Honoring our Past, Celebrating our Present, Creating our Future

Valentines 2008

Carl and Linda Nagai (maiden name Kawamoto)

The year was 1979. It was then that I first saw Carl's picture. My brother, his roommate and a budding photographer, sent a stack of photos proudly showing us what college life at UH Mānoa was all about. I came across Carl's picture and thought, "Hmmmm, cute guy!" I didn?t think of him much after that. A year-and-a-half went by and it was Prom time for me. Since my then-boyfriend didn't want to take me, I decided to muster up some courage and ask Carl to attend with me. Of course, what college sophomore would want to fly all the way to Hilo to attend a prom with his college roommate's sister--a uni-browed, hairy-armed, 11th grader whom he had never met--even if she was willing to pay for his tux and plane fare?! Not Carl, of course, or anyone else for that matter!

A year after that rejection, I, too, was at the UH Mānoa campus. Carl was still my brother's roommate, and I was with another guy. We said our casual hellos (to my embarrassment, of course) and life went on. One night, Carl was going out on some hot date and needed his pants hemmed, so my brother volunteered my sewing skills. I happily complied and we continued our separate ways. Carl and I both graduated from the University in December of '86, he with his Masters in Accounting, and I with a Bachelors of Education and Professional Diploma. As fate should have it, we ended up renting rooms in the same home (lo and behold, WITH MY BROTHER!) Both unattached and with similar schedules, we found ourselves with similar values and interests. One thing led to another and, believe it or not, we have been happily married for the past 18 years ? blessed with two kolohe sons.

Both he and I never attended our high school proms, though. Too bad he said no 26 years ago.

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