Michele and I "met" when I responded to her post at a website that connected Christian pen-pals. Although separated geographically (North versus South, such as it were!), metaphorically, we were in many of the same boats, and we hit it off right away. Hundreds of emails later, we've shared the good times, the heart breaks, and everything in between, and her enduring friendship has been invaluable to me.

Among my ambitious bucket list plans is to post -- or publish! -- a more complete collection of our exchanges. But for now, this small set can serve as a prologue...

8/6/02 (from Michele)

Good luck with your final! What class is it in? You know I think the word "final" is so appropriate because when you take one, it's like you're walking that long, lonely walk to to the electric chair! Ok, maybe it isn't that bad... um, or maybe it is!

8/6/02 (from me)

I imagine that going to take a final *is* like taking that long walk to the chair. It's so much pressure, especially for this class (Fluid Mechanics) since I have to pass it - with a C - in order to take the next classes I have scheduled! AAARGH! THE PRESSURE! I really wanted to take the summer off, too. Instead I had to take this class and feel bad about myself, because there was a conflict with my fall schedule. GRRRR!

I'm actually pretty confidant that I'll pass the class. I'd settle to pass it with a C, but of course I'd like to pass it with an A. Maybe I could see if the professor was free for dinner on Friday . . .

8/8/02 (from me)

Subject Heading: the WOO HOO heard 'round the world.
If you listen closely today around 5:30 (CST) you will probably hear me say "WOO HOO" as I leave my classroom in freedom. Thanks for wishing me luck - I really do need it! I keep looking at the material and learning more bits and pieces of info, but I honestly need about two more weeks to cram for this thing. I don't think I could do anything to salvage this course if I fail it! Still, I feel ... kinda ... okay about it. I'll definitely be glad it's over, whatever happens.

8/9/02 (from me)

Subject Heading: In the words of my fellow classmate...
"It sucked."

The professor was actually asking people what they thought of the test. The first girl he asked just smiled as if to say,"I can't believe this crazy man is asking me that." The second girl he asked must have been ready because she stated in a decidedly unfriendly manner, "It sucked." I think she hurt his feelings a little: he said, "Really?" She said yes and turned to march out. I thought I was going to sneak away: he'd left the room when I turned my paper in. He was hiding in wait outside the door, talking to two guys from class. He called my name and asked what I thought. I couldn't even look at him: I busied myself with putting my calculator away and said in what I hope was a breezy tone, "I have no comment." He said, "No comment? That's bad." Avoiding looking at him, I hesitantly agreed with a " ... yeah ..." and walked on.

He spoke to me! Giggle! Blush! I wish I could've been a bit more positive, but I can't lie under his handsome-faced stare. I'm going to miss him! Sniffle! Thinking about it though, what did he want us to say? "That was the bestest final ever!!" I think not. Anyway. I'm already in full-freedom mode. Woo hoo! This evening, I'm going to look at some new computer goodies that were advertised on sale.

8/23/02 (from Michele)

[Referring to a post on a message board we visit] Yeah, that post is getting out of hand. I think now he just wants everyone to agree with him and he's getting a little peeved. *giggle* This reminds me of a Foxtrot comic. Jason, the youngest son, who loves school was upset that the new school year didn't begin until after Labor Day. So he began his tirade: "Labor Day?! Who ever heard of starting school after Labor Day?!" His tirade continued until he finally said "Who's with me on this?" and of course no one was. The very last panel has him beginning his tirade once again, this time using a megaphone. The mother says "Jason, I don't think volume is your problem here." *giggle* I don't think it would be too far gone to say that [board member] will probably START SHOUTING HIS POSTS, you know?

8/23/02 (from me)

I see what you're saying about a couple spending every waking moment together; I don't think you're being a bitca - a Buffy word - about it at all. When I was with Ray, I sure didn't want to spend all of my time with him. Granted that could've just been his personality. (Couldn't miss that chance for a cheap shot! :) Plus, in my opinion, between his working a lot, and spending time with his kids, not to mention the time he took to "party" I didn't get to see him nearly as much as I wanted to. But, if I could have seen him every day, I'm positive that I'd have frequently needed a break from him.

8/27/02 (from me)

Anyway, at the gig I was directed to the back room, since the other RGIS people had dispersed to various areas to count. [I was late.] Ron was in the back room alone when I arrived. I briefly recapped my adventures with the weather - the rain, the wet clothes, the two too-close-for-comfort lightning strikes - as I was getting my RGIS gear. I suggested twice that I was late and a bad influence and should be sent home immediately; both times he responded with a firm, "No." A few minutes later, [a store] employee entered the room. I had asked Ron a work-related question and he answered. The lady remarked that he sure was being nice to me. Ron told her, "She hits me." (I do NOT! He'd probably hit back ...) I guess the lady wasn't expecting that; to try to understand his point, she said, "She hits you, or I do?" Ron said, "She does." Referring to me. (Hey, that chick better not hit him either!) For some reason, that little scene gave me a crush high for the next several hours.

8/29/02 (from Michele)

I love all your "Ron stories." This latest one {"She hits me"} is no exception. Yes, I would definitly be on a crush "high" as well! I'm dying to know what he looks like. Does he look and/or sound like any celebrities? Maybe one of these days you should wear a hidden microphone or something and secretly tape his voice so you can send it to me... or maybe wear a hidden camera or something. *giggle* I'm imagining the theme to Mission Impossible playing.

9/4/02 (from me)

I'm "recycling" the outfit I wore to church on Sunday, and my lady boss mentioned it. One time before when I wore a frilly dress she remarked that her daughter always wore blue jeans until she started dating. Then her daughter always dressed up and tried to look really nice. I know she thinks I'm up to something like meeting someone for dinner. Sheesh! Sometimes, a dress is just a dress. :)

9/5/02 (from Michele)

Why do people automatically think you're going out on a date if you are dressed up? I used to get that too. I remember a couple times at Hallmark I would get more "gussied up" than usual and people would ask me, "do you have a hot date tonight?" or something. I remember when I was in 8th grade I slept over my childhood friend Terri's house. The next morning, we were getting ready to go to church together and were putting on make up. She stated, "I make myself beautiful for no one." That's not a bad motto to live by!

9/6/02 (from me)

Side note: I heard this morning that reciting a poem is actually good for your heart. The DJ said that one study found that people who took a moment to recite poetry when feeling stressed felt better after the poem. It's probably the equivalent of counting to ten. I don't know how effective it would be when dealing with customers, though. Like in the case of the old bat, she'd be whining, "I want to see the manager!" and you'd take a step, turn away and recite in an angry growl through gritted teeth, "Roses are red ..."

9/10/02 (from me)

Subject Heading: I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll ...
Well, none of my classmates had their homework done yesterday either. The prof was going to give us until Wednesday, then he started to add a few problems. Knowing I would only have a couple of hours on Monday and Tuesday evening to do this work (not to mention eat, do nightly chores, etc.) I huffed a huff of dissatisfaction. The prof didn't look up from the book - he was still searching for problems! - but he said, "I love you too." (I've always suspected ... but who will tell his wife? LOL) So he added a problem or two, then the lady across from me asked if he'd babysit for her. He didn't reply, so I asked if he'd go to work for me. He agreed to make the assignment due Monday, then added more problems! I suspect he was mad at himself for giving in. I don't call doubling the assignment giving in... I went home and attempted the problems last night. I am having the severe lazies of late; I couldn't accomplish anything worth mentioning.

9/27/02 (from me)

I stopped at a grocery store to get a plate for supper and whose checkout line did I wind up in? Right! Ray's daughter's! She said, "Anne?" I had caught a glimpse of her the second before that as I stood in line. We chatted a little as she rang up my food. She said she's living with Ray now. To make conversation I asked where he was living; she replied somewhere near the county line ... okay, I forgot her exact answer. What do I care where he's living? She said, "You should give him a call sometime..." I hesitated before saying, "Well, I'm really busy these days." I wanted to add, "But hey if I ever do COMPLETELY lose my mind, I'll look him up. 'Kay?"

The bad thing about seeing her is that I'm sure she'll mention it to him. Then he'll start to think, "Anne was the best thing to ever happen to me; I was such a fool to let her go!" Then a few days later, he'll be calling me saying how he'd been thinking about me and did I want to get together. :P

9/30/02 (from Michele)

That's wild you saw Ray's daughter at the store. About the "you should give him a call sometime" comment, I would have looked her in the eye and said "Now, would you really want me to do that?" *giggle*. This is an educated guess, but maybe she just said that to make conversation, knowing that you most likely WOULD NOT take her up on her offer. Wouldn't she be shocked if you had? "Sure, I'd love to call him! Wait a sec, let me get a pen and paper so you can give me his number."

10/7/02 (from me)

If you can believe it, Ray tried to call me yesterday. I didn't go check the Caller ID before answering (It was too far, and my toenails were drying :) and then I heard it. The voice. He said, "I thought I'd call and see if you'd talk to me." I said, "Yeah, but that's about all." He said his daughter told him I'd cut my hair; he wondered what it looks like. (I should've said, "Sinead O'Connor-ish.") We chatted a little then he had to go - he was at work. He said he'd call again that evening. I wondered why he was going to do that.

He did call again; Mom and Sara were home. They checked the caller ID, and we didn't answer. :big grin: What was he expecting? I mean, when someone tells you that they literally praise the Lord you're not together anymore, you should probably remove that person from your prospect list! I didn't mention to the family that I'd spoken to him; I think my mom gets worried, like I'll completely lose my senses or wimp out and agree to meet him. Yeah, that's a bit insulting, when I *know* that's not going to happen.

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