Thursday, February 14, 2008

First dates, cigarettes, and the Bayou.....A little Love Story reincarnated from the Archives for Valentines!

We talked for hours every night. Him, hot and sweaty, just home from football practice, Me, not yet 14, not yet a wild child. I sat Indian style, wringing, twirling the curly que Princess phone cord in my left hand, receiver tucked between my ear and left shoulder, until hours later it left hickies on my ear. With my right hand, I scribbled “I love yous” on sheet after sheet of blue lined notebook paper. He told stupid stories, and stupid jokes, and had the body of a man. Even at 13, I could see that. He was the Captain of the Catholic High School Football team. I was a not-even-Catholic cheerleader at the St. Michaels of the…..(I really can’t remember of what!)

We met at the School Fair. The first time. I was working the GO FISH booth and he was spending dimes and tossing lines. The second time was at our football game. I saw him in the stands. Three rows above the Nuns. Laughing. We looked good. In our Christmas green uniforms, hemmed to 4 inches above the knee (Catholic regulation) with the little green bloomers just beneath. But this time we had a punch line. A surprise. We had choreographed it ourselves. Come up with a little twist. (With a little help from MY Mom!)

“Choo-choo. Bang-bang. Got’s to get that boomerang. Ungowa. Great power. Hit em to the west. Hit em in the chest......
GO
W A R R I O R S !
And we spun and fanny faced the bleachers, flipping corduory skirts to the sky, spelling our our team’s name in bold yellow letters on 8 teenage rumps! W A R R I O R S !

The crowd went wild. Mother Moriarity went crimson. Eight cheerleaders got suspended. My Mom was retired from being our Coach. He called me that night.

I went to his games. He went to ours. And in early December he asked me to THE DANCE. The High School Christmas Dance. A car date. My Mom had to talk to his Mom, I was mortified, he laughed. And we were on! My first date. A double date! To the Garden Center for a semi-formal. Pictures at my house beforehand. Home by midnight. My entire 8th grade class was in awe, envy, on the edge of their couch....waiting for "the scoop".

I forgot to mention that going to Catholic school when you are not Catholic is expensive. We were broke. "Not poor, just broke". I don't know how we got in the doors, a friend of a friend of the family's, but we were there. And so it comes as no surprise, that at 13 almost 14 I had no idea what SEMI-formal meant or no means to dress the part. My Mom was sure it meant formal, but short. I thought it meant really short. (I later found out it meant, the girls wear formals,long flowing beautiful formals and BIG HAIR, the boys shirt and ties!)

Having no money, but not much need...I was already a hippie spirit and didn't want or need a hairdoo, thank you, I was going in my Peggy Lipton straights! But hello, world, I did need a dress! We bummed a prom dress from my Mom's friend's daughter, already married and busting with her first, surely she wouldn't need it again, and proceeded to lay it out on the dining room table and FIX it! First, we chopped, literally, about 3 feet of fabric off the bottom, and another foot off the top, and then we put it back together. The puffy sleeves were swiped and it was now skimpy to show off my December (we didn't yet know it was dangerous to live at the beach) tan. The little pink cinderalla dress was now an Empire waisted lace Micro mini. I threw on some pantyhose , slipped my size 7 feet into a pair of borrowed size 8 bridesmaid slippers spraypainted to match, stuffed the toes with TP, and took a twirl. I can do this!

I had never felt so beautiful!

My parents drank cocktails, dark ones, while I dressed. My Father paced and Mom babbled on, often peeping through the venetian blinds for his arrival. The doorbell rang and there he was! My first date!

We posed for pictures, smiling up and down. Giddy to go. (We never told him there was no film in the camera...God, I wish we had those pictures, but there was no money for things like that! ) Still, my Mom thought we should go through the motions...posing and smiling and later, anticipating the film coming back! At least he had that anticipation, I was already practiced in the parade! Kodak moments are best kept in the heart!

And then, we were off! In a car! Flying down Davis Highway with the windows open and the music on. Less than 1/2 a mile from my house, they( My first date, his best friend, and the gorgeous brunette in the totally formal gown, rhinestone earrings m make-up and BIG HAIR) opened the wine , lit the cigarettes, cranked the music and started the party! I was mortified.

Being 13, not yet 14, and all.

The dance is a blur. I loved the band, they could care less. I wanted to dance. He wanted to make out. I wanted to dance. He wanted to step outside and smoke. I wanted to dance. He wanted to drink. I wanted to stay. They wanted to leave.

And we did leave. Spinning tires. Music blasting. We exited in style. Leaving behind the last dance, the one I had been dreaming of, to the girls with dreams that came true. And made a bee line for my house. Or so I thought.

I saw the familiar glow of the dock lights at the Bayou and finally, rested my head on his shoulder. We're almost home. He'll kiss me goodnight. My first kiss. And I'll spend all day tomorrow on the phone! But the car slowed, and the headlights dimmed and I could hear the tires on the cold coquina of the shore. We were "parking".

I heard the key in the ignition clicking off. The music stopped. No one said a word.

But me.

"I wanna go home"

"Let's take her home" he said. "She's only thirteen"
And they did.

No first kiss.

And we never spoke again.

Until he followed me to the airport years later.

When I landed safely back home, 450 miles later, he was still at the airport, calling from the payphone...
and I was still dancing.


Timing isn't everything. And then again, sometimes it is.

35 comments:

skinnylittleblonde said...

Wonderful story dear Sib! It's amazing to read about your 1st date & all your details...reminds me of how time does bring change!

I don't think I ever had a 'first date' & I know, I never did a formal or even semi-formal dance...or attend a private school.

I love the part about Mom re-configuring the cheerleading uniforms & the gown. If I remember correctly, she was pretty hot that you girls got into trouble for her alterations! LOL

I Love it!

Maryellen said...

What a great story. Every word had me racing around in my head madly with my own such memories. I only went to one formal dance, Senior Ball. The other gals, fluff and ruffles galore. Me: form fit, floor length, cut out back to the waste, back slit to above the knees, and the clincher - huge hawaiian orange, red, yellow, turquoise and green floral. LOL I was the envy of everyone because their mothers picked their dress. I picked my own at Joseph Magnins one weekend staying with my sister who was by then married and living in Sacramento. That was just the beginning of me leaving that small town behind me. Varooooooom.

EbayHound said...

Im sure I am not the only 'lurker' here. It's taken me a while but I think that skinnylittleblonde, kimbies, singleton & SAS are sisters. Right? Or is there just two or three sisters? Are all of your 'sites' joined efforts? Don't mean to be nosy, just curious & confused. I saw artwork on the levis site, that was also on the peace site and now i am analyzing writing styles trying to figure it all out. Is skinnylittleblonde also SAS and Singleton? What does SAS standfor? Maybe it is not for me to know. Maybe it doesnt even matter because the artwork is great, the writing is soulful, the stories are touching.
Thanks for sharing it all, whoever you are....

lurking longer said...

Ebayhound,
Kind of like a scavenger hunt, huh? Following the skinnies? I've been doin' it for a while and can tell you this much is true...There are three. And at least TWO are blonde....look on one sight and it has a link to "another" skinny little blonde and then there's the whole "Sib" thing, but you gotta look in the comments to catch that. And the SAS thing was explained a long time ago but I think it disappeared or is in a comment or an archive, but there IS an answer buried in there somewhere. And the levis was for Kimbies, but I think she's on here now. And as for the writing styles, I think they are different, but bet you they are fooling us and one is finishing the other one's sentences!

skinnylittleblonde said...

LOL, we are as one, but we are three!

Someone, here, once said 'I am good at puzzles' and something to the effect of 'I think I have figured it out...you are sisters.'

Yes, we are...but we're not limited in numbers...so welcome out from your lurking & into the sisterhood!

We just love that you are here...

SAS said...

...we are family...

singleton said...

Wow! We're busted, just like that! Welcome to the tribe!

Maryellen said...

I got all my sistas and me.

Hey I'm a sister too. Let's throw him a real curve. LOL I'm the half and half sister twice removed from the mothers side. All a puzzle to be put together for sure. I put it together back stage on a different channel still. Lets see if you can find that one. LOL

Orhan Kahn said...

YOu have chick flicks, then you have posts like these. Entertaining to say the least.

Just a Brother said...

If I was your brother, instead of just A brother, I would of kicked his butt!
I told my girl she can't have her 1st kiss til she's 15 or older & it better be on the door step.
You girls are crazy!

PR said...

hey, do you still have that dress?

singleton said...

Just a brother,
Well I guess if you were my brother, I would have had to stay home that night! LOL! And as far as the front door step is concerned, you better get a mighty big front porch light!
Oh and pr,
nope! Not even a picture of it!

orbs said...

See, even then all you wanted to do was dance! So put on your red shoes and dance, girl!

mindy said...

i wish you had the pictures too!! i'd love to see that dress!
happy valentine's day!!xoxoxo

savannah said...

happy van halentine's day, sugar! ;-)

WILSONART said...

Loved this story that brought back many memories of made over dresses,,,Mama making a silk purse from a sow's ear, etc.

That lil 13 year old butterfly wasn't quite ready to leave the safety of her cocoon,,,,wonderful that she realized it!

HAPPY HEART DAY friend,,,,,and may you ALWAYS have enough love!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

You couldn't make this up.

Fabulous. So rich in imagery. 10 years ago I would have bemoaned their goodwill in taking you home, because you might have missed out on some kind of party. But now I think there was a certain amount of responsibility there in that decision.

On an unrelated matter, I will be in The Americas in the summer. (See my latest post). It would be good to meet, if you want to, of course.

Let me know.

skinnylittleblonde said...

Clink!Clink! de ja vue!!! ILY-xoxoxo

singleton said...

Orhan....Hell, it's a year and a half or more since this first posted and I'm just now catchin' this comment! Whew! "Timing isn't everything.....And then again, sometimes it is!" Happy Valentines Day!

Mindy...Me, too! But I can still see it like yesterday, and remember "Posing" on the pretend! You gotta love livin'! Hope you had a happy Valentines, sweetie!

Savannah.....How did you know Van Halen was here last night?:)

Babs....Hope your day was just as magical as could be! And that for all of us, every day, is chock full-a-love! Our Mama is still whipping Magic outa leftovers, a little fairy art she taught us all a long time ago.....clink!

Ultra....Of course, I didn't make it up! I've never learned the art of fiction (or fashion)! I love that you guys are takin' a ramblin' winding roadtrip all across our little world.....Looks like the closest you're coming to Florida is Atlanta, about an 8 hour roadtrip from here....But a great place to hang! Keep me postcarded on your travels....you never know where the highway will lead!

Peace~love friends
Friday's are for dancin'!

singleton said...

Skinny....Clinkity tinkity tink! ILYSVVM! Feelin' a little mischief Moon risin'! Let's hear it for the girls!

Sandy Kessler said...

very cool story- I was with you every heartbeat of excitement - still wearin the beads!!!!

she said...

i just love disappearing into your stories.. another masterpiece..

happy valentines! love, ~s.

kj said...

swish! what a story.

and yet.....i have to know more. why did he call you from the airport? why oh why? and then what?
and then what?

i admire that he took you home.

:)

singleton said...

Sandy...Feel the love!

SweetShe....Happy Valentine's girl! You'll be getting a much belated, so belated, very belated, surprise when it finally ever ever get's there....clink! in the mail! And isn't it funny that after having waited forever for your little treats to arrive, they tinked us again this week? Calling and saying two packages had arrived.....Ta!Dah! Deja Vue!

KJ....they why oh why? and the what oh what? happened in between a chance encounter on a beachside highway years later and the last few days of a glorious summer vacation....
Sometimes timing is everything! Clink!

Peace~love my friends
I'm tellin' ya....Friday's are for dancin'!

Acquaintance said...

Hey Singy, it's been a really long while since I've done anything on blogger and I'm a little late but Happy Valentine's Day.

Peace

DeLi said...

wow! the dance of childhood..lovely, hratwarming story!

Maithri said...

You make movies with your words,

I dont know how you do it...
but you do.

The tug at your heart, 'meaning in each moment' kind of movie... that leaves you precipitously hanging on the edge of the couch...

How wonderful you are my friend,

Sending you this morning light... theres far too much of it here for little ole me...;)

Love M

Gillian @ Indigo Blue said...

Oh boy! What memories. How do you remember the details? I admire your brain power Singy. I love reading about you. You need to pen a memoir...it would sell out.
xoxo
Gillian

skinnylittleblonde said...

mwah! ilysvmbs!

singleton said...

aquaintance....Clink! Happy to you too, sweetie!

Deli....Yeah, you know the dance, and you're not foolin' me for one moment with that two left feet line....Childhood....We celebrate it! And if were lucky, over and over again!

Maithri...And your light made it all the way here, snug as a bug in a rug. What started out gloomy and chilly and ridiculously silly for February in Florida,
arrived,
at high noon
glorious....
Yellow butterflies were everywhere....
Like the gift of sideways snow!

Blue...Oh Good Lord sweetie...I can remember it all! As long as it didn't happen two minutes ago or yesterday! And by the way, I've always, always cheated! I write it down!

SLB....Muah! And much, much, much love!

Peace~love friends
It's worth it!

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

8 hours eh?

Well, I'll let you know how I'm doing for money and time when I get to Atlanta. 8 hours isn't long when you have 4 months on the road.

singleton said...

ultra...:) Well, isn't that what roadtrips are about? Changin' lanes and taking detours! Aw, you guys are gonna have a great time wherever you end up! Gypsy time! :)

Shimmerrings said...

What a great story, and a beautifully perfect ending! I still have my very first prom dress, and my mom let me pick it out, myself, at one of the most sophisticated shops in town... and we weren't rich, either, but I'll bet the gown wasn't real expensive, or I wouldn't have owned it, for sure. My own first dress was pale lavender... I don't know what you call the material, but it was like dotted swiss, except it wasn't dots... it was butterflies! It had an empire waist, with an elastic bodice, a scoop neck that came just above my bustline, and a scoop back. It had bell sleeves that were elastic at the elbow and the length of the sleeves came a few inches below the elbows. I remember my mother bought some lavender material to sew me a half slip to wear underneath. It was beautiful! I still have photos of myself in it, and one day when I can get them scanned maybe I will make a prom posting! Thanks for the memories. Sounds like your mom is a little fire-cracker just like you!

singleton said...

Shimmerings....A window opened. Reading this, I fell hopelessly through the looking glass...remembering not just that night and every detail, but other nights....cowboy boots, scaveneged from under the bed, covered in cat hair, scooped out for a night of "Let's pretend we're at a Willie Nelson concert".....a 1970's glittered mini dress, short and shedding silver and gold sparkles, still smelling of pajouli, a lifetime later, reincarnated for Disco Night....Isn't it funny what we remember, and how it's always those old threads that still hold the magic?
Peace~love my friend,
and Cinderella stories....