Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spokavegas or Bust

As you can imagine, being an assistant to the assistant isn't quite the exciting career that a college student dreams of. For the time being, it was okay though. I was at home, with Mom and Dad, during those summer days i could spend my lunch hour biking around town or down at the beach, and all was right with the world. Sorta. But i had the itch to get back to the books...

Moose was well on his way to becoming a lead engineer. He had several projects looming over his head, one being an intersection on an arterial road leading to the freeway. Certain his job was secure enough, he purchased his first home in Kent with a little help from his mom. He invited one of his friends from the young adult group to room with him--two Catholic engineers residing under the same roof. Oh, the wild parties that must have really annoyed the neighbours, eh? :) *grin*

About this time, i turned 21 and my parents wanted to help me celebrate. So begged and pleaded to forego the cliched trip to Las Vegas in exchange for a trip to Seattle. We booked a hotel in Kent, just a few blocks away from Moose's work, and we toured Seattle over a couple days. I was smitten with the big city!! With all there was to do and all the people around my age and looking so smart too!! When we returned to Idaho, i discovered there was a community college about 45 minutes away from my parents and somehow, by the skin of my teeth, i was able to finagle my way into it. I had half a clue that i wasn't going to pharmacy school anytime soon, so i figured going to school to become a pharmacy tech might give me a good look at what i was in for. I moved to Coeur d'Alene, and while taking about a year to finish up the program, i had a few different leads in pharmacies to act on. One was a local mom 'n' pop pharmacy in Sandpoint. Not certain i wanted to return to Sandpoint with it's lack of people my own age, i focused my efforts on two other experiences i had in pharmacy school: interning at a hospital in Spokane and with the Indian Health Service in Benewah, ID. I really liked my job in Benewah!! My mentor, a pharmacist with a very kind and gentle soul, was heavily into herbal rememdies, which i had an interest in too. He was the world's best boss. I just couldn't see myself commuting from Cd'A everyday, nor was i going to move to the rez out in the middle of nowhere, working at the mercy of the IHS--they could send me to Alaska or Oklahoma, or wherever their little pocketbooks pleased. Spokane it was, although according to papers i found during last week's decluttering effort, for a brief second i apparently thought about returning to Tucson. Praise God, He didn't have that plan in mind for me! :)

So there i was in Spokane, working evenings & nights at local Catholic hospital, ticking a few of those pre-pharmacy classes off my "to-do" list at community college, picking up extra shifts at the pharmacy in Benewah, and enjoying a few new friends i had made--one being a pharmacist i met at Benewah; she worked for Kmart and had her own relief pharamcist service for pharmacies in need of temporary employees. We made a great team: she is an excellent leader and communicator and she trusted my work. She and her boyfriend helped give me a place to stay for a while till i could get my own apartment. As you can imagine, she'd meet lots of different people, and since she was already off the market, she'd evaluate the single ones to be set up as blind dates for her various friends.

She only deemed one guy she met okay for a blind date with me. Thankfully she recognised my naivety. :) Plus, she befriended my parents, so she knew she'd have to answer to someone. :) I remember this blind date: he was a pharmacy intern from one of the Dakotas. My friend and i were thinking, well, if he's from the Dakotas, how wild could he be? Well, she warned him that she was setting him up with a really nice girl, and since she's Italian, that meant "Don't make me hafta kill ya." The whole time they were planning the date, he was telling her he was taking me to some jazz concert or something like it and we'd go out to dinner. I was kind stoked...being this was my first real adult date and all. Turns out, boys from the Dakotas are sly ones. Huh? Who knew? He picked me up dressed in a Hanes undershirt and wholey Levis. And we were going to a nice dinner and a jazz concert? Something didn't add up. Turns out, we were headed to a speed metal concert in a really gritty part of downtown. You know, one of those areas of town that is so nasty, that you have to circle around the block a few times to see if this is really where you're supposed to be going. After all, if you're going to put forth the effort to risk your life, you might as well double check and make sure you're in the right spot, eh? Sheesh! Did i mention i had no idea what the heck speed metal was?? And in my turtleneck, velvet green jumper, and Doc Martin maryjanes, you can bet your bottom dollar i certainly wasn't going to follow my date out into the mosh pit when he offered. You can guess how out of place i looked, but thankfully it was pretty dark. And apparently there was a girl in the crowd somewhere that had completely hoodwinked her date too...as i spent most of the night standing next to a man in a tweed blazer with patches on the elbows. :) I hope our two dates found each other in the pit and bonded over a great belly laugh and a couple of chest butts!

I guess deep down, i was hoping to settle down somewhere where i could have half a chance of finding a good man and getting married. To me, that meant not having to go to a club to have guys pick you up--something that was very popular with most of the women i worked with. No, i was more of the romantic type...maybe you'd run into your true love at the grocery store. After all, my parents kinda met that way: my mom worked in a family friend's diner with her mom and my dad was a patron there, coming in after working out at the mines, all grubby and tired. After a few visits to the establishment, and giving a few lessons on how to make iced coffee, he asked his waitress on a date. Of course, she'd have to ask her folks first. :) After their first date, they lived happily ever after. That's how you're supposed to meet your true love, eh? In my book anyway.

Moose wasn't having much luck in the dating department back in South Seattle. Most of the gals in the young adult group were coupled with someone else already. He started branching out into computer dating. One "memorable" date he's told me about involved a trip to Portland to meet a girl down there. He took her to a fancy restaurant down there and while they were eating their salads, they paused for a little chit chat. When he looked down again to take another bite, there was a trail of slime coming from his plate and leading across the table...the slug never to be found. Needless to say, that was enough to ruin that date. Lucky me!

* * *

Or maybe he'd be a friend of a friend. Or maybe you'd meet someone at work--although, then you'd have to get a new job, because we all know the dangers of fishing from the company pier, eh? Not that i didn't do my fair share of flirting with the gents at work, however, it's kinda hard to get a date with guys that see you as an equal and love you more for your record collection than your wit. Not that wearing hospital scrubs everyday would helped me catch a man, either. Or maybe you'd meet them on a trip? I tried. I visited my old college friend down in Portland a few times by train--we were both young, fun, and single...and red heads. How could anyone pass us up? I'd take trips to Canada with friends. Once i lived on bread, cheese and water for a week so i could afford tickets and the trip to Bumbershoot in Seattle. I met some wild people, but truly, no heart stoppers. I figured one of my problems was that i didn't belong to anything: no clubs, no church, no athletics.

It was '98. Wearily, both of us trudge on in the dating game...one neither of us seemingly could catch a break in. I haven't discussed this with Moose, but i wonder if he was ever ready to give up the whole sham and figure on being the bachelor the rest of his life? I was...during the short time i was in Spokane. My uncle moved up and we roomed together. I had this notion of maybe using the rest of my college fund to buy my own house...a cute little fixer and live the good life. Of course, i daydreamed, that maybe once i got a house fixed up and a little saved, i could possibly adopt a child or two. These are the daydreams i'd entertain once i suddenly developed an unexplainable interest in running on the trails down by the Spokane River.

And those of you that know me, you know i don't run.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!