I fell in love quite readily between 13 and 17, when I met my husband.
The first ones I loved from afar. I was a hideous geek who was often called Medusa. Okay, one kid called me Medusa, the rest mostly ignored me except for my best friend and locker partner.
I didn’t kiss a boy until the summer between grade 10 & 11.
On a Greyhound bus, headed off for summer vacation.
It started with a milkshake in Fairmont. Or was it Radium. I forget exactly, except that I’d been noticing him since the transfer in Calgary. He was traveling to Pentiction with his little brother. We shared music on the old school walkman he had…and then it started getting dark.
So that the first time my mother sees me in 7 years, her baby girl is covered in hickies. Not wanting to reveal my sheer embarrasment (all my knowledge of boys until 8 hours earlier had been from books and family television…none of which covered hickies!) I made up a boyfriend back home.
See, back home I wasn’t even allowed have girl friends. At the beginning of grade 10, I missed a bus one day and Dad demanded the names and phone numbers of the girls I was with to corroborate my “story” (though what he imagined I did in the 20 minutes getting home late might have bought me if my story wasn’t true, I haven’t a clue). I’m suspecting because over the summer one of the “bad girls” I had started to hang with towards the end of Grade 9 called and sang the opening lines of “I want your sex” with my father listening on the extension. So yeah, no chance of a boyfriend back home. Though good god knows how many times I dreamed of having one…despite all the warnings and dire predictions.
I don’t know when the “boys are evil” message began. It was weird. Growing up in a culture that adored and celebrated boys, but being told that boys were to be avoided at all costs. No reason why. Not explictly. I put things together by myself through books (not a complete education as my very first taste of freedom proved!)
And that was the thing…they warned me boys only wanted one thing.
Which I began to ask myself why that was such a big deal. As through grade 9, at least three of my friends got boyfriends and lost their virginity. I didn’t think I wanted to do that…just kissing them and holding their hand would have been awesome enough for me. Or so I thought at the time before I kissed a boy and got hickeys.
Looking back, I don’t think my parents actually had a plan, other than keep us home outside of school and work hours.
Which was all fine and good before that trip, but useless after it.
All I had to do was kiss them during school hours.
And until the following spring, that’s what I did. With the few I could find that would.
Like David from Physics class who I wrote about in a previous post.