It was a meet-cute by Marston, a chance encounter between two souls on crossing paths. Or maybe it was fate.


I felt it even then, that first time I saw you – I stared at you and you stared back, your unyielding gaze a cattle prod against my fiery heart




I skipped all of my classes that day to be with you. Just us two. Who needs Stats Lab when you’ve found The One? I did most of the talking. You sat there, quiet, but encouraging. We joked and laughed – or at least I did, I was so nervous I could barely look at you – and all the while I drew closer and closer.


I finally draped my arm around you, timidly; I didn’t want to be too forward. But I couldn’t resist the way you looked: your body so toned, so rock-hard. And yet so damn curvy. I was bold but you were boulder.


When we finally parted that evening (I wouldn’t dare ask you to spend the night with me right away – I’m classy like that) I turned back and looked at you with a sheepish grin and waved. You met my eyes and I called from across the street: “Meet back here tomorrow!”


Our first month was a blissful blur. We would meet in that very same spot and sit together for hours. Sometimes I’d tell you about my day, sometimes I’d bring food for us (though you were never very hungry), but most of the time I’d just lean into you and we’d sit in silent contentment.


Kissing you became my absolute favorite thing to do–people would stop and stare, even take a picture of us and laugh–but I didn’t care if our PDA bothered them. Their hearts were stone-cold, mine pounded against my ribcage like a drummer at a rock concert when I was with you.


They weren’t all good times though. For a week there, I was worried we wouldn’t make it. You’d always been the silent type, but I could feel us growing apart. I thought you’d fallen out of love with me. It was pouring rain late one night, freezing outside, and I was begging you to just tell me what I was doing wrong – but your expression remained stony and immutable, your skin cold to the touch. I cried all night thinking about you. Those days were the worst of my life. I’d pass you everyday on my way to classes and give an awkward wave but you never acknowledged me. I don’t think I’ve ever told you how much that hurt me. We’d hit rock bottom.


But then you took me back. I’ll never forget the way the sun was hitting you that day, illuminating every curve, every bump, every pore. I couldn’t help but approach you – it was now-or-never. There was crying and yelling (on my part, of course, you were composed as ever), but when I touched you, you didn’t push me away. I knew you still cared. Our love is caught between a rock and a hard place: it’s not going anywhere.


Through these years of turmoil at UF, you’ve been the only constant. Thanks for being my rock.


Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Turlington Potato.