I’m taking a short break from ranting and raving about politics and whatnot to write what may end up being the first chapter in a potential memoir that I might write later this year for NaNoWriMo…or I might end up trying my hand at fiction. We’ll see. I briefly touched on this when I looked at some of my childhood journals previously, but I thought I would try and expand on that and make more of an in depth story around it. And away we go…
I was an eight year old lothario, spending my spring breaking hearts.
At least I think I was eight. I know that I was in second grade, and I know that I had two girlfriends. One, the little blonde that lived along 3500 South, will stick around in this story a bit longer than the other. Her name was Shawna, and she came in and out of my young life at least two more times before the age of 15. The other, Charene, lived around the block from me, on the “scary” corner, but she wasn’t threatening as we walked home from school.
How it started has been forgotten, though I am pretty sure that they were both in Ms. Wright’s second grade class at Whittier Elementary. In retrospect, Charene was probably my “girlfriend” for less than two weeks, and I think it may have ended one fateful day walking home from school.
I was holding the hands of both my girlfriends and just enjoying life as it was happening. Apparently our positive outlook on life was offensive to a couple of the older kids along the route, and we were teased for this. Well, less “we” and more “I,” as I think most of the bullies’ attention was turned towards me. I don’t know what was so upsetting to those 4th graders.
We were just some kids having some innocent fun. Eight year old kids, especially those growing up in the late ’80s in Utah, did not have any idea what boyfriends and girlfriends were supposed to do, so its not like we were sneaking kisses or anything. Maybe we chased each other at recess or something? Who knows at this point.
After the bullying incident, walking home became a different kind of adventure, trying to avoid the kids that had nothing better to do than poke fun. Charene gradually drifted away, but Shawna remained my little walking home buddy, or at least until we got to Chatterleigh Road and she went her way and I went mine. I walked her all the way home at least once, otherwise I would have never known exactly which house was hers.
This lasted for a few months, at least until the end of the school year. Once school was out for the summer, hanging out with a girl was unheard of, especially one that lived so far away. Besides, there was playing with my best friend Stephen and riding bikes and whatever else little boys did before the age of easy access to electronic distractions. Maybe we saw each other at church each week, but I’m not 100% sure.
School resumed in the fall, and we had moved onto separate classes, as I had tested well on some standardized test and was placed in the “Gifted and Talented” class, while she went off to join one of the other classes. We saw each other at recess and at lunch, but we didn’t have the same spark, such as pre-teens can feel that spark, and we continued our drift apart.
Seeing her around school had some sort of affect on me, so I wrote her a note and tried to give it to her anonymously, using a mutual friend as an intermediary. I begged and pleaded with this friend to keep her “secret admirer,” but I wasn’t nearly as suave as I thought. She discovered who was behind the note and had a negative reaction to it, though we somehow remained “boyfriend and girlfriend” for at least the first part of the school year. But it wasn’t to last, as things between kids often do.
If you had told young Bobby that he wouldn’t have another girlfriend for another 10 years, he probably wouldn’t have cared at the time, but as he progressed into adolescence, he would experience a lot of frustrations with the female of the species.
The frustrations began in earnest when he matriculated up the road to Hunter Junior High in the fall of 1993. But that is a tale for a later time.
Until next time…