No big surprise there, I’ve always told everyone that and Rob will back me on it.
I met him within my 1st few months in college. I didn’t know many people yet and I went to a bar with friends who ran into friends and apparently Rob was a friend of my friend’s, friends. He completely struck me as an ass. We all ended up at the friend’s, friend’s house for a party and I eventually reached my alcohol limit and wanted to go home. I didn’t see the people I’d come with and overheard Rob stating he was leaving and yeah, dumb, drunk college student…a friend of friends of friends, I asked him if he’d take me home. Naive much? I would completely lecture either of my daughters if I ever found out that they had done that, provided they’d made it home safely.
So, while I had meant MY home, Rob took me to HIS home. Not good. Rob lived about 6 miles out of town and I had no idea which direction out of town. Had I walked, I have no idea where I’d have ended up. No amount of arguing was going to get me back to the dorm and I had no money for a taxi and wouldn’t even have known where to tell them to pick me up. If I’d known more people in that town at that time, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them where to pick me up either. Hindsight is always best I most probably should have dialed 911 but this naive girl from the suburbs didn’t think Rob was at all threatening, just a jerk and after I’d realized I’d lost the argument on me going to my home I walked into his nasty trailer house and went to sleep on the couch.
The next morning I woke up on Rob’s couch. I peered over the couch and saw this strange, jerk-boy sleeping on the floor, next to the couch in a sleeping bag. Really? Are you kidding me? This is your nasty trailer which means you have a bedroom here and you are sleeping on the floor, next to the couch, in a sleeping bag? I hadn’t been nice to Rob, gave him no hint of anything that may have spelled you-might- have-a-chance and he was sleeping on the floor instead of his bed. What? In case I disappeared during the night? What the hell is this? This only added to my dislike of Rob. As I peered over the couch at this strange little man in the sleeping bag, that I had a real dislike for (well, right…who wouldn’t?) the thoughts came to me that a.) I did NOT want to wake him up and b.) I had to find the bathroom. As much as I carefully tried to step over him…I stepped right on Rob trying to get off the couch to find the bathroom.
So there we are, both awake. Crap and which way is the bathroom? No, no…didn’t mean to use the the word “crap” and “bathroom” in the same sentence. That wasn’t what I had to use the bathroom for. After using the bathroom I asked him to take me home. It was morning. I did not get home until 3 that afternoon. Rob spent the day doing a number of stupid things that just made it take longer and longer to get me home. Again, I would have walked but which direction would have gone in? My room mate had made inquiring phone calls to find out what had happened to me and she was about to call the police herself.
After I finally got back to to the dorms, I was carrying a giant hatred for this weird Rob guy. That’s where it stayed. I hated him. To me he was a disgusting little man with a giant ego. Actually, it was reality that he was a disgusting little man with a huge ego. Oh wait, that was my reality, not Rob’s. Rob’s reality was that he really didn’t know who he was and so he created this huge, slimy persona that he did his best to believe and live up to it. So there we stayed for a long time.
Rob and I would run into each other, now and again, via our social circles and I would do my best to avoid him. He would call me and ask me out and I would tell him “not if I were dead”. My girlfriend would call me from the bar and say “come on down, free beer, Rob’s buying” and I would tell her to consider the source, and I’d stay home. He was repulsive to me. That’s how the rest of my 1st year of college played out as far as Rob was concerned.
Second year at school, nothing had changed as far as my strongly disliking Rob. What was different on the home front was that my best girlfriend was getting married and I was maid of honor. I was going to fly home to go to my friend’s rehearsal and wedding two days following. With all the jokes about kids coming home school with dirty laundry, I made sure I never, ever did that. It’s 3 am, I’m still up doing laundry, my plane leaves at 10 something and there’s a knock at my door. It was Rob working university security making sure I was okay. Really? Why wouldn’t I be? That particular night/morning I was pulling my hair out still trying to pack and trying to figure out how to talk my fiend out of marrying this guy, I’d been awake forever, was tired and crabby and when Rob said his bar opened at 5am I told him to pick me up. He did.
I drove myself however because I had to drive myself to the airport later. We drank Jack Daniels on ice, ew, but that was the mood I was in. The sun came up and hey, when that happens, bars open…we drove my car into town to Keg and Cork and (no idea what inspired us, except alcohol, to do this) we ordered a pitcher of Combat. It was pushing 10am and at that point I called my mom to let her know that I’d catch the next plane. So we drank a pitcher of Combat, it’s claim to fame was that no one came back from Combat alive. I know that all the clear forms of alcohol were in there, but I don’t remember what else was put into Combat. By the time the pitcher was finished we were of course toast. Great idea, hey we should eat something. We went to Renaud’s. We ordered lunch and a very unnecessary bottle of Cold Duck. Right, just shoot me. It’s afternoon now and I called my mom to tell her that I’d take the next morning plane. I was toasted, ya think? Um, kinda of got the riot act lecture from my mom on how I really NEEDED to be there tonight and kind of an I’d better get my ass on that plane. That’s how it came to be that Rob had my car. I asked him if he would take me to the airport and drive my car back to the dorm, he agreed. He agreed, but he didn’t do it.
I took that last flight. Long night, slept in the next day at home in my own bed. The following day, 2pm, still sleeping, I woke up hearing the phone ringing. I answered it and it was my dad calling from work, asking me if I had known a guy named Rob Garber. Had, not do I know, but had I known a guy named Rob Garber. Had known. Okay, does that mean he’s dead? I really didn’t care to ask my dad what he meant by his wording. I was completely baffled on why my dad would ask me that or how he would ever had heard that name. I admitted that I did know the jerk with that name and asked my dad why he was asking me that question. I was then informed that Rob had driven my car the previous night and smacked it into a tree. Okay, I’m waiting to hear that he’s dead based on the way my dad posed the question. Nah, Rob wasn’t dead, he wasn’t even injured. My car however, was toast.
One of those very many times when I didn’t have car insurance. Not good. Rob had told my dad that he would reimburse me for the car, however, if things went poorly and we had to go to court…in my mind I would lose because I didn’t have insurance. He wouldn’t be obligated. Oh ef. Here we go. I had to be nice to him until he payed me for my car. Or at least civil. Yuck, ick, oh crap, this is really going to suck…really…a lot! If you’ve ever forced yourself to do something that you sincerely didn’t want to do but found that it was in your best interest to do so…that’s where I was.
New chapter. I have to be nice. I still wouldn’t go out with him, I didn’t have to be that nice and I certainly didn’t want to lead him on, I just had to be civil, right? Not mean, right? So I still wouldn’t go out with him but when I said no I wouldn’t add that I’d rather be dead I would say something like: but if you want to come over and play backgammon after class tomorrow instead, fine. We must have done that more than a few times because we’d bet six packs of Mickey’s on who would win and I think we both won once or twice. I also remember feeling free to call on him if I had no other way (and I do mean NO other way, exhausted resources and still no ride ) to get somewhere, with the catch phrase “since I no longer have a car”. Spending time with him I began to notice something a little bit. Rob’s words and actions didn’t add up. With his words he was spewing the I’m-God’s-gift-to-women crap, but his actions were pretty much along the lines of a nice guy. He never bragged about doing anything nice, never. I’d have never bought it if he had bragged. I just noticed more and more.
Spring break, Rob was taking me to the airport so I could go home. My birthday fell over spring break. He informed me that where my parents lived was kind of right in between where his mom lived and where his dad lived, he had to travel from one to the other “what if I stopped by and took you out for your birthday?” I informed him immediately that I already had plans and then I immediately felt bad for being that abrupt. Wouldn’t have months earlier but apparently he was becoming human to me. I then offered that he could join us if he wished. He wished. My parents living in between his parents meant that each of his parents lived around 90 miles away from my parents. That means he was spending the night. Fine, enough people had moved out of my parents by that time that they had an extra room or two. Since he was spending the night, I had him drive me too, I had no car. He picked me up right after my family birthday party so everyone was there and there’s all the introductions, mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, other sister, brother, niece, nephew, other brother, blah, blah, blah and then we left. We weren’t 2 steps outside the front door when Rob said “wow, I haven’t been in a family environment in a really long time”. He said it like it was a good thing, so that was a head scratcher. Outside of that the only thing I remember about that evening was that there was an upstairs bar and a downstairs disco at the place we went to. There was also a slide one could take to get from upstairs to downstairs. Of course I did the I-will-if-you-do thing so Rob took the slide down and I ran to the stairs and met him down there. I know, don’t trust me. Dad’s daughter and all. Nothing changed that night. No birthday kiss, no nothing. Being civil and a little bit nice because he may, after all be human.
Back at school, awakened from a nightmare that told me that Rob and I would end up together. Night terrors, I know! Shuddered, tried to shake it off and eventually went back to sleep. I guess I hadn’t shaken it off as much as I’d have liked to because a week or 2 later Rob and I were at the same party and I asked him “why do I have this awful feeling that somehow, sooner or later, you and I are going to end up together?” His response was “it’s about time you figured it out, I was going to give you till blah, blah, blah” yeah, don’t remember what the blah, blah blah was I only know that I responded with “fine, can we make it later? will you ask Mike if he’ll take me home?” I got a ride home from Mike that night.
If one didn’t attend BSU one may have no idea what a Mad Dog is. It’s a party at the train trestle where everyone brings their own bottle of Mad Dog 2020, gives homage to the gods of the Mad Dog and proceeds to drink their bottle. It always hit me kind of like fire water. It’s still winter in Bemidji, there’s still a lot of snow, it’s pretty cold and we are all out at the trestle drinking Mad Dog in the middle of a Saturday afternoon. I don’t remember who I’d gone to the Mad Dog with but I do remember who I left with. We were all out freezing our asses off and drinking this nasty stuff when word spread that the police were busting it. It was public property so this was against the law. Rob must have been standing near me when the word spread because he grabbed my hand and we started running. We ran for a while and came across my friend, Jim, who was passed out in a snowbank. Stopped, picked him up, carried him to Rob’s car, took him home and carried him to his bed. I ran into Jim a few days later he let me know he had no idea how he’d gotten home from the Mad Dog. I never told him. Anyway, once again Rob took me to his home instead of mine. This time when I walked into his nasty trailer house I wasn’t that much upset. Sappy part here, I looked into Rob’s eyes and I did see a human there. Someone who was there for other people and helped other people had feelings and I finally saw through that awful, awful, persona he tried to put out to the world. I know, could have been much sappier but I really hate romance stories. I accepted my fate and we played kissy-face and pretty much passed out. Com’on, we’d been at a Mad Dog!