Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bow Chicka Wow Woooowww

What does a fifteen year old know? Really?

At fifteen, I knew that when I wore my crayon red cowboy-style button down shirt tucked into a pair of high waist jeans, no belt, with white sneakers and my hair in a limp ponytail – I looked HOTT. I knew the quadratic equations by heart, and could ace an Algebra II exam that at this point would leave me lost and blinking stupidly. I knew Lord of the Flies, because I’d just done a project on it for class, and I knew the rules for basketball, because I was tested on them in P.E./Health that year.

I also knew that I had a big old sweaty palms crush on C.G. Bryant (not his real last name), an overweight kid with terrible hair, huge glasses, but a wit! Oh, what a wit! He was smart, a little bit overconfident, and he only passed Latin class because I let him cheat off of my every homework and test for three years. I let everyone cheat. I was good at Latin, and bad at making friends, so I compensated by making the nerd’s concession: I know you aren’t really my friend, but if you’ll pretend you are then I’ll leave my homework in my home mailbox for you to pick up, take home, copy, and bring to class. Then I’ll have pretend friends and you’ll have pretend grades, and we’ll limp along through adolescence until things start to become a little more clear.

I did not at first notice C.G. He had an odd name, and an odd look, and even nerds have standards, ok? But he was a huge ham in class. He frequently would outwit the teachers, which made the cool ones laugh and the uptight ones snap. I was impressed by his rebellion, his sharp tongue, and his confidence. One day, in tenth grade, I made the flip from friend to OMG I’m in love. I'd barely noticed the guy for years, and now suddenly I was hyper aware of my every move, every breath, whenever he was in the room. I lost the ability to speak. I had no idea what to do with my arms, which seemed impossibly gawky and in the way. I clutched my books tight to my chest, a shield between us.

I wish I could tell you the conversation that ended with us as official boyfriend and girlfriend, but that memory has faded into oblivion. I do recall walking home from school and thinking – OMG!!! I have a BOYFRIEND!! My first ever boyfriend, OMG a boyfriend, just, oh, just OMG.

We passed notes in class. We did not hold hands, C.G. was too ironic and alternative for that, but we did sit next to each other on the bus during class field trips and press our upper arms against one another. Ohh, the thrill. C.G. was completely disgusted by my music tastes, so he began making me Led Zeppelin mix tapes. I still have them.

One Saturday, his mother invited me over to his house for lunch. He was pretty much an only child (his one stepbrother, 10 years older, was out of the house), and his Navy dad was deployed, so it was just me, his mom, and him. She made Reuben sandwiches, not knowing that I completely die when confronted with sauerkraut, and I choked it down and tried to look happy. Then she left us alone in the room over the garage, where we sat and listened to Led Zeppelin records and talked about nothing.


C.G. coughed awkwardly, and then brought up the obvious problem in our relationship. The fact that we had been “dating” for like three whole months (though no date had taken place, since I wasn’t yet 16) – three whole months and no kiss.

I choked. My eyes bulged. I was completely terrified.

Observing my reaction, he said – well, so you’ve never kissed anybody. That’s fine, we’re just going to have to do this and get it over with so you won’t be so worried about it. OK?

I squeaked.

OK, he said, here we go. One, two, three.

He leaned in, closed his eyes behind those huge glasses, and grabbed my cheeks. I kept my eyes open, my teeth clenched, and held on to the chair. Our sauerkraut tainted lips met. I felt something on my front teeth. Ew, gross, is that his TONGUE? AUUUUGGGHHH, gross, that’s his tongue, so disgusting, auuuughh, who DOES that?????

After the misery was over, he said – Well, that’s done! And then turned to his record collection and flipped through it some more. I felt a little sick inside. Is that . . . kissing . . .? Really? That totally SUCKED! I never want to do THAT again!

I later made the mistake of telling my homework-copying pseudo friends that I had kissed C.G., and it had been like kissing fish lips. They spread the word to everyone in school, and C.G. spent several weeks puzzled as to why people kept coming up to him and making fish faces. He eventually figured it out. Then he got even with me by buying from my parents the VW Bug that had been earmarked for ME to drive when I got old enough, and then dumping me the day he brought it home.

Since then, kisses and relationships have each been better . . . and worse. I learned a few things, though. I learned not to kiss and tell. I learned that just because something is lame the first time you try it, that doesn't mean it can't improve. And I also learned a great mom trick that I plan on using on Jackjack - when your too-young son's little girlfriend comes over for lunch, serve sauerkraut. That'll put the kibosh on any shenanigans. Or at least make them REALLY unpleasant.


Wicked M said...

HA HA HA. C.G. is quite an interesting name, isn't it? -sigh-

At least you went for wit and, clearly, intellect, since he swindled you in the car deal.

Your first "real" kiss story is similar to my first kiss story. Meaning? I never wanted to do it again. I've since learned.

super jane said...

how awful that we've had such crap luck in the kissing dept? at least things improved for us.

when i kissed super jas for the first time, i went weak in the knees and almost vomited in his mouth thanks to the butterflies in my stomach.

MSO Rin said...

Kids can be so mean ... I can't believe it took C.G. that long to figure out why everyone was making fun of him. I take it there was no second kiss before the van-breakup fiasco?