Monday, November 7, 2005

Blond Girl's Firsts

First best friend: Jennie, who was 9 months younger than me. We grew up across the street from one another until I moved away in 9th grade. Jennie wanted to be popular; something I was clearly never going to be. In 7th grade, she told me that we could be friends before and after school, but not on the bus or at school. I gave that nonsense about 2 days and then told her we were either friends 24/7 or not at all. It worked; she decided I was more important than her bid for popularity.

Jennie was in my wedding and we did well for the first two years of my marriage. Then, in some I-still-don't-understand-what-happened misunderstanding (over a baby shower of all things), we drifted apart. She hasn't seen me since the operation or since my dad died. I miss her so much, but I feel so awkward that I don't know how to bridge the distance, you know?

First Car: Well, the first one I bought and paid for myself was a silver 1981 Ford Escort wagon. The hatchback was so rusted out that I called her "Lacey". I only owned the car a year and during that time it went through something like three or four headgaskets. What a pain! The first car I ever drove was a red 1975 Ford Pinto. I always wanted to have one of those bumper stickers that said, "Roses are Red, Violets are blue. If you backend me, then you'll blow up too!"

First kiss: My first kiss was when I was 20 years old. I was a bank teller and there was a customer who made it a point to visit my window every day. He was a good deal older than me; 34 years old, in fact. When I told him I was leaving the bank, it gave him the courage to ask me out to a movie and dinner. I don't remember where we ate, but the movie choices were "Howard the Duck" or a Rodney Dangerfield movie. We saw Howard. Afterward, he took me out to the Minnehaha Falls to walk around in the moonlight. At the bottom of the falls, we sat on the bridge walls talking. I was telling him about my dad when, out of the blue, he grabbed my chin and pulled me in, saying "are you feeling romantic?". After the kiss, I was so discombobulated that I started walking back up to the parking lot (100 or so steps) and when I got to the top, he asked me what that was about. I explained that I had never been kissed before and it scared me a bit. We sat in his car quietly for awhile and he just held me. After awhile, he kissed me again. I was ready this time. When he pulled away, he said "that was not the kiss of a woman whose never been kissed before!" But it was. I swear.

First big trip: In 1979 flew to Arizona by myself to see my sister, the Techno-goddess. I was 14 years old - and well developed for my age. I stayed for 5 weeks and while I was there, my sister got my hair cut, bought me new glasses, bought me my first pair of high heels (candies slides, remember those?), taught me to wear makeup and gave me a low cut dress. The effect was, um, dramatic. I wore the new outfit home on the plane. On the flight home, a steward offered me a glass of champagne. He nearly swallowed his tongue when I said was too young and asked for a pop instead. When I got off the plane, I walked right past my mom, who didn't recognize me. When she finally figured out that the young woman was her daughter (and not the child she'd put on the plane), she called my sister and yelled at her for nearly 15 minutes!

First flight: See above. I should have had the champagne.

First time skiing/snowboarding: OK, I am a native Minnesotan, so I should full of stories about this. But I've never skied. The closest I've ever come is once in 5th grade when our class went cross-country skiing at a local wildlife reserve. It was slow, quiet and 25 degrees in the middle of January. Perfect for my one and only skiing experience.

First Alcoholic Drink: When I was 15, my parents had their 25th wedding anniversary and we kids threw them a big party. Somehow, I was standing in as the bartender. I didn't know the first thing about mixing drinks. My uncle asked for a "JD & coke". "What's in it?", I inquired. He told me the ingrediants and I proceeded to fill a glass half full of Jack Daniel's and half full of coke. My brother intercepted the drink and explained I'd made it waaaayyy too strong. I took a big swig and said "what, it tastes fine to me". He poured half of it out and then filled it back up with coke and took it to my uncle.

This scene was replayed about 4 times over the next hour; each time I made a drink, I would make it half booze and half mixer. Each time my brother would intercept it and make me take a taste. Each time it seemed fine to me (this was my first indicator that I could hold my liquor). Later on, my brother tried to make me think I was drunk by swaying each time I looked at him. I knew better though; I wasn't drunk, he was just a joker!

First ticket violation: I got my one and only speeding ticket coming down off a bridge and going about 5 miles per hour too fast. The speedometer on the car was broken. I didn't realize then that I could have fought the ticket. Oh well; its the only one I've ever gotten. Notice I didn't say it was the only one I ever deserved.

First job: This, of course, does not take 6 years of baby-sitting into consideration, but after I graduated from high school, I got my first "time clock punch job" at K-mart working behind the snack counter. I wore the most hideous orange and brown polyester uniform ever designed by man. I'm surprised anyone even had an appetite after looking at me in that horrible outfit. I only worked there for three months, and I never went back to that kind of job again.

First date: This is scary, I know, but I think it was the date of my first kiss... I'm not sure! Yes, it was. The ill-fated fish date came later, but that's another post.

First memory: My earliest memory took place one rainy day when I was around 2 or 3. I was buckled into the car seat of my mom's baby blue VW bug, clutching my blue and white polka-dot stuffed elephant and reading a picture book about and elephant and a mouse in a very colorful jungle. I sure wish I knew what the title of that book was!

First crush: Ah, young love in the sun. During my 5 week stay in Arizona (remember, I was 14), I fell madly in love with my sister's 14 year-old neighbor, Billy Sjoquist. He had the cutest curly blond hair and freckles! Billy and I were inseparable and did everything together. We built a house out of 6 decks of cards and went swimming every day. Everything was great until the 4th week when he tried to touch my girls (it must have been the makeup and haircut and all that my sister got me). I made him stop. He mimicked me in a high-pitched sing-songy voice. I told him he was a child and that was that. We were done. I wonder what he's up to now?

First True Love: Easy. He's my first true love and he will be my last true love: Champs, the sweetest man I've ever known.

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