.
Oh, and you’ve got to stalk someone, at least once in your life. If only to make sure you never do it again.
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