When I was young, I was very intimidated by guys. My siblings were all female and I seldom saw my one male cousin. When I was in seventh grade, I began going to dances at the Junior High School. My girlfriends all had guy crushes and they were always reciprocated.
I would dress in my best clothes and go with my friends. We would sit in the bleachers or group together near the dance floor. As the music started, one by one my friends would be asked to dance by their favorite guy. I would be left standing by myself wondering what I was doing wrong.
If someone did ask me to dance, it was usually someone who no one else wanted to dance with.
One Friday afternoon, I was acting as hall monitor at school. This boy with a great smile came by and asked me if I had another piece of gum? I said no, just the one I’m chewing. I took it out of my mouth and handed it to him. He popped it in his mouth and walked on.
I didn’t think much about this until a couple of Friday nights later. Another dance with no invitations. At the end of the night, the young man came over and asked if he could walk me home. I said yes.
We became friends and spent several walks going home from school, talking about our likes and dislikes.
Over the next couple of years, we spent time together as good friends. He taught me to water ski and slalom ski. We joined the ski club at school and went on several day trips learning to snow ski. He taught me to shoot a .22. We went squirrel and rabbit hunting with my sister and her boyfriend.
We had ice skating dates and went to movies at the Wisconsin Theater. When we wanted to stay home, we would go to his house. He taught me to play my first 12 string guitar. I would often take care of my older sister on the weekends. He would come by and we would watch TV and talk about our lives and dreams.
He always treated me like I was special. He treated me with respect. We dated for almost a year before he gave me my first kiss.
Our relationship wasn’t always a bed of roses. He wore his hair too long which my parents didn’t agree with. He also wore his penny loafers with no socks and at this time that was a huge no, no.
When we got into High School, he would be asked to leave school dances because of inappropriate dress. I spent many Monday mornings in the School Counselor’s office trying to rationalize his behavior and to stand up for his character.
Finally, my dad decided that I shouldn’t be going out with him because of his hair and no socks. He actually forbade me to see him. We still talked by phone occasionally and after he graduated and went off to college, we started to grow apart. I learned that he had dated a few girls while he was away and I was tired of fighting with my parents over what I saw as kind of silly.
We tried a few times to get back together but, as we say, life got in the way. I believe that if my parents had known how good he was to me, it would have saved me many heartaches.
I was no longer shy around guys and from our relationship, I experienced many fun and beautiful firsts. I think of him even now and relive some of our memorable moments. I wish everyone could have a memorable guy in their lives to learn the ropes from.