When I told my college students I was going to my best friend’s wedding this weekend, they asked how long we had been friends. I had to stop and pause and think about the gravity of that statement. My first instinct was to say 10 years…then maybe 15…but as I thought back, I realized that it has been since 7th grade. 1988. So 23 years. Their eyes widened and I felt like we were really sharing a deep and powerful moment; a pause fell over the class…until one of my students said “Dude that is longer than I’ve been alive. You’re REALLY old.” Don’t worry…I’m going to fail his ass.
Anyway, 23 years is a long time to get to know someone, really know someone…and as Pam has already noticed, and is sure to continue to find out over the course of their marriage, there truly are two sides to Darron Evans. Let me explain.
Our first memories of meeting each other are tellingly different. I remember us meeting because our 7th grade history teacher had us exchange word searches that we created. I mistakenly forgot to put one of the words to find into the actual puzzle, so apparently he and his mom spent all night looking for something that wasn’t there. His first memory of me is in our PE class…remember, this was 1988…so we had VERY short shorts. So really, Darron’s first memory of me is of ogling my legs. So, Pam, this first memory demonstrates two things about Darron: His level of dedication and ability to forgive with the crossword puzzle…and from the PE class: his appreciation of nice legs.
A necessary attribute of a significant other, is that he/she needs to be there for you…and I think Darron does that. For example, as some of you may know there is this game called The Sims. The Sims, in short, is a game where you recreate life. You can create a character of yourself that goes to work or parties, whatever you want, and it must sleep and eats like a real person, or this character can die. It becomes a virtual representation of you. Anyway, at one point after college, I was having some serious problems with a roommate of mine; his name was Marty. Marty was a mean, nasty person, who was a drug addict, stole a bunch of my stuff, and refused to move out for a long time. When I told Darron of this issue, he, of course, did what any normal person would do. He went to his Sims game, and created a virtual pool with some virtual stairs. He then created a virtual Marty to walk into the virtual pool with the virtual stairs...and then removed the virtual stairs that led out of the virtual pool. So virtual Marty walked back and forth and back and forth until he died...and a virtual tombstone was created. So, Pam, this demonstrates Darron’s willingness to protect the honor of those he loves, which is a very important quality in a husband. Unfortunately, this may also mean he is a psychopath.
I understand that you two are going to Hawaii for your honeymoon. That’s great…and I’m positive that you two are going to have an amazing time. Just be careful if you go into the ocean while you are there…Darron seems to bring a bit of bad luck for his companions. One time, Darron and I were out in the ocean with my friend Armando, who Darron didn’t know very well at all. Unfortunately, Armando got stung in the face by a jellyfish. While we all raced to get out of the water, Darron turns to me and asks with hope in his eyes like a kid on Christmas morning “Aren’t we supposed to pee on it?” I respond “Yeah, but that’s his face…so…that’s not going to happen.” As we caught up to Armando, who is writhing in pain on the beach, and I’m about to ask him how he’s doing…Darron of course tactfully blurts out “So, did you want us to pee on it?" Oddly, he said no.
Not to mention, there was the time that Darron and I were snorkeling in Maui, looking at some sea turtles and I got stung all up and down my arm and side. I told Darron what happened and instantly swam to shore, thinking the entire time: “I’m going to punch him in the mouth if he asks to pee on it.” When I got to shore, I painfully turned around, and noticed that Darron was STILL snorkeling and thought something I never thought I would ever, ever think: “Hey…why doesn’t Darron want to pee on me?” So, Pam, these two stories demonstrate important information about Darron. First, we can interpret his actions when I got stung as showing true bravery because he was able to swim undistracted by the fear of jellyfish; not to mention, I discovered that being ignored by Darron is truly a badge of honor. Clearly, he only offers to pee on people he doesn’t really care about. On the other hand, I really think these stories could also show that Darron can be kind of an ass. I really could have died man…where were you?
This of course all leads up to Darron and me meeting you, Pam. The two of us, sitting around bored one day, looking for something to do probably after a long, crazy night of eating two-large pizzas, playing chess, and watching Lord of the Rings for the tenth time. Yes…we were some VERY eligible bachelors…and we just couldn’t understand why we didn’t have girlfriends.
So, I decided to post an ad on Craigslist looking for two ladies who wanted to hang out with me, and a vengeful psychotic, who likes to pee on people’s faces and ogle the legs of young boys. (I didn’t write that in the ad, but it was definitely implied.) Pam and a friend of hers (the infamous "Willow") responded to our ad...and the second we left that double date, Darron asked and he asked and he asked if it was ok for him to call Pam or if I wanted to. I still remember that moment as we walked back to our car…I thought to myself: “Wow, it’s like he is in love with her or something.” And I remember thinking that in all our years together, and all we had been through, I had never seen him like that.
The reason I know Pam and Darron are such a great pair is because, all jokes aside, he is by far the most intelligent, kindest, giving person I have ever known. He doesn’t talk the talk…he walks the walk…he lives a life that demonstrates a true desire for social change and equality. I think about all the lives he has touched as a teacher, and I am in awe at his passion and desire to make this world not just a better place for himself, but a fairer place for all. And what I notice about him when he is with Pam, is that she somehow takes the two sides of Darron and accentuates the positives while loving the quirks even more than I do.
Yes, I have known the two sides of Darron for longer than many of my students have been alive. This is true. But time is relative and we should keep in mind the old Japanese proverb that states “When 95% of the journey is over, you are only half way there.” So I, for one, am excited to see Pam and Darron continue to grow together, even grow older together no matter where they are in their journey with just a small a piece of advice… Never, ever get stung by a jellyfish when sea turtles are around...because he might leave you to die.
Cheers to Darron and Pam!