I used to be an assistant hall director of a dormitory, and during my time in the position we had a large amount of temporary turnover on the staff due to illness and pregnancy. My desk clerk Betty had become very ill near the beginning of the year and we were forced to scramble for temporary help. Actually, when I say “we”, I mean the Housing Department and my hall director who both worked to select her fleeting replacement.
So one day, I show up in the morning and am surprised to see a stranger working behind the counter, a woman with dark hair pulled back, black-rimmed glasses, very professional clothing and a breathy British accent. Her name was Fiona. And in just a few short days she had a big fan club of Brucelings addicted to her voice…any word she said made the boys swoon! (I can understand why, for I am a sucker for a posh accent myself)
One day, I ask Fiona how a sharp Brighton girl like her ended up in The Lone Star State. For awhile, she worked on a Carnival ship as a cruise director) or somesuch) and she met a travelling musician who was playing jazz on the ship. Somewhere on the high seas, they had hooked up and soon enough they were married. And because her new husband had gone to UNT once before and had wanted to get his masters, here they were in Denton. I ask her what his name was and was told, “Ian.”
The gears in my mind began spinning outside of my control. “Ian…Ian…Ian…” (bang go the snappin’ fingers!) “Ian!”
I put his first name together with Fiona’s last and realized that her husband was the same Ian who had dated my ex-girlfriend Margo before I dated her. And at one time he had told Fiona all about me, for once I told Fiona that I knew him she snickered and laughed. Fiona was sometimes a bit curious about Margo, but for the most part was polite about the connection that her husband and I shared.
So now I have something in common with a woman from the other side of this small world.