I have to admit it: my “How I Met Mr. Panther” story is really not very romantic. And because a large portion of our first encounters were during nights of college shenanigans, it’s also not very detailed. Honestly, it’s all a little fuzzy. But it all worked out, right?
One winter day during my freshman year of college at Northeastern in Boston, I had a really nasty cold. My aunt and uncle had come up to visit me and their son/my cousin, who was in his sophomore year at Berklee, and the plan was to stop by his dorm to pick him up. I looked so gross and was really hoping we wouldn’t run into any of his friends—I was in a relationship at the time, but still didn’t want to meet cute musician boys while looking like Rudolph.
Unfortunately, several of them showed up. I kept my head down and prayed none of them would look at me. I vaguely remember being introduced to a couple guys, but I was too horrified at my appearance to store any of them in my memory. Apparently, this was the first time I met Mr. Panther.
Fast forward to the beginning of my sophomore year (which was the beginning of Mr. Panther’s junior year). I was sharing an apartment with my cousin—let’s call him Cool J—and was hoping to meet some of his cute musician friends.
Cool J allegedly had just the guy for me. He brought me over to the guy’s apartment for a fun night of debauchery, but as soon as I met the guy—Le Dix—I was just not feeling it. I have a specific memory of sitting next to Le Dix on the couch and only having eyes for the dark-haired guy across the room. This guy was wearing a pink Cartel T-shirt, and I remember thinking that he pulled it off well. Ha! This, of course, was Mr. Panther. That’s the last memory of have of that night. Though I’m sure I ended up talking to Mr. Panther, I can’t recall how that conversation began or any other time I spent with him over the next few nights. It’s just all kind of a blur.
I apparently woke from my drunken daze the next week, after another night of debauchery, when Cool J invited Mr. Panther over to our apartment to watch a movie. To this day, this seems suspicious—did I hint to Cool J that I wanted to make a move? Did Mr. Panther set this up? I have no idea. I do know that when we got back and got the TV set up, Cool J plopped down next to Mr. Panther on our couch, and I inwardly went, “Come onnnnnn!” I didn’t say anything, though. I just waited for Cool J to get up and promptly stole his seat. When he returned, he complained a bit, but I refused to move.
Again, looking back, this seems strange and a bit obvious. Whatever happened to using subtlety to pick up a guy? But apparently, I was possessed. After the movie ended, I told Mr. Panther that it was too late for him to go home. Just like that. When he said, “OK, I guess I could stay on the couch,” I said, “Nope.” ?!? Who was this girl? I barely knew Mr. Panther, and really, I wasn’t usually that forward. Don’t worry—no funny business happened that night. I’m not that scandalous. We just stayed up in my room and talked and talked and talked.
After Mr. Panther kissed me, I remember him looking surprised and saying, “I feel like I’ve been kissing you for years.” And it was like that. It was like we’d always been together. They say “when you know, you know” (you know, you know), and I know it sounds so cliché, but I really did. Three weeks later, Mr. Panther told me he thought he loved me. I was a little surprised by the timing, but I thought I loved him, too. And that was that.
I can’t imagine my life without Mr. Panther, and even though I have no clue why I acted so out of character when I first attempted to reel him in, I’m grateful for whatever strange force possessed me. We just need to work on having a better story for our grandkids, I think.
Here’s some more Panthers: The College Years shots!
Aw, poor Mr. Panther looks like he’s 12 in that dorky golf get-up! We were visiting his parents in Florida when this picture was taken”¦”˜Nuff said.
(All personal photos)
Does anybody else have a less-than-perfect “How We Met” story? When people ask you, do you embellish or tell the truth?