Noel and I took advantage of the presence of Grandma Libby and Grandpa Alex to go out for dinner and a movie tonight, a break from the non-stop childcare Noel's been enduring since last Saturday and my own travel-related disconnects. We went to see Enchanted, which gave me the 1.5 steps extra beyond the Disney-princess-in-the-real-world premise I was looking for, allowing me to ignore the ridiculous CGI overkill of the ending and the all-thought-stopped-at-the-premise framework that came wrapped around the entertaining parts. Most importantly, it gives me an excuse to answer Eric's question:
How did you and Noel meet?
Well, I was in Athens, Georgia, getting my master's degree and indulging some minor rock-and-roll dreams. Noel was getting his B.A. in journalism and writing for the Red and Black. Both of us helped program the university's extensive film series. I don't remember the exact moment we met, but I was an avid reader of his back-page Friday column of entertainment picks, and he was a frequent audience member at my band's shows.
It wasn't until mere weeks before Noel's graduation that we socialized together for the first time -- and that was a party with a group, not a date. I totally flubbed what should have been our first date by never following up on my suggestion that we go see Casablanca together, thus ruining a great story we could have told in future years. Instead, I've got this unwieldy tale of shared interests, gradual friendship, and a romance that didn't blossom until we started exchanging letters after Noel moved back to Nashville.
What I'd really like is a rewritten "how we met" story that will entertain our children and grandchildren, and look good in the notice of our golden wedding anniversary celebration in the newspaper of the future (whatever that may be). My mom tells us how my dad used to hitchhike from Knoxville to Chattanooga every weekend. I don't think that the time Noel drove up to Charlottesville in an ice storm and wrecked his brand new car really has the same romantic ring.
So I'm soliciting your help, internet. Can you refashion any elements of our rather prosaic real-life tale into an enhanced version 2.0? And if not, do you at least have another question for me -- one that maybe will have a more entertaining answer? (Not your fault, Eric -- you had no way of knowing.)