Thursday, August 03, 2006

First Date

Her name was Lori.

She was a junior. I was a sophomore. Well, we would be when school started in the fall.

I asked her out to see Young Frankenstien. I managed to put my arm around the back of her seat in the theater.

That was as far as I got with any woman until after Graduate School.

Lori was my first crush. She was quite beautiful...tall, great legs, blonde hair, a winning smile...a wholesome, all-American girl. She was also the daughter of my Mom's best friend. They had a cabin on a lake, and we spent many weekends up there. Many, many weekends. With Lori. In her bikini.

That year, our family hosted a foreign exchange student from South America. He came to live with us about two weeks after my first date. His name was Gabriel. He had olive skin, long, wavy black hair, smoked cigarettes, and played guitar.

Chick magnet.

On his first weekend in the U.S., we went up to the lake for a sort of welcoming party. It was our family, Lori's family, and a few other families from our church with kids approximately Gabe was charming and gracious, and at the end of the evening, as we were leaving, he kissed Lori goodbye.

On the lips.

Oh. My. God.

For him it was nothing, a societal convention from his part of the world. But in our buttoned up little Methodist corner, this was a bit shocking.

For me of the raging unrequited hormones, it was the end of the world.

With a bit of embarrassed laughter and explanations, things were sorted out between Gabe, Lori, and the rest of the people of the world. But I died a little inside. He kissed a girl. Made it look so natural. He kissed Lori.

That was the end of that.

Lori got married in 1980, and had one son, who's trying to make it as a baseball player. He plays for the local team here, at one of the lowest levels of professional baseball. Lori and her husband stopped by yesterday for a visit.

She's a very nice-looking middle-aged woman. Her husband is a very pleasant man. My brother and Lori spent most of the visit chatting about high school. Well, not really. They would play this game where one would mention somebody's name, and the other would recite information about where they are now, who they married, who they divorced, and what went right or wrong in their lives.

I was so bored.

It was interesting to see her. It reinforced what I already knew...that the life inside my head was often only tangentally related to actual events. The Lori in my head was just a person-sized imagining of what I thought I wanted.

We went to see their son play last night. He struck out in the bottom of the eleventh to end the game.

I'm so glad he's actually pursuing what he wants. Whether he succeeds or fails, at least it's real.



Blogger Madame X said...

Until after graduate school?
Let's hear it for the late bloomers!

Wonder what ever happened to Gabriel?

9:45 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

He went back to Uruguay, got his PhD. in psychology, became a Communist leader, attempted to overthrow his government, lived in exile in Denmark for a couple of years, moved back to La Paz after a more democratic form of government was installed, and now runs a clothing store.

He no longer plays guitar.


10:01 AM  
Blogger WeeOne said...

Where's Gabriel's clothing store? At the lake? Does Lori shop there?! What happened to his guitar? Did Lori take it?

10:27 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Thanks for that...I need to remember to that my memory of what WAS and the reality of what IS are vastly different. Great post thank you

10:45 AM  
Blogger ├ůsa said...

What a nice post! But for me it's still like that though: I think so much about a person that I totally think I know what's going to happen. And then it turns out he's not at all what I imagined. Lucky for you if you only did that in high-school!

11:28 AM  
Blogger Madame X said...

Gabe works at the gap?

1:44 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

so i guess you dodged a bullet on that one?

3:17 PM  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

Oh yeah, never wear a ball cap backwards. I do it on the rare occassions I am on my motorcycle without a helmet and have a hat on. But anyone over the age of 18 is not allowed to wear a hat backwards. You look like a redneck ass. There was a guy at the beach today that was at least my age, 43, with a hat on backwards. Jackass!

If you are white there is no age at which you are allowed to wear it to the side or crooked.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

The name of Gabe's clothing store is 'El [something Spanish], which probably translates into 'The Gap'

Gabe bought a Gibson Les Paul while in America, and took it back with him. He left his acoustic guitar here. My mom still has it.

Lori does not strike me as the sort who would travel to a different continent in order to shop at a clothing store in a small, rather unremarkable country.

Actually, Gabe had his pick of girls in my high school. Lori really wasn't on his radar screen. As I tried to point out, she was MY crush, not his.

And Cranky, I absolutely agree, as I posted here:


5:33 PM  
Blogger Cranky Yankee said...

! don't know how I did it, but my previous post on this thread was supposed to be in the "sock" thread.

Pretty good non-sequitur though, Huh?

7:49 PM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I wonder what people from my old high school expect me to look like now?

Oh wait. I look exactly like I did in high school with two exceptions: less hairspray, more backside.

Sometimes it's a real shock to see how people turned out though, isn't it? Shattering your illusions.

8:56 PM  
Blogger WeeOne said...

I bet Gabe sells socks and ball caps at his store...

And Lori's probably got a fetish for 43 year old men who wear white knee socks and ball caps sideways.

(there now we have a nice segway for cranky yankee)

8:50 AM  
Blogger mal said...

those things are always bitter sweet.
there is almost no one from that time in my life that I want to see again. It does not keep me from wondering though

9:45 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

We moved back to my hometown and I see a lot of people I knew in high school. It's funny. Now my kids are hanging out with their kids!

8:22 AM  

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