Once upon a time, the internet and cell phones were not widely distributed. Common man, or poor college students, or just poor 20-somethings did not have access to these devices. In Southern Illinois, if you do not have cable you do not have television. Period. You could get the local Christian channel, but that channel was pretty boring. When I first moved to Southern Illinois we were super poor, I worked 50 hours a week at a gas station in 10 hour shifts because the 10 extra hours of over time meant I could pay rent and bills and still have enough for food. There was not enough for a luxury like cable television.
My roommate and I had a VCR and one of my dear friends sent me copies of Twin Peaks in the mail. My mom would record her favorite television shows and send them as well, but there was not a regular stream of television to watch. Other than Twin Peaks, I owned the Stars Wars trilogy, back when Han shot first and we all thought Lucas was a genius. For fun, we watched Stars Wars constantly, because it was a tape we had. After watching the trilogy dozens upon dozens of times, the brilliance that is The Empire Strikes Back really shines through, and I am someone who likes happy endings.
The other thing we did was lay around the house and stare at the different movie posters we had and make as many different words from the letters on the posters. We did this for HOURS. We weren’t drunk or doing drugs or anything like that, and not just because that shit costs money and we didn’t have money. We were just bored nerds. However, people ask me why I am good at word games and this is why. We didn’t have television to watch but we had movie posters with words on them to scramble up.
My best friend at the time had a goofy sense of humor to rival my own. We would do weird stuff and crack ourselves up and people would look at us like we were insane, which further cracked us up. One day, and I honestly cannot remember who started it or why, we were making repetitive, weird noises at each other. There was a rhythm to it, she made the same noise over and over and I made a different noise over and over and we were having a really good time. A lot of times when doing these types of things – “You go ‘plink’ and I will go ‘ding’!” – the challenge was to see how long we could do it before we got bored or starting laughing at ourselves too hard to go on.
So, we are in the living room making weird noises and Will comes home from work. He walks in and looks at us intently – we keep making our silly noises because now it is funnier! We have an audience to think we are weird or to make fun of us! Will was an interesting new element to play with! After watching us for a minute, Will jumps in with his own weird noise in the gaps of silence between our two weird noises. It was completely unexpected, perfectly timed, and overall brilliant. We didn’t say hi to him when he came in, he didn’t ask us what we were doing, he just joined in. Aha, we are making weird noises. I can make weird noises, too.
There is a meme on Facebook that quotes Dr. Seuss as saying, “We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” Now, a little googling shows that this is actually a quote from Robert Fulghum, but I think the sentiment is true for me. Will could have interrupted the weird noise session, asked us what we were doing, made fun of us, said something obnoxious like, “If you are bored you can always [insert random boring or tedious chore here]”, or reacted any number of ways that would have been normal but disruptive. Instead, he just joined the party after studying the rules of the game for a bit.
I have thousands of moments where I knew that Will was the one for me. This was one of those moments where I just thought, “He is SO great. He is just perfect.”