Castles in the air–including plans to live on a desert island–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–April 1994, Part 4

The Enigma video “Return to Innocence” came out around this time, and Phil and I both liked it.  It showed a French couple’s life moving backwards from death through old age through middle age through youth, a time in a hayloft before they got married, their first meeting, their childhoods apart from each other.  It was beautiful.

One night on Melrose Place, Billy went to get an engagement ring for Allison, for the wedding that we viewers had waited maybe two years for.

I don’t remember them mentioning the two months’ salary rule–in fact, I don’t think I ever heard of it before I got my own engagement ring in 1996–but the ring salesman said, “The size of the diamond reflects how much love you feel for the woman.”

Clarissa and I both thought this was ridiculous.  The look of the ring, and the fact that you even have a ring, is far more important than the size of the diamond.

(The look of the ring is especially important because if she doesn’t like it, she might exchange it.  She’ll probably be wearing it for the rest of her life, after all.)

I watched Melrose Place faithfully every week, especially now that things were really getting psychotic.  It was a guilty pleasure, which it had never been before.

In time the show would start going down the toilet, with everyone sleeping with everyone else and everyone wanting to blow up the place, and by then I didn’t like it at all.  But for now, it was exciting.

Phil’s mom told him he could get an engagement ring really cheap–$300, I believe it was–from a certain catalog.  I believe the catalog was for a discount store or warehouse.  So this became our plan.

He told me to decide which state I wanted to live in.  He said the movie studios were in California, New York and Texas, and we’d go wherever I wanted.

I chose Texas because I liked it when I visited in 1983, didn’t want to go to some huge, crime-ridden, concrete-jungle place like New York City was in those days, and didn’t want to go to California where I heard all the crazies were.

Florida may also have been an option, but I don’t remember why I would have rejected it.

(I know why I would now: too hot, too humid, and too many huge bugs!  I also know that I don’t want to live anywhere but the Midwest.  Sure we have winter, but we have plenty of other benefits to make up for that, such as cooler summers, and the bugs dying or going into hibernation for several months each year.)

We talked about going down to Texas when we got married, and starting an adventure, me working while he found a job at a studio there.

Or staying in S– for a while, living at a certain large wooded park in a place we’d build (though I wasn’t so sure the park would let us), and using the stream there for water (his idea).

He wanted to build a place on his parents’ deck, but his mom wouldn’t let him.  (Yes, he had some odd ideas which no one can actually do in a city.)

He wanted to return to S– one day, though I didn’t want to.

We also thought of living in the woods or on a desert island.  At first he didn’t think I’d like to live on a desert island, but discovered to his joy that I would love to.

This was before I realized I hated camping.  It’s also before I realized how full of mosquitoes and other bugs the woods can be.  But I’ve always loved desert island stories, and wrote a few of my own.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound
January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD
February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995: