My kids know him as “That Guy Who Held His Plate Upright In The Cafeteria.” When we were in college, my friend David and I made lots of memories; but it’s difficult—at least in the retelling—to top the plate story.
Here’s what happened. Back in those days, colleges didn’t have food courts like they do today. Choices were . . . well . . . limited: “take it” or “leave it.” That particular day, the entrée available was chicken chow mien; we took it. And we left it untouched on our plates during the hour or so we spent chatting in the crowded dining hall.
Now, it just so happened that the chicken chow mien prepared in the 1980’s Marshbanks Cafeteria had a certain gelatinous quality, adhesive even. So, David, upon discovering his meal had coagulated, forming what appeared to be a permanent bond with its serving dish, tilted the thing—millimeter by millimeter—until he held it vertical, perpendicular to the table. We nodded our approval, but David clearly needed more.
As we looked on, still processing the view of Buies Creek cuisine epoxied to ceramic, David pushed back from the table, stood, and quietly held the plate on display. As I recall it took only seconds for him to garner the attention of the entire room. Curious laughter morphed into appreciative applause. Bowing with a flourish, David gently returned the plate to its intended position, and took his seat.
And that is the story of “The Time David Held His Plate Upright In The Cafeteria.”
Today, seeing each other for the first time in 25 years, we recalled some of the great times we had as Campbell University co-eds. The memories brought laughter and not a little overdue embarrassment. But our visit was so much more than a nostalgic reliving of the past; today I was reminded that some friendships are just timeless. And for that, I am truly grateful.