I started writing when I was 18 years old when I was in college at the University of Illinois. I fell madly in love with a boy from my high school who went to the University of Iowa, 4 hours away. It was a time before cell phones and dormitory life. There was so much to do at the University that I didn’t spend much time in my room which made it hard to coordinate phone calls. We literally had to make appointments to talk. Another way that we shared our love for each other was through love letters. I was so completely caught off guard with falling for this guy. I dated but I didn’t have the deep feelings like I had for this one. We didn’t try, it just happened. He sent me the first love letter and I was giddy beyond belief skipping around twirling my “I Dream of Jeannie” high pony tail. It was amazing how his words could light me up like a Christmas tree star. In his first letter he told me how special I was. This may seem like a simple thing to say to someone but at this time in my life, he had no idea how much this meant to me. Nobody ever told me that besides my parents before. I would hug the letters, smell his cologne and re-read them like they were the most precious pieces of paper that I have ever touched.
I would read them to my roommate as we would giggle with joy after each loving word. I would throw myself down on my pillow holding the letters to my heart saying his name, over and over again in a soft whisper. “You lucky bitch”, my roommate would say. She made me laugh so hard. I had the best roommate ever who was just as excited as I was with each new letter. I began to write him back. I was never so open and vulnerable. It was so fun to tell someone how much they meant to you and it be mutual. I started to get more creative with the letters by changing colors of my markers with each new sentence. I added perfume and I kissed each envelope with gobs of red lipstick. I decorated the envelopes with sparkly puffy paint that took a whole night to dry and then I would flip it over and puffy paint the other side. These were some of the most colorful, sparkly, smelly letters that I have ever scene. He would write me back with something even more sweet. Before I knew it we were making cassette tapes for each other with our favorite love songs on them and sending them in the letters along with dried up roses. He was my baby and I told him this all the time.
I really loved him so much. I couldn’t stop laughing whenever I was with him. He would somehow borrow a car and drive down during the craziest snow blizzards just to see me for one night. I couldn’t believe someone would do all this just for me. We would stay up all night not wanting to waste a single minute. It was tricky in that I had a roommate. We would hang out at the bars as late as they stayed open and then we would make out in the dorm lounge all night. I would try to stay out of my dorm room until the morning. There was a serious lack of privacy most of the time that we dated. It seemed impossible to be alone with him but when we were, it was magical.
He used to surprise visit me. There would be times where I couldn’t see him for 6 weeks and I would be walking down the quad and would see a Detroit Tigers hat with this duck tape on the back just like his hat. I would stop dead in my tracks while he would jump out of a bush. I would scream and hug him and cry. I missed him so much. He surprised me many times. One time I just got out of the shower and he called and he said hang on. So I did. I was at my sorority house where my room was on a floor with nothing but other female only dorm rooms. I hear a knock on my door and he burst into the room. “Surprise”, he would run in with a handful of balloons, flowers, hugs and kisses. I completely fell over on the bed screaming with shock. He always got me. I was never prepared for his surprises as he was very creative. He would laugh and laugh and laugh and I would laugh too. He was hilariously fun. Of course we had no place to stay so I had to sneak him into the sorority house at night. He showered there in the middle of the night wearing my robe and towel on his head. He just needed to hide his hairy chest! At least I had a private room while my roommate slept in the dorm room filled with bunk beds.
I wish we could have gone to the same schools. Transferring was not an option for me as my parents refused to pay an out of state tuition. They also wanted me to graduate in 4 years and there was a lot of pressure to finish on time. I was happy to be in school as my home life was at the height of fighting. I wanted to do anything to stay away from home. This also created more issues because during summer breaks we had an opportunity to be together in our home town but I wanted to stay in summer school over going home again. He stayed with me one summer and it was a blast living with him. I felt like a real adult, playing house with him, making meals together. The distance wore on us over time but the love letters kept our college romance alive. We did every romantic thing you could imagine. I didn’t even know I liked romance so much until it was happening and we were creatively coming up with more and more romantic things. I openly admitted that I was cheesy. I often said I was like cheese whiz! I could write about this forever.
One time I made him a candle lite dinner in a hotel room with flowers, beautiful music and a homemade meal. I made the dinner in my sorority kitchen the night before. I pre-made everything including the salad with salad dressing. I made every cooking mistake you could think of. He politely ate my droopy lettuce and I pretended like everything was delicious, just like I imagined this special night would be. My stomach starting gurgle with the worst pains ever. I felt a fart coming on and squeezed as hard as I could. I surrendered and ran to the bathroom with the worst diarrhea afterwards in this tiny hotel room. I turned on the water and tried to be quiet pretending like nothing was wrong. My only give away was that I was in the bathroom for like a half an hour. Every time I thought I was done, more came. How embarrassing!!! He thought it was funny. “OH MY GOD”, was all I could think. I was humiliated that this happened during my special romantic dinner with him. He loved me anyway and we had the best night despite my cooking fouls. I will never put salad dressing on a salad the night before again! NEVER EVER!
Recalling these memories still makes me shine. Honestly I was laughing through writing this whole post. I started writing with love and the joy has never left me. As I continue to write, I pour my whole heart and love onto the page. In my opinion, that is the only way to write. Many times I have cried and laughed through my posts, scared to press post but I do it anyway. I want to live. I want to write. I want to love. We are no longer together but he holds a very special place in my heart. He always did. Peace, love & light beautiful people! Tell me, did you ever write love letters? I’d love to know:)