Missy, my wife, and I met in college. We happened to be in the same dorm a few doors down from each other. This was back in the day when dorms did not have air-conditioning or highly organized and structured meet and greet events.
We ran into each other at the mailboxes. For her, it was instant intrigue. For me, well, it was not so much. Missy was cute enough with bright blue eyes and the most adorable dimples when she grinned but, she also had a southern country drawl and talked real s-l-o-w. She looked kind of tough or country or something I felt I could not relate with. After all, I was a city girl and I was a lesbian. Didn’t country people hate the gays?
It was months before fate and furniture finally brought us together.
I was putting together a haunted house in the common area for little kids to visit on Halloween. The furniture was old — and by this I mean it was solid, large, and heavy, to say the least. I certainly wasn’t strong enough to rearrange it but, I knew who looked like they could. Missy easily handled the ancient blocks of wood and cushions. I asked her to stay and participate by handing out candy to the kiddos. She agreed to come back when it was time to start.
To my surprise she arrived dressed in black with black and white makeup all over her face. She wanted to hide behind a sofa and jump up to scare the kids as they walked by. Having a sweet spot for little kids and being a chicken myself, I thought this was a horrible idea. Nonetheless, she was determined to be the “scary” in our very tame “haunted house.” Well, the kids loved her. They shrieked with delight every time she popped up bellowing a sweet southern “BOO!” I imagine she was the talk of the town at every preschool that came by that afternoon.
After that, it was off to the the races for us. Missy was fun and adventurous. She could shoot a gun, taught me how to change a car tire, and made me feel safer when the race riots on campus turned violent. She let me take her sun bathing and teach her the baby oil trick. (Yes, we did things like lay out slathered in baby oil from 11:00-2:00. Stop judging. It was a different time. Also, never do this yourself. Missy got 2nd degree burns on her legs. It was awful.)
When I came out to her she said, “Oh. Okay.” We had things in common that we enjoyed like going to plays and to hear speakers on campus. Maya Angelou and Pearl Cleage were especially outstanding. We loved driving around in the country, exploring an abandoned home and visiting the local state park. She introduced me to opera. I introduced her to my family.
For two years, we were nearly inseparable. We worked together at a camp over the summer. We caravanned across the country along with our other besties. We were roommates. I was surprised and delighted when Missy came out to me. We even briefly kissed once. It was a dare. It instantly set my whole body swimming in delicious tingling heat. It was so erotically intense, Missy slept in her car that night. It was the kiss by which all other kisses were measured and came up short. It didn’t happen again for 14 years.
Second chances are so sweet.
Dana enjoys walking her dogs at dawn, vacationing with her wife and celebrating life’s big and small moments. She is an avid reader of lesbian literature.