One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for February 13, 2015.
My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.
Today’s post was triggered by the tragic and senseless murders of three students in Chapel Hill, NC. When the story first broke I heard that the students attended or had attended NC State. My first thoughts went to the involvement that one of my friends Monica Osburn would have with efforts to help students, faculty, staff, and the Triangle Community to cope with this tragedy.
Dr. Monica Osburn is the Director of the Counseling Center at NC State and since the news broke she has been very involved in helping people deal with this tragedy. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
Barakat, a second-year dental student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, married Yusor Mohammad in late December, according to school officials. Barakat got a business administration degree from North Carolina State University in the spring of 2013.
Mohammad graduated from NC State in December with a degree in biological sciences, and officials at UNC said she was planning to begin dental studies in Chapel Hill this fall.
Abu-Salha, Mohammad’s younger sister, was a sophomore at NC State and a graduate of Athens Drive High School in Raleigh. University officials said she was majoring in design.
I got to become friends with Monica when she served as Director of the Counseling and Testing Center at UNC Pembroke. We bonded immediately when we both discovered we shared New Jersey as home.
Monica is the ultimate counseling professional because she is knowledgeable, compassionate, and experienced. I think all of us that got to know Monica during the 10 years she was at UNC Pembroke knew she was going to eventually be offered a bigger position one day and in 2012 that occurred. I know that if anyone can help people at NC State with their heartbreak and sorrow over something so senseless it is Monica.
Something else this week triggered me thinking about Monica and that was St. Valentine’s Day being tomorrow. Monica will probably tell you her best friend is her husband Bobby. The two of them met on a blind date and it is the ABSOLUTELY BEST FIRST DATE STORY I have ever heard. If you like a lot of laughing with your love stories you are in for a treat.
The Friend-MONICA OSBURN-Monica on the left in dark top
The Friend of the Friend-BOBBY OSBURN
Monica and Bobby’s Osburn first date.
Monica had finished her undergraduate and master’s degrees in New Jersey at Rowan and The College of NJ. She decided to pursue her Ph.D in counseling and she enrolled at the University of Arkansas. Monica was a studying to be a counselor which required her not to jump to conclusions and to listen. She was finding that attribute nearly impossible for her when it came to the subject of her dating men living in Arkansas. She found the differences between New Jersey culture and sophistication in comparison to Arkansas appalling. Monica made the statement to her fellow graduate students that romance with Razorback men was not in her future. She further stated she had NO INTEREST in dating anyone from Arkansas. She was positive that romance with anyone from Arkansas could not possible spark any fire or desire in her. She was about to be proved wrong.
Monica had persistent friends that wanted her to go out with a handsome guy they knew named Bobby Osburn. In a weak moment despite her many claims it would never happen Monica agreed to go on a blind date with Bobby Osburn. She had reservations and was very apprehensive but she said yes.
The date was going to be a boat ride and some skiing. She met Bobby at the marina and was surprised to be introduced to his step-dad who would serve as their captain on their boat ride. The date started out pretty good. The scenery around the lake was nice. Bobby wasn’t terrible he had all of his teeth and had a great sense of humor. He was extremely cocky and self-assured with a hint that this first date was going to lead to more. That made Monica nervous. The boat ride took them far away from the marina into a fairly remote part of the lake. At about the point the boat could not get any further from land the motor started sputtering. Bobby and his step dad went into full fledge testosterone male mode and started to become master mechanic diagnostician. Well the two genius figured out after 15 minutes they had run out of gas.
There was actually no panic on Bobby’s part as he described his plan. For Monica the horror of not trusting her instincts to not date local men were ramping up. Bobby’s plan did not reassure her anxiety.
Bobby told Monica he was going to take the empty gas can from the boat and swim to shore and get gas. They could only see one house on the shoreline and of course no other boats on the water. Monica thought to herself why did they have to choose the most remote part of the lake for a first date.
Well Bobby set off on his swim and eventually reached shore while Monica had small talk and moments of awkward silence with Bobby’s step dad. Bobby soon found that NO ONE was home at that house so he found a hose and began to siphon gas out of the owners boat and put it into his own gas can. Monica was horrified that her date could be possibly charged with larceny. She already had planned to file charges of stupidity against Bobby to her friend if she ever got back to the marina. This was going no further.
Bobby swam back to the boat with a triumph attitude that he has rescued a damsel in distress. Monica is not the least bit appreciative she just wants off this boat and away from this disaster date. Well Bobby and his step dad connect the gas tank, prime the engine, and get the boat started. Bobby’s step dad begins to drive the boat with a lit Marlboro dangling out of his mouth. Bobby is sitting next to Monica shirtless on the back seat of the boat trying to make a move on her to cuddle. Monica is trying to give Bobby non verbal cues that all she wants to do is get back to the marina. Monica never thought that in a moment she would have her hands all over this shirtless hunk. At this very moment Bobby indicates to his step dad to speed it up. The boat roars to life and begins to pick up speed.
It should be pointed out in this part of the story that two natural laws are in play and about to collide.
Rule one gasoline even though it is liquid produce vapors or gas especially in close proximity to its source. Shirt less Bobby Osburn had spent the last 30 minutes siphoning off gas.
The second law is that the burnt embers on the lit end of a cigarette will fly in the direction of the wind.
What happened next is that the burnt ash from the Marlboro got introduced to the shirtless chest of Bobby Osburn and his chest hairs became engulfed in flames. Bobby was screaming and Monica being the humanitarian she was began frantically pawing and tapping her hands all over Bobby’s bare chest putting out the flames.
The romance had the spark and flame it needed. Bobby asked Monica for a second date and she said yes. Bobby asked for a good night kiss at the marina with gas on his breath and she said no.
They are married with two kids.