In 1988, I was a third-year student at the University of California, San Diego, when I was informed that the university was looking for a student representative on an advisory board to oversee the establishment of a student center. I was hired to interview.
At my first committee meeting, I was sitting at a table in the conference room with curly black hair and some nice dimples sitting in front of me. He was a lovely man. His name was Andrew. Every week when we talked about construction permits, vendors, color schemes, etc., my eyes were racing towards him.
After doing this for most of the grade, I decided to go bold. I dared to tell a common friend that I was attracted to him and asked him to “see” him to see if he felt the same way about me. What did you need to lose as summer was near? If he wasn’t interested, I could put it away for the whole summer.
A few days later, the phone rang and it was Andrew! After a short but insignificant conversation, we decided to meet for the next break. We were both from Los Angeles. (He lived in Tarzana and I lived in Maravista.) Plan – My That is, he had to have dinner at my house. There, I was able to sit outside in the garden, chatting, sunbathing, and getting to know each other better. I was completely happy with this plan. After all, we weren’t strangers, we loved cooking. what could go wrong? Obviously a lot. Andrew looked uneasy throughout the night. And when my brother suddenly appeared with his girlfriend, our party of two became a party of four.
The rest of the summer is gone, and I never heard an answer from him. Before the word was invented, I was a “ghost”. I was rejected, confused and embarrassed. How did you intend to confront this guy at the weekly board meeting when class resumed in the fall?
In September, the activities of the student center were resumed. Andrew didn’t clarify, apologize, or admit that we had a date so far. It was eating me up, so I contacted my mutual friend again and asked, “What happened to that man? Was the date really that terrible?”
She went on with her mission.
That night my phone rang, and that was Andrew! We chatted without mentioning the first date of failure. He asked me, and I said so. I still didn’t know what was happening to him. But I decided it was worth trying again. This time I went on a “normal” college date. Andrew took me to a Corvette dinner near downtown San Diego. We sat in a 50s-style booth, enjoyed the retro decor and explosion of music from the jukebox, and opened the menu. When Andrew suddenly allowed me to call from the table, I thought things were going well.
When he returned a few minutes later, he told me he had forgotten he had something very important to take care of and needed to end the date.
What? !! What happened to this man?
I was so shocked that I didn’t know what to do or what to say. He took me home and left me, and that was the end of it. Later, when I met him on board and around the campus, didn’t reveal anything about the date. It was as if it had never happened. However, at that time there was a monument. Andrew and I were photographed standing close to each other at the ribbon-cut ceremony at the new UCSD Student Center in 1989. After that, we graduated and went our separate ways.
Almost 30 years later, in the winter of 2018, I got divorced, and until recently I haven’t had a long relationship, so I used a dating app. I got an attractive profile. His name was Andrew. His profile said that he also went to UCSD. It was only after liking him that I began to notice that he was a little familiar. Could this be the same man who was all those years ago?
He immediately sent me a message and within 45 minutes we were on the phone. The sound of his voice showed that this was definitely the one Andrew I knew in college. But it didn’t seem like he had anything to do with our previous meetings. He asked me out on Friday night, and I accepted. I was excited and curious, but scared.
We met at a small and intimate Italian restaurant where it was raining outside. From the moment I entered, there was a connection and sparks were flying. In the middle of dinner, this topic lasted until our time in college. The date was so good that I had to tell him who I am. “Are you on the UCSD University Centerboard?” I asked. “Yes.” He replied.
“Okay, I did too.”
“Are you on board Laura?! I can’t believe it,” he said with a big smile on his face. He later added. I always told my roommate about you.
I’m flattered, but with renewed confidence I couldn’t stop pointing out that he had an interesting way of showing it at the time.
“We went out twice, and you blew me away…twice.” I joked
Andrew seemed embarrassed and explained that he was very shy and anxious in college. He liked me but was not convinced to follow me. As I suspected, our first meeting put undue pressure on him. What is date 2? Andrew did not remember this, but he apologized profusely.
He accused it of being a lousy and inexperienced college student. “I was an idiot,” he said. I could not discuss this. “Okay,” I replied. “Now you can leave it to me.”
And he did.
That night we talked for hours and closed the restaurant. We ran into a coffee shop across the street through the rain and continued dating – and the place was closed. At the end of the night we planned the next date, and he kissed me good night. We are together since then.
We got married a year ago on 24 October 2020 in Ojai. Of course, this was in the middle of a pandemic, so there was an intimate ceremony and reception with family and close friends. Each adult child packed scissors and a wide red ribbon to recreate a picture of us as students standing close to each other on the first day of the UCSD Student Center.
These two photos are side-by-side on the dresser in the bedroom.
Our story proves that life is definitely a journey, and you never know what’s around the corner.
LA Affairs records a romantic search for love in the LA area in all its splendid expressions. We want to hear your true story. You will have to pay $300 for a published essay. Email [email protected] Submission guidelines are here. You can find the previous column here.