In John Blair's History of the English Drama Class at Georgia College in Milledgeville, Georgia, I had a seat next to the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
God, she was something. My neck got sore looking to the front of the class because I didn't want her to catch me staring at her. As often as I could manage, though, I let my gaze wander to see if she was really as stunning as I thought. Damn. She was.
She didn't speak to me, nor I to her. I was too shy and she was out of my league by several light years. I wasn't even sure of her name. Sarah or Carol or something.
Then one day, my buddy Charles "Drip" Waldrip asked me to assist with a class presentation . It was on the play "Tis Pity She's a Whore" (This is an actual title) and he wanted me to pretend to interrupt the first part of his talk. At the time Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon had a routine when Ed would say something like, "This news article tells you everything you need to know about dogs." And then Johnny would say, "Not true, Alpo breath," and go off on some silly riff about raising pooches.
I was to interrupt Drip, saying how complete the handout was and how there was nothing more to add, then Drip was going say, "Not so fast, Petrarchan breath," and begin his talk.
So the day of class, Drip gives out the handouts, and I begin my spiel, saying how great the handout was, how complete, and was just about to say there was nothing else to add, when WHAM! The prettiest girl I'd ever seen yells "Shut up!" and whaps the side of my head with the Riverside Shakespeare, hardbound and ten inches thick. Stunned silence ensued. If Drip wanted a surprise beginning to his talk, he'd succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
All was made clear, and the girl - whose name turned out to be Nancy - and I begin dating shortly thereafter. This July marks thirty years of marriage.
I count that day in John Blair's History of English Drama as one of the most fortunate of my life. We still have the Riverside Shakespeare, and though it doesn't actually bear the dented impression of my skull, I tell people it does.
Never let a day pass, Man Martin, without remembering how lucky you are. I love you, darling.
Happy Mother's Day.