I met Fox during my sophomore year. I was working at Independent Study even back then, and our workplace was dominated by females. We didn't have a single male worker. And by a "single male worker," I mean both "not a one" and "not a single one." One day, a tall, muscular, strapping young man was interviewing in my boss's office. I announced to the girls in the cubicle (most of whom were married) that this was my chance. Independent Study may have just hired my future husband. All I could see was the top of his head over the cubicle wall, but I just knew that he was The One.
As he headed towards our cubicle, and we heard the boss starting to give him the tour, one of my married coworkers hissed at me, "Cicada! Ring!" I had the habit of indiscriminately wearing rings on any finger back then and I happened to have a ring on my left ring finger. As our new coworker stepped into the cubicle, I quickly switched the ring from the left hand to the right, looked up, and smiled at the newcomer.
He introduced himself as ---- Fox and gave us some getting-to-know-you details about himself.
- He was a freshman.
- He was in the ROTC.
Those facts, combined with his puppyish over-exuberance were enough to make me switch my ring back from the right hand to the left hand. There would be no future for me and Fox.
But Fox fit in quite nicely with the women of the office. He was excessively chatty and loved to join in our girl talk. That, and he gave great back massages. Now normally, I'm fairly closed to people physically (unless, of course, I'm not, if you know what I mean). But for Fox, I made an exception because his backrubs were exceptional. Blame it on the ROTC and his massive muscles. At 5:30, once all the superiors had cleared out of the office, we'd have a backrub break. Those days were glorious.
Because he was a freshman boy and because we were all women and because he loved to be involved in our love lives, one of us once decided to set him up with her freshman roommate. They went on a double-date. On Monday, our horrified coworker returned to the office to report to us all that she and Fox and their dates had gone to the HFAC for some musical performance, and in order to impress his date, Fox ate his program. As soon as Fox came back to the office, we lectured him on what does and what doesn't impress women. Thoroughly indoctrinated, and without having us tell him to do so, he called his date to apologize for eating his program. She said that he didn't need to apologize---it was impressive! Sheesh. Freshman girls.
Perhaps my favorite Fox story was the day when we were talking about the French R. At this point, we had another male coworker---Ben, a married man with a booming voice. I was trying to teach Fox to pronounce the French R correctly and said, "It's actually your uvula that's doing all the work."
Fox's eyes went wide and he asked, "I know what the uvula is, but why does it always sound so dirty?"
Ben, the married man with the booming voice said loud enough for everyone in the cubicle maze to hear, "It's because it's a cross between uterus and vulva."
Fox is now all grown up and he's even married. Yet I was still able to witness his puppyish exuberance. He even hugged me twice as I shed a tear for times gone by.