The summer of 1998 was a good one. I had just moved back home after having lived on my own for the past five years in order to save money. It was surprising fun to be back at home, not annoying or limiting at all. That summer, I was in grad school and the summer session of grad school was light on both coursework and clinical work. Easy peasy. I knew to enjoy this since this would be my last summer before becoming a full-fledged working adult.
I hadn’t had a boyfriend at this time for several years and was actually completely content being on my own. No, really! I was! I had plans to complete and internship in Kansas City and hopefully get a job there (or maybe in St. Louis-I wasn’t sure where.) The possibilities for my future were endless!
This was also the summer my best friend from high school, Avery*, was getting married. She’d asked me to be a bridesmaid. The day before the rehearsal dinner, I had a hair appointment to make me blond again. (I’d had an unfortunate stint with very dark hair that had faded to an ugly color of “mouse.”) My dress for the rehearsal number was a darling little pink dress that fit perfectly, making me look thin and curvy.
I was terribly nervous to go to the rehearsal. The only person I really knew was Avery and I knew she would be busy with all this getting married stuff and wouldn’t have time to hold my hand and introduce my socially awkward self to everyone. Luckily I looked like a babe (if I do say so myself) with my new haircut and pink dress. Looking good definitely helps in new social situations. Also luckily, all of Avery’s friends welcomed me right away and helped me not to feel like the odd man out. It also didn’t hurt that Avery’s friend Julia* pointed out this usher named, Tate, who thought I was “cute.”
The pink dress and blond hair had worked it’s magic! I was flattered! As luck would have it, he was “cute,” too.
*Names changed to protect the guilty.