It was Friday, February 21, 1986. A friend of mine from college invited me – along with a couple of other college friends – to her place in the South ‘burbs for dinner.
It’d been a long day. Oh, who am I kidding – it’d been a long winter. My car, the ’73 Malibu, got really bad mileage in the winter; I figured it got something like eight miles per gallon; gas sucked up a quarter of my budget.
Something had to give.
There were four of us, three women and I. I’d graduated from college with two of them the previous spring. The other had been in our freshman class, and dropped out, and re-started our senior year, and dropped out again. We all lived in the Twin Cities; one was a programmer, one was a substitute teacher, and the other worked as a janitor in an office building downtown.
Dinner: homemade pizza. The crust was made from Bisquick. Picture Pizza Waffles at Denny’s, if they make such a thing (and Denny’s is about the only contender I can think of).
Then, we cut to the chase; they were going to rent a house in South Minneapolis. And they wondered if I’d be interested in moving in.
I laughed. I guess it made some sense; what house full of women wouldn’t want to have a 6’5″ guy with a couple of firearms in the hizzy? I was used to being the token guy; I had worked at a Waldenbooks in college where I was the only male employee; I noticed soon enough that I was the only person on the crew who changed light bulbs, or stocked and dusted the upper shelves. Any book that got sold from the upper shelves left a vacant spot until my next shift.
But it sounded like a possibility.
Especially when they mentioned the rent; it was a four-bedroom house that went for $700 per month. Programmer’s sister was going to be joining us, shortly; there’d be five of us.
The downside; the girls wanted the bedrooms. I was going to get the half-finished (paneled) south half of the basement.
Upside; my share of the rent would be $140 per month; $52 per month less than I was paying for my half of the dingy little apartment I’d been in since November. That was a lot of groceries; maybe even the occasional night out, in case I ever needed a night out.
We were going to check the place out tomorrow.
Til then – Bisquick Pizza!
By the way, I’ve long since lost track of janitor and substitute teacher. However, I ran into programmer’s sister and bro-in-law, as luck would have it, a couple of weeks ago.
After you live someplace long enough, I guess it’s inevitable you’re going to start running into people again…