Our dating life in college was very different than what you would experience on most college campuses. There were very strict rules forbidding any physical contact with the opposite sex. If you were caught breaking any of those rules, the consequences could be pretty tough. As an example, if you were caught holding hands you would be banned from having any contact with the opposite sex, outside of class or away from your assigned dinner table, for two weeks.
We had Greek life on campus, but not the way most people know it. Instead of fraternities and sororities, our organizations were called societies. Every student was required to join a society, and there was no extra cost. Our societies provided a means for social and athletic activities.
Each year the societies would provide dating outings, giving a chance for couples to spend a Saturday together away from campus in a group setting. We would usually go to a state park and go hiking, play games, and have a cookout. The campus rules were in effect at all times, except for certain organized couples games that allowed its participants to hold hands while playing the games. The most common of these games was couples soccer, where we played soccer while holding hands with our date (I know, it’s crazy, but that’s what we lived with for four years!).
During Cheri’s freshman year, she invited me to go on her society’s dating outing. We hadn’t been dating very long, and I accepted her invitation with no hesitation at all. We had a great time paddling around in a canoe and we got to play couples soccer. I got to hold her hand and didn’t want the game to end. But alas, all good things come to an end. That evening we boarded the bus to head back to campus, but before we left, one of the society leaders made an announcement. She said that they had received special permission from the dean’s office to give their dates just one kiss. I couldn’t believe it! I looked at Cheri and she was smiling and her brown eyes were sparkling. I had never kissed her, and now I had special permission! But I knew something just wasn’t right. BJU was not that flexible. In fact, they weren’t flexible with their rules at all. But hope abounded!
When the leader finished her announcement, Cheri held out her hand and gave me a chocolate Hershey’s kiss. Just one. Just one kiss. My heart sank, but I had seen the sparkle in her eyes. I knew then I would get my chance one day.