I don't tell jokes at parties. Sometimes, I tell this story instead. Scene: Northwestern University, my senior year, a room at the Foster-Walker Complex, January 4th, 1988, the day before Gayle's birthday, in the room occupied by her boyfriend at the time (their relationship would end in two days or so).
Let's make it personal. Hi, my name is Michelle Denise Norton. I want to get married. To the very specific person I fell in love with, Gayle Eubank. Now. I will be engaged for 24 years this December and if it had been possible, I would have met Gayle somewhere in Evanston or Chicago for a civil ceremony before she moved into my apartment at the end of January 1989. I had a roommate (let's call her D) freak out when she found out Gayle and I had started dating. This involved D demanding she move into university housing in Gayle's place and Gayle move into our apartment. I had maybe planned to move in together after Gayle got back for the summer. So that timeline suddenly got accelerated. At this point, I had finished at Northwestern and was working as an Admissions Clerk at a hospital and Gayle had just started her senior year as a Journalism Major.