This is the third installment of Beauty and the Beast: The Linda and Patrick Story. Catch the other parts below.
I finally had the excuse to nonchalantly ask people about Linda, since everyone could see that we got along famously (see crash and burn conversation in Part II). Here's how the conversations went:
Me: Hey other college group person (OCGP) howz it going?
OCGP: Hey Pat (that's what they called me back then in the 80's) how're you doin?
Me: Good...wow the sky is so blue and so was the sweater dress Linda was wearing last Sunday, do you have any idea where she is? (Very tactful and nonchalant eh?)
OCGP: Ummm she goes to Azusa Pacific University. (At this point OCGP is thinking should I really tell this stalker?)
Me: Oh yeah? Where is that? (This is before the internet and google maps really took off...remember 1989?)
OCGP: Ummm Azusa.
So using my own brand of investigative journalism and private detectiveness I found out that Linda was 30 minutes away and only came home some weekends because she was busy with school and choir. Every day that went by I wondered when she would be home long enough for me to win her heart.
A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving she got out of Azusa on Christmas Break (I think they call it that there because it's a Christian University). I started seeing her at the College Group where we had Sunday School and mid-week Bible study.
After one of those studies me, Linda, one of Linda's Good Friends (OLGF), and an OCGP we'll just call Muscle Pants (because he always wore them) were sitting outside talking. One of us had the great idea to go do something together (this was before Starbucks was on every corner).
We all decided to head to Blockbuster (the analog version of Netflix for all of you born in the 80's) to rent a movie and then watch it at Linda's house.
Now you have to remember I was a brand spanking new Christian, which is to say I thought I had joined some form of the Amish. I was always surprised that these holy people watched movies. I was also surprised that Linda had invited us over to her house while her parents were out of town. In my old days that was code for...who's 21 year old cousin are we going to call to get us a keg...But I digress...after almost an hour of perusing Blockbuster with me and Muscle Pants offering movies like Robocop and Rambo, but getting completely shut down, we found the perfect movie: Say Anything. Yes that was the movie we would watch. How can you go wrong with John Cusack.
At this point I should tell you that I was flirtin it up with Linda. I was pulling out all the stops, well as much as you can in a Blockbuster. I pretty much walked around following Linda like a lost puppy, but not looking like I was following her around...know what I mean?
I would do things like open the door to where the refrigerated Cokes were (why are those at Blockbusters anyways?) so my pecs and bicep muscles would flex. Again she was completely unimpressed.
Or I would show how well rounded my movie viewing was, I mean I didn't just like things like Robocop and Rambo with just a bunch of shooting. I liked stuff like Above the Law where they used Martial Arts to kill and maime. (I'm just glad I kept my love of Star Trek a secret). Linda was still unimpressed.
What does a guy have to do? Well we brought Say Anything back to her parents house. I think she made us some popcorn, but for health reasons she brought out some blue corn tortilla chips for herself, which are much more common now than they were then (there were only a handful of Trader Joe's back then).
I said something like, "Oh how like totally like awesome! I like totally eat those like totally all the time!" She looked at me the way I wanted her to look at me after flexing my muscles to get a Coke at Blockbuster. Like she was finally impressed. YES! Score one for the Patman...(nobody called me that I just made that up)
We watched the movie and I was mesmerized. It was like I was watching our prophesy right there on her parents television screen, in beautiful Hi-Fi VCR man! Except for the station wagon part and the Dad being a crook and a few other things this movie is our story.
See I was kind of the weird crazy ADHD guy that was into kick boxing (sport of the future) and quite head over heals in love with the Game Show Hostess/Valedictorian. (BTW Linda recently revealed to me that this was the night she knew she wanted to marry me...honest! She was just coy about it for 4 more years because one of us had to graduate college.)
After the movie we parted ways. Muscle Pants was trying to horn in on my lady and stayed a while longer. I was somewhat worried until I remembered...he wears muscle pants all the time.
Fast Forward to a College Group movie night within that same Christmas Break (apparently private colleges have like 2 months off because I think this was in January 1990). We were all sitting around at Don's house, he was the Deacon in charge of corralling us college peeps, trying to think of a movie we all could agree on. (We had already seen Princess Bride like 12 gazillion times since I got saved in November.)
We decided to send a few of us to Blockbuster to pick a couple of movies, you know the old Joshua and Caleb spy out the land kinda thing? Well Linda was very vocal about how picky she is with movies. So I volunteered to represent her choices, because we had shared blue corn tortilla chips.
Well needless to say four of us went to Blockbuster and were gone for about 2 hours. Remember OLGF (one of Linda's good friends)? She was with us and was playing a prank on me. She told me that Linda loved Bobcat Golthwait. And I bought it because you know she is OLGF and at this point Christians were still kind of a mystery to me and maybe they all just liked Bobcat for some reason.
Since none of us had a cell phone (they were the size of a cinder block) we couldn't call ahead and see if our movie choices were any good. We brought back Spaceballs and Hot to Trot (which really was some of Bobcat's best work...not). I could only guess what Linda was thinking, because she was thoroughly disgusted by both movies. Do I need to remind you that I was her representative? Oh my gosh! All the points I had made with the blue corn tortilla chips went down drain.
I was absolutely sure she hated me, big time! But you know what she started coming home more often from school...
This concludes Part III. As a preview I will tell you that we actually DTR in Part IV. It's a beautiful story of long talks in the church parking lot, other college group boys trying to get my girl, and a little town in Mexico called Peligro (Danger). Until next time...