The lounge at the end of the hall, just doors down from my graduate dorm room became our living room on Thursday nights. My budding friend group that first year of grad school united for one hour faithfully to watch Hill Street Blues, one of the most popular TV shows that year, 1983. Remember watching a TV program on a specific day and time? Remember watching one episode a week? I was not much on crime dramas despite growing up watching Murder, She Wrote and Columbo with my parents who still enjoy watching the seediest characters meet justice. What I did enjoy was the camaraderie, the ritual of gathering on the couches, giving ourselves an hour off of the evening’s studies. One night Mark and Robin were sitting on the couch rather close. Just college kids cozying up with one another, perhaps missing the intimacy of leaning against a parent’s shoulder while enjoying a TV program. I thought nothing of it… that is until I noticed they were holding hands. When had my two friends become a couple? What a funny way to communicate their happy news. Come to think of it…they had been getting friendlier… Raised eyebrows caused them to giggle and spill. Two friends becoming more…certainly not the first time.
Mark and Robin married a few years later. Though we lost touch the years following grad school, I hope they have been a happy couple, well suited for a lifetime together, perhaps even sharing with their kids the story of the night in the lounge when they “told” their friends.