When I graduated in 1992, I turned down a full-ride scholarship from University of Washington and took my $28,000 in scholarships to a small town called Nevada (pronounced “Ne-VAY-da”) in the state of Missouri.
My mission: To get a comfortable distance from home, be in a place where I wouldn’t meet any boys, and learn liberal arts.
In this particular case, “a comfortable distance from home” meant halfway across the country. I enrolled at Cottey College, a private two-year women’s college. The Cottey experience could pretty much be summed up in one of our favorite campus songs, sung to the tune of the World War I song “K-K-K-Katy”:
C-C-C-Cottey, beautiful Cottey
Oh, it’s a school of which I’m sure you’ve heard before-ore-ore.
Over the Ozarks, down the Missour-ah
And tonight, tonight you’re gonna hear some more-ore-ore.
It’s a g-g-g-girls’ school, one of the finest.
Teaches liberal arts and gives you lots of poise-oi-oise.
If you get good grades, we’ll send you to Paris…
Oh, it’s got everything, oh, everything but… BOYS!
Naturally, the song fails to mention the sulfur water of beautiful Nevada, but that has a song all its own (“Nevada water makes you cower when you go to take a shower…”). It also fails to mention that every boy within two hundred miles develops a biological homing beacon, fixed on the campus, so there are always boys around.
Me? I was saving myself for my high school boyfriend, who had enlisted in the Air Force and I would later marry and have a son with. So I had noble intentions when I enrolled at Cottey. Still, I met a lot of boys… and the Divine Miss Teri B.
Miss Teri (we’re close, so I get to address her without her proper title of “Divine”) is pretty much the crazy sister I always wanted. If I want to go dancing all night, Miss Teri will shake her groove thang alongside me until the sun comes up. I have to admit – at my advanced age (I’m 36 today!), I want to dance all night less and less, but if I ever get the hankerin’, I know I can call on Miss Teri.
My dear college friend is a firm believer that every outfit can be made better with a tiara, every work week should include a bubble-blowing party, and breasts can and should be a weapon. Basically, she’s everything I’d be if I was still single, and not the mother of seven children. Tiara? Are you kidding me? If I can find two socks that match, I’m pretty much already feeling like royalty.
Which brings me to my big question: How in the world is this amazing woman still single? She’s gorgeous. She has a great job, she’s hysterically funny, has an amazing set of friends, and I think I mentioned the tiara.
Miss Teri B hasn’t found the right guy yet.
She has, however, found many of the wrong guys. Remember the homing beacon boys developed for my college campus? Miss Teri inspires a different type of radar. Namely, she attracts men who are unemployed, too old or too young, or simply gay. Indeed, Miss Teri has a collection of gay boyfriends to rival Freddie Mercury. Oh, and one gay husband, but let’s face it – nearly every woman could benefit from having a gay husband to get manicures and go shopping with. I’m thinking of finding a gay hubby myself, as soon as I have the time and desire to get a manicure.
So you could have knocked me off my barstool when I met up with Miss Teri at one of our favorite haunts in Seattle the other night, and she announced she’d met a guy who was not only gainfully employed, but age-appropriate and seemingly heterosexual, to boot. Frankly, the vodka was flowing freely that night, so you probably could have knocked me off my barstool, anyway, but her disclosure was shocking, nonetheless.
One of our Cottey sisters, Athena in Indy, blogs at athenainindy.blogspot.com – even though her name isn’t Athena and she’s no longer in Indiana – but what I really want to say is she’s currently involved with a man she calls Hoosier Guy. I suggested the new man in Miss Teri’s life should likewise have an identifying name, but she refuses to name him, because she doesn’t want to jinx her chances of it working out. So, I’m forced to refer to him as New Guy.
I’m holding a thought for Miss Teri and New Guy, because I firmly believe there is a perfect “someone” for everyone. I found my Mr. Wright, and I’m so glad I did. I have no intention of leaving him, because I don’t relish the thought of returning to the dating scene, no matter how many martinis it promises.
Still, if you’re single and seeking, hang in there. No matter how full your little black book may be with unemployed, age-inappropriate, sexually incompatible prospects, there will always be a New Guy waiting for you, and you may meet him when and where you least expect. In Miss Teri’s case, it was while bowling with her parents.
But, that’s another story, altogether.