Back when I was in high school I was a total and complete band geek. I was so band-geeky in fact that during most of my lunch hours you’d find me practicing my clarinet in the band room. Now, I don’t regret my time there, that clarinet scholarship paid my way through college, but that’s not the point of my story. 🙂 Now add to this that I was always somewhat of a tomboy, and hung out with lots of guys who – yup, you pegged it – thought of me purely as a “friend” and not as a girl.
Anyway, my band director asked if my friend and I would be willing to give up a weekend and sit in and play with an orchestra during a performance of Guys and Dolls in Sun City—which for those of you not familiar with Arizona, Sun City is our local retirement community.
I jumped at the chance to play with adult musicians—retired professionals, those with a lifelong hobby and love of music etc. So, my friend Merrit Taylor, and I headed off to Sun City to sit in.
The director was a very sweet elderly gentleman with a ready smile, a thorough love of music and some terrific stories. Rehearsals were great fun, and we were looking forward to the actual performance. This was my first experience playing in a live production, and it is a fond memory I’ll always carry with me.
Anyway, sometime during rehearsals and performances and all the rest, I glanced up to see a gorgeous guy with a terrific smile complete with an adorable dimple in one cheek, and the bluest blue eyes I’d ever seen. Now put yourself back inside your hormone-driven brain in high school. My breath caught, the world stopped and my teenage heart beat faster. It was one of those moments I look back on and smile because I know I sat there staring like an open-mouthed idiot and was quite obvious about it—something I tease my son about whenever I see him do it now…lol.
So, imagine my excitement when the director brought Mr. Hottie over to the orchestra to introduce him as his grandson on leave from the Navy. And imagine those teenage hormones kicking into overdrive when that great smile turned toward me, and he winked at me with those great blue eyes. <Insert dreamy sigh here>
To make things even more perfect, he was sweet, smart, had a great sense of humor and seemed just as gaga over me. And as cheesy as it sounds, I remember that very first kiss, and I’m glad it was a great memory I can smile over instead of some of the horror stories of first kisses I’ve heard from my friends. If memory serves, we “dated” for nearly a year, which consisted of kissing, holding hands, writing lots of letters punctuated by short visits when he could get leave from his ship and talking about how we would be together forever. In fact, I even remember a Cubic Zirconia ring that I wore for quite a while. Ahh youth…
Time happened and so did high school, and I remember writing him sadly telling him that I wasn’t ready for forever, and neither was he, and that for now, I needed to be a high school kid. I mailed back the ring and we parted amicably and fondly and I didn’t hear from him again until college. He was back in town for a weekend visiting his grandparents, and I have fond memories of a weekend spent laughing and catching up on the years we’d missed. I also remember speaking to him briefly—although I can’t remember if it was in person or on the phone—right after I’d graduated from college, and I was engaged to be married.
Fast forward eighteen years since we’ve last spoken, or around twenty-five years since we met and I received an email out of the blue the other day through my writing website. It was from him. I recognized the name instantly, and it was a happy surprise to hear that he was now happily married with two great kids and had made a career out of the Navy. He was in town again, this time visiting his grandmother. His grandfather, sadly, had passed away several years ago.
Since schedules on both sides were tight, I only got to see him for a few minutes, but recognized him instantly, and nearly laughed when he looked at me with that same smile and dimple and those same laughing blue eyes – and winked when he saw me just like he had the first time I laid eyes on him. And he still looked great. We’ve both “matured” as he put it, but it was a great trip through memory lane that reminded me of that young innocent high school girl I used to be long ago 🙂 (If you’ve read my books, you know that was a loooooong while ago…LOL!) And reminds me of a very sweet boy who filled my thoughts, dreams and several pages of my journals during high school. Talking with him was just as easy and fun as it had been then, and I hope that this time we’ll keep in touch and not wait quite so long to catch up on each other’s lives.
He says his grandmother has a great picture of both of us together looking at each other so moon eyed that it will give you cavities. I hope he finds it and can send me a copy. If I get it, I’ll post it. But for now, I only have the picture of me from high school—the one that incidentally, my son thinks makes me look like a nurse…lol.
Isn’t it interesting what perspective age can give us? I turn forty in a month, and in the span of a few minutes, I felt fourteen all over again—or at least the good parts of it…lol. And it has made me wax a bit nostalgic if you can’t tell.
So what about all of you? Do you remember your first girlfriend or boyfriend? Fond memories? Embarrassing ones? Join me in my trip down memory lane, and do tell…
I’ll draw from all the names of everyone who leaves a comment or a fun story and I’ll give away an electronic copy of that person’s choice of VORTEX BLUES or TAKE IT OFF. So dish, and let’s have some fun!