This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. This year, I’ll be writing about people, places and events that I encountered and experienced when I left home for the first time to live in a residential college for two years. I was 18. I’ve a book in the works about those significant and tumultuous two years but I’ve still got a long way to go. I’m hoping dredging up some memories and writing about them during this Challenge will push me further towards the finish line. With that, each post this month will be associated with a letter of the alphabet in this theme. Enjoy!
It was May Leen’s birthday.
Like most birthdays we’ve celebrated here in college, among the new friends from far-flung states that we’ve made, there were:
- A big makan-makan (dinner) with the gang
- A public display of
embarrassmentaffection when the gang erupts into a raucous, slightly out of tune birthday song (on purpose)
- A birthday gift and card shared by at least 15 people (we were students with a student loan, so most gifts were shared)
We were in our room, she was getting read to open her gift from the guys. It was a cassette. She loaded it into the player of Felicia’s red radio, and pressed play. Then voices came on and we heard the guys wishing her a happy birthday, followed by the sounds the strumming of a guitar. Not many of the guys knew how to play the radio so we were trying to guess who were the guitar players. Probably Pey Haw or Cheese. Then they started singing Eric Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight and us girls sighed in almost-unison.
May Leen looked to be in tears, it was such a thoughtful gift. The fact that the guys got together and probably practiced the song before recording it, we were nothing short of amazed.
I looked at my desk and saw my birthday gift among my textbooks, a book from the Chicken Soup from the Soul series signed by maybe ten people, remembered the card that came with it, a Get Well Soon card, and wished someone recorded a song for me on a cassette.