I don't remember the first time I met her. She was a freshman when I was a senior, and joined the choir second semester. She was good friends with a couple of freshman with whom I was friendly and a second alto, like me, so I'm sure we met early in the semester. Choir officers helped run auditions and as the Business Manager I'm sure I did auditions that semester, but if I participated in hers I don't remember it.
My first memory is of her requesting to be excused from a concert. Our choir had rules about how many rehearsals you could miss, and all concerts were mandatory. In order to be excused the choir member had to make their case to the officers. We did this in a storage area next to the room we rehearsed in during a break. She was asking to be excused so she could attend her sister's wedding (number 2). I don't know why I remember this because , but it's stuck in my mind.
Toward the end of the year our choir was able to add a couple of last minute concerts, singing for alumnae clubs. Because the concerts were last minute we didn't have enough money in the budget to rent two large buses, but we wouldn't fit in one. We solved the problem by renting a van and a station wagon. The choir president drove the van, and I drove the station wagon. On the trip to New Jersey my passengers were all freshmen. Most of what I remember about the drive there is that our friend T was reading Little Women and kept giggling.
It is the drive home that sticks in my mind. Our choir director was a very dear man, but also very nervous. On the drive to New Jersey he had been driving the incoming choir president nuts, and she begged me to take him in the car on the drive back to school. So one of the freshmen road back on the bus and WAH rode with us. For reasons that escape me now Amy and T sat in the front seat with me (this was in the days of bench seats), and WAH and the remaining freshman, who was reading Ayn Rand, sat in the back.
When you sing in a choir one of the reminders you hear frequently is to enunciate the final consonants in words, so that they don't get lost. During the drive back to Massachusetts the three of us in the front seat spent a good portion of the drive singing along with the radio, over enunciating the final consonants in each and every word (or rather wur-duh). I don't know exactly why we did it. We certainly didn't discuss it before hand. That trip was when our friendship was forged.
The next year I worked on campus, as a teaching intern at the lab nursery school (a story for another day), and lived just off campus with a family for whom I did child care in return for room and board (that too is a story for another day). Most of my classmates were either long gone or living in the city. But Amy, T and J all friends from choir who were now sophomores were only a short walk away. I spent a good portion of my free time with them. We talked, played games, went to movies... As the fall semester went on I ended up spending more time with Amy than the other two.
Our college has a January session, at the time a month of alternative courses - learn to knit, star gaze and the like. It was optional and Amy spent that month at home in the mid-west. Since this was well before the age of email and text messaging we wrote a lot of letters. Instead of spending most of my free time with Amy I spent my free time writing her letters.
Once she returned we spent as many hours together as possible. We went to the movies (My Favorite Year) and should have been thrown out because we talked through much of it. (My sincere apologies to everyone else in the theatre that night!) We talked late into the night, each night, after which I would walk home through the quiet streets of the suburban town.
About a week later I had to be home, partly to care for the children during a party and partly because I was taking GREs the next morning. There was at least one and possibly two phone calls that night. After the GREs we went and played in Boston with T, went to the movies, and out to dinner. Amy and I ended up sitting, or more correctly cuddling, and talking all night. There was a kiss, and the rest is history.
Tomorrow is the 26th anniversary of that kiss.
Inspired by a request from Maria way back in January.