Distorted Legends

Last week, I had probably the weirdest reunion since the time when I found myself unwittingly participating in an awkward situation in-the-making at an after-bar party thrown by a third-tier friend and his roommate. I didn’t find out until I got in the door that the roommate everyone had been referring to as Bill (not his name, but you’ll get the point) was actually the guy I’d lost my virginity to and dated for a year and eight months as a fifteen to sixteen-year-old. I’d known him as William (again, not his name, but you see what I mean). I’d dumped him over the phone in a screaming rage when I found out about a series of lies he’d been telling me for our entire relationship. If the fact that he lied to me doesn’t make my method seem any less harsh, this was also the previously mentioned boyfriend in Filling In The Blank with the slicked back hair, tiny pony tail, and an uncle in the Chicago Mafia. See, he totally deserved it. Oddly enough, the last time I’d seen him was when he started hanging out with an ex of mine that I was still semi-friends with. The Jenga Game of guys doesn’t end there. I went to said Ex’s apartment with my Current Boyfriend to give him some of Current Boyfriend’s ugly old furniture. Tiny Ponytail was there, much to my shock. It turns out that things I had revealed to Ex Boyfriend were not kept confidential due to our semi-friend status and Tiny Ponytail knew about some things I didn’t want him to know about. Let’s just say, we both had reasons to break up with each other. He wasn’t necessarily mad, but he definitely wanted me to know that he knew.

You can imagine the awkwardness of being in his apartment and seeing him again after somewhere around seven years. Well, it actually turned out okay because we said hello and acknowledged how weird the situation was. It’s a good example of how time heals wounds. We’re definitely not besties, but anytime I see him, I say hello with a smile and he does the same. But, I digress.

My point is, I had another similar experience while out to eat with my mom at the local buffet. We were seated in a remote corner (just where I like to be) when this guy and his wife were seated a booth behind my mom. I’d had a huge crush on the guy when I was a tween and teenager when he’d been our neighbor. Captain Crush had always known it, too, and liked to tease me relentlessly. Ever since he’d gotten married, he’d been very leery of making eye contact with me when we ran into each other, let alone small talk. I’ve always sensed a tight leash was present, though I’ve no proof of that. I signaled to Mom that he was behind us and she turned around and said hello and I waved and it was all rainbows and unicorns. His wife even smiled at us. Then things got exponentially weirder.

While at the buffet, I looked through the steamed-up sneeze guard and saw the guy who first kissed me when I was thirteen. He was eighteen at the time. In hindsight, that probably was more disturbing than I found it when it happened. That first kiss ignited an infatuation that had been kindling for the previous two years. I was a giddy mess anytime I was around him and my friends and I mooned over him like he was Mark-Paul Gosselaar or Scott Baio (What? Am I the only one who thought Charles in Charge was a hottie?) First Kiss had long hair and was about six-three. I thought he was so smart and wise and the best kisser I’d ever…well, he was the only kisser I knew of at the time. He made me so nervous I would shake sometimes.

I would say that seeing him through the glass gave me that same giddy trembling, but honestly, I’d traded that in for a strong distaste for him. I’d seen First Kiss over the years and he’d always been hopeful that something would happen between us that was beyond friendship. Unfortunately for him, as I was nearing the end of my teen years, I was also realizing that his status as legend in my mind was fading. So, over the last twenty years when I’ve been around him, I’ve seen the truth. Where I’d once seen intelligence and wisdom, I now saw pretentiousness. His long hair was long gone and his height was no longer attractive as he’d stand before me, smoking cigs and pontificating about life. Another gem I unearthed during the last time I’d associated with him was that he had nearly no boundaries. He started calling me at work asking me to bring him cigarettes. When I got a new job in a customer service call center, First Kiss called there and when I wouldn’t answer my desk phone, he had them page me so he could talk about pretty much nothing. I was afraid his nonsense was going to cost me my job. I told my mom about it and she called him up and told him to stay away from me. And that was the end of our contact until I ran into him at a bar one night about three years later. I tried to talk to him but conversing with someone so egocentric is difficult at best. I cut my night short just to get away from him.

Then, there he was at the buffet. I managed to dodge him and scurried back toward my table. I stopped at the booth where Captain Crush sat and said through gritted teeth, “First Kiss is here!”

Captain Crush busted out laughing and said his wife had just pointed that out!

As I sat down with Mom, I realized that First Kiss was actually sitting directly behind Captain Crush, facing me. I tried hard to keep mom’s head between him and me.

You might wonder how all of this is related. Or maybe not. But I’m going to tell you anyway.
First Kiss and Captain Crush were good friends in high school. Our neighbor, C. Crush, brought First Kiss around when they were sixteen. They liked flirting with my mom because she’d been a nude model and was a bizarre type of local celebrity for appearing in a girly magazine. I was smitten with both boys. For all of us to be seated in the same fifty square feet, after all those years, was a little Twilight Zonish for me.

What was truly unsettling was when we finally decided to reveal our presence to First Kiss. He came over and began the most awkward conversation I’ve had in quite some time. Maybe ever. If uncomfortableness was measured in plates of food, then I had eaten every last thing on that buffet. I won’t go into what he said because that’s not important. It’s the realization that matters. I’ve known for a long time that he wasn’t the guy I imagined him to be as a thirteen-year-old. It’s incredible though, just how far he’d fallen from that pedestal. And it isn’t just my perception of him that tumbled. It’s very much a reality. He’s like so many teen heartthrobs who fall out of favor, start spiraling downward, dabble in drugs and alcohol, suffer from poor physical health, poor mental health, and have no friends. I felt bad for him, even as I wanted to get up and leave. Quickly.
It wasn’t just him either. Captain Crush packed on the pounds and though he still has a baby face, it’s that of a much hairier, much fatter baby.

I know for a fact that Mom is no longer the stuff teen boys shut themselves in the bathroom for and that I fell off my own pedestal a long time ago. I’m pretty sure the thing is actually on top of me, I’m so far removed from the heights of young, thin and busty. It happens to everybody eventually. Youth is one of those things you never fully appreciate while you have it. You spend the rest of your life remembering it, sometimes grabbing at it, but almost always realizing you’re better off now than living amongst a bunch of distorted legends.

Wasn't he dreamy?
Wasn’t he dreamy?

~L~

Advertisements

A Friend for Every Season

Winter is finally winding down and so begins preparations for spring. Since becoming a mom, spring cleaning means a little more than just cleaning house. I also have to spend a few hours putting back winter coats, gloves, hats, sweaters, etc. and dig out the spring jackets, short-sleeve shirts, and outside play toys. There are always old things to put away until next winter and others to be discarded as they have filled their use. I go to the store and buy new packs of bubbles and chalk. I also pull out favorite bouncy balls and bikes. There are so many things to do at the start of a new season.

Spring time is also a time when people start buying cars and looking at houses. In the three plus years we were trying to sell our home, my husband and I knew we had to wait until spring to see a fresh batch of homes hit the real estate market. There is something about being able to open up a window and let the outside come in after being shut off for so long that makes so many people ready to take on something more. Sometimes the fresh feeling of the new season can make a person make poor choices. For example, nice weather seems to bring out the worst drivers. Wait until the first sunny, fifty degree day ahead. The nutty people will be out cutting people off and driving like they just got their licenses (Yes, I have an issue with irrational drivers). Sometimes the spring fever hits and people go out and buy a new car because, hey, it’s spring. When winter comes around, they will realize it was a poor purchase. I admit, I have been there before. When life feels new and energetic, there are chances to be taken and adventures to be had and the consequences of which can be dealt with later. When the cold once again arrives, it is time to think of stocking up, being reliable, and preparing for the worst. There are always adjustments to be made and changes to be seen in every season, even with friends.

The older I get, the harder it is to keep in contact with those dear friends I had grown up with. Now over fifteen years have passed and I barely have a handful of those friends. I now have what seems to be a supply of seasonal friends. These friends are not always around but come out when the seasons of my life demand and they are not always meant to stay. Even those old friends I regret spending seldom time with are sometimes only meant to be in the early season of life. We all need a friend for the changing seasons of our lives. We all change and grow and are provided with just the right person to help us forge ahead. At a hard time in life, we may need that reckless and crazy friend that will do almost anything to put a smile on our face. Sometimes we need the irrational driver to jump in the front seat with us to test our boundaries and dare us to go just a little further. Yet another friend can be there to clean up and sort for the next season of life when a big change has happened. Most of the time, friends seem like those favorite bouncy balls my kids ask me to take out in the spring. They bounce in and out of life but are always so much fun when they come around. Every once in a while, a friend no longer fits in the natural rotation of life and we have to separate but there is always another on the horizon.

I have struggled with my own inability to make friends easily and I am often saddened by the sparse group I have left. I have cried and wondered how I needed to change in order to feel close to more people. The older I get, the more I realize the quantity does not matter. Who and when is what matters. Life has a good way of providing just what we need right when we need it, although we may have to look a bit harder. Those old friends may not be around today, but they were there when we needed them. Those bouncy ball friends, they are awesome to have when we need a fresh breath of air, and those steady friends, they are the best of all. The ones who are around for every season, no matter how many, are the ones truly worthwhile.

*d*

The Withering Deed

If there was fine print on a marriage certificate, it should clearly state some of the changes that will eventually occur. One of these changes is the reduction of sex within a relationship. The time frame in which this happens varies by couple but most honest couples who are in long-term relationships will say it has happened. We collaborated and made a list of things that replace sex in a relationship and other things that can deter the deed.

Bad breath
The nights when the garlic toast is still lingering are the best nights to turn back-to-back and just call it a day.

Lethargy
Having kids can feel like two full time jobs. There will be plenty of times when plans are foiled by unintended sleep.

The wedge (or child) between us
This explains itself.

A favorite show
Everyone needs an escape from reality, unless it is reality television, then you are better off just having sex.

Mommy mode
There has to be a gear between mom and wife, it is hard to make the shift.
“Maybe it’s the hair matted with cheerios talking, but I’m not feeling too hot right now.”

Pajamas from yesterday
Don’t bother trying to take these off. They are probably dirty as well as what is underneath. If there was no time for a wardrobe change, there isn’t time for anything else.

The need to relax
There are several steps between before and after that make it look like more work than it’s worth.

Kids??? More kids??
Not sure? Better not. Sleep is safer..

No one can ask me questions when I am sleeping. (I just threw that one in there. I am tied of everyone asking me questions.)

I could still dream of sex
This is the only win win.

Sleep
Sleep is instant gratification.
No need for foreplay here..
Speaking of foreplay…..
Why bother? If this takes too long, it may be the only thing that gets done.

Work tomorrow
Damn responsibilities!

Grandma panties
Comfort over sexy occurs over thirty.

Headaches
No, really, I have a headache.

Clean sheets
“I just washed those and I am not washing them again tomorrow.”

Laziness
If it requires leaving the bed, it isn’t happening.

Eating
One doesn’t feel so sexy when stuffed full of tasty goodness.

Alcohol
Either the beer goggles were needed or alcohol isn’t a good idea later in life.

Social Media
Spending useless time stalking people you don’t like seems like a better idea. (We don’t know why either.)

Being Sore
Once you’re over 30, stuff that never used to ache starts and being in denial about not being as young as you used to be can equate to some sore muscles. That makes for groaning in the bedroom, but definitely not in a fun way.

Its too late
I knew I was getting older when I gave sex a curfew.

Lets hope we can all find quality time with our partners but when we don’t, have a laugh about it. If not, it will just seem sad.

It's a lie. That snooze button will get more action than either of you.
It’s a lie. That snooze button will get more action than either of you.

~L~ and *d*