At Convocations, the part of graduation where you walk across the stage and get your name called and get handed your (fake) diploma, there is a lot of down time. You stand in line for an hour, then you sit for three more, and then you walk for like ten minutes. Well, I looked for a couple of my closer friends to kill time with and found out that they were all skipping convocations for one reason or another. I ended up with my friend Julia, who I had taken two random classes with. One was this political philosophy class, the other was our capstone. We routinely cut up in our capstone with one of our other friends, and as we had yet to grow out of it, it continued throughout all of Convocations.
In an attempt to get our (fake) diploma and peace out as quickly as possible, we ended up sitting in the very front row. As we walked in, I saw this particularly cute blond girl on the stand that I swore I recognized. Turns out that she, Julia, and I had all been in that political philosophy class a year or so earlier. Julia reminded me that this blond girl had been a brunette at the time with a broken foot. She also (obviously) had a huge crush on me because we would argue over every single thing in that class. No matter what the issue was, if I said something, she would vehemently disagree, and I would do the same. Obviously this can only mean she had a crush on me. Julia remembered her name was Catherine.
So we made faces at Catherine throughout the whole ceremony. She was up on the stand because she was part of the special musical number.
Nearing the end of the ceremony, Julia started texting someone, and I had this feeling like it was someone on the stand. When I asked who she was texting, she told me it was one of her friends: some guy on the stand who was actually part of the special musical number as well. "Well ask him to get her number for me!" I insisted.
She laughed and texted him: "Hey, can you do me a favor and get that girl's number for my friend next to me?" He read the text, looked up at me, and mouthed: "Who?" He pointed to his right in question.
"No," I replied silently. I pointed as I mouthed, "Down, and right." I saw his eyes look at the person in front of him and then to the right. He suddenly looked back up at me, angry, and said/mouthed: "She's MINE!!"
We all started laughing so hard, right in the middle of the ceremony. He was joking but still, it was funny.
Well by this point Catherine was sure that we were laughing at her, after having had made all these faces throughout the ceremony and now with the unrestrained laughter. Just then, the ceremony ended and we all stood up. I could see Julia's friend talking to Catherine as we walked out. She looked at me as I left like, "What...?"
I laughed as I walked out and said goodbye to Juila. I walked around to the entire opposite side of the stadium to meet up with my parents. As we were walking away I decided to run back in and grab a program so I could figure out Catherine's last name and facebook her about what had happened. I ran back inside, found a stray program, and made my way back outside.
I looked through the program as I swam through the crowd of parents, family, professors, and students. The place was packed. There were a couple thousand people in this stadium, so I knew it would be like this till I could get outside.
And then the crowd literally parted. Suddenly there was just Catherine standing right in my way, no one else. Cinematic, right? We started talking as I explained what was going on, and then asked her what was next in life. She said she was going to NYU to study dance and that she would be in New York City in a week or so. I was like "no wai! I'll be there two weeks!" So we decided to do something when I got there.
Fast forward to Day 13 (the previous post) of this trip. I had texted her when I was on my way to Wicked to see what was up. After Wicked it ended up being pretty late, so we decided to meet up for lunch the next day. I tried to find another adventure for that night, but as soon as I had sat on my bed, I was unconscious.
What are the odds, right? Anyway, lunch was great, she was great (we didn't argue once!!), the city was great. After some tasty Thai food, we paid our respects to Ground Zero and just wandered around the city for a while before I took her back to her place.
We said our goodbyes and I went back to wandering the city, wondering why I hadn't asked her out in college. Then I felt old, because I was referring to my days "in college."
I don't know Manhattan as well I as I do the rest of the city, so I just took it all in for a while. The Ground Zero site is coming along, by the way. They still have that cross of crossbeams on display, and it will be on display at the memorial site when it's all finished.
After a bit of exploring, I almost stayed another night. I wanted to see a few more things and a few more plays, but something was telling me that it was time to move on. So I picked up the MINI and headed off.
And was promptly delayed by the Lincoln Tunnel.