Growing up

hey now, hey now, it seems it’s over

I had just mowed our 1-acre yard on a late-April Saturday in 1987.  Suddenly, I dropped my ice water.  A blond-haired, blue-eyed 6th grader was pedaling her Schwinn bicycle by our house.  I was pretty sure I recognized her from school–she was the new girl…Julie Scott?  Yeah, that’s right…she’d just moved from Colorado.  I wondered if she’d recognize me, too.  She did.  Slight, quick waive.  Blush.  I looked away.  My Dad smiled and went on pulling weeds in the nearby planting bed.

Me:  “Dad, am I done with the yard?”
Dad:  (smiling wryly) “Sure.  Why, you got something better to do with your afternoon?”
Me:  “I do now.”

I tore off to the garage, hopped on my blue Mongoose, and followed her, catching up after half a mile.

Me:  “Hey…I was…uh…riding a bit and…don’t you ride my bus?”
Julie:  “Yeah.  I decided to see the new neighborhood a little.  Wanna follow?  I’m headed back to get some lemonade.”
Me:  HELL YEAH!  Sure!  Thanks!

We got to her house and leaned our bikes on the garage door.

Julie:  “You like baseball?”
Me:  (lying) “Sure!”
Julie:  “I’ve played softball for years; both my brothers play baseball for the highschool.”
Me:  “Yeah, I, uh, played t-ball one year with my church in kindergarten.”

I borrowed a glove and stood in her backyard, the two of us tossing a softball back and forth while talking about our families’ moves, our siblings, music we liked to hear on 96 Kiss and Y107, and how great “Top Gun” and “Back to the Future” were at the theater.

Julie noticed that I stopped throwing the ball when I talked about our family’s many moves and my frustration with making new friends every couple years.
Julie:  “Could you go back to throwing the ball again?”
Me:  “Um, sure.”

We stopped playing catch and went into the kitchen for the promised lemonade.  Her older brother walked in.

Giant Big Brother:  “Hey, I’m Chet.  How are you (extending hand)?”
Me:  “Fine.”
Giant Big Brother:  “Are you in Julie’s class?”
Me:  “Yes.”
Giant Big Brother:  “‘Cause you’re kinda small for a 6th-grader…”
Me:  “Maybe, but I’m strong for my size.  And fast, you big oaf!”
Giant Big Brother:  “Small but mighty, hmm?  That’s good.  Well, see you guys later.”

Julie:  “I’m gonna run upstairs…hey, wanna see my room?”
Me:  “Is a frog’s ass water tight?  Okay.”

She went into her bathroom and started brushing her hair.  I stood in her room–my first time in a girl’s bedroom–and looked around at stuffed animals and softball trophies.  Y107 was playing Crowded House. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” was the only sound.

Julie:  “Come here.  I want to brush your hair, too.”

I stood in front of her bathroom mirror, the clock radio continuing with Crowded House’s instructions about our dreams, and she lifted her comb to my curly blond hair.

I figured this was a great time to initiate our first kiss.

It wasn’t.

Julie:  “I don’t even know your last name…”
Me:  “Daniels.”  I moved in again.
Julie:  “Maybe we should go back outside…”

I hung my head and followed her out her room, down the stairs, across the deck, into the back yard, and onto my Mongoose; I headed home.

The next several weeks were busy with achievement tests and elementary school graduation activities, so I never quite got another chance to take our relationship past sitting next to each other on the school bus or sitting across from one another at lunch.

A couple days after sixth grade ended, I got the phonecall from an unidentified male voice telling me Julie wanted to break up and go steady with David Simon instead.  I called Julie to ask if it was true.

Julie:  “Well, like, you didn’t call me for two days.  I didn’t know what the deal was.”
Me:  “We had a thunderstorm.  My Mom doesn’t let me talk on the phone when it’s lightning out.  I figured you’d understand.”
Julie:  “Um, well, I already told David I was going to go with him now, so, I guess I…I’m sorry.”

I then realized she’d be spending the summer tossing softballs with David, brushing David’s hair, and pulling off David’s stupid fucking Wisconsin badgers sweatshirt to Crowded House on Y107.  And I hated the both of them indefinitely.

Before I turned to the bottle, I turned to humorous blogs for lifted spirits.  So should you!

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  1. God, those early teen loves were the worst. I still have a lot of bitterness for my seventh grade girlfriend who I went steady with for about a week before she dumped me in a very public and humiliating manner. Bitch.

  2. avatgardener

    Juvenile joneses for Julie. Jousts (a bit). Jiggy? (nah) Jilted.

  3. avatgardener

    and so begins an “illustrious” career in saying anything to get the girl and occasionally begin denied. Early injustice at the hands of a slip of a girl leads to a life in the courtroom. But all is not lost; eventually Pretty Bride enters the picture and memories of silly Julie fade. And they all live happily ever after.

  4. avatgardener

    Tho mysteriously, one day police stumble across the decaying corpse of David Simon. Nearby is a CD player on repeat, playing Crowded Houses’s “It’s Over. ” There are no other clues.

  5. AFreeMan, I recommend writing about it and using her real name. It’s cathartic.

    AvatG, LOL! Nice alliteration and postlude.

  6. Pretty Bride

    Julie Scott is a whore. With crabs.

  7. Pretty Bride

    And Baby Muskrat was a little free with his affections too, quite frankly. Dirty Muskrat.

  8. ah, young love.. so sweet, so innocent… so heartbreaking.

    my favorite 6th grade tryst was a boy from Louisiana named Jamie. He was only in CA for a year or two. I was a sucker for that southern accent of his. He was my first kiss (at school too!).

    but… it wasn’t 1987. 😉

  9. Dude you still got that Mongoose? I have a white GT Pro Performer hanging on my garage wall like a piece of art.

    I totally stole it.

  10. As a former (?) flitty little 6th grade bitch, I have to say — this post totally made me grin way big. Yeah, I said “way” big. Substitute my bullying poor suspecting young boys as a show of my affection, and a late 1970s soundtrack (excluding the barfalicious Shawn Cassidy, thankyouferrymuch) and this is a picture of my life. Er, kind of. Love these stories! Ki

  11. ChurchPunk, Thanks for sharing!

    PunkRock, LOL. I wish I had the ‘goose…it was a great bike.

    KiKi, Thanks. It’s a shame you didn’t live in my ‘hood in the late 80s.

  12. Awesome – I think I toyed with the idea of kissing this boy in 6th grade only to then kiss a Portuguese boy with braces in 8th grade while on vacation (I grew up in Italy)
    late bloomer what can I say – by then 6th grade boy had been kissing loads of girls ….

  13. I’ve already spoken of the vengeance I exacted upon Julie Scott for her treachery. Though, I had no idea she brushed your hair! That raging hooker! And your efforts to “put out” on y’all’s first date speaks volumes. You sir, were a tramp. I’m so proud (eyes shrink-wrapped in tears).

  14. Say, did you happen to have a dorky friend named Paul who wore glasses?

    Just askin’.

  15. I knew a Julie Scott in the 80s. But she wasn’t blond. And she didn’t have crabs (that I know of).
    I wonder if Big Brother knew what his little manipulator of a sister was up to?

  16. i’m thinking maybe the wise thing to do would’ve been to use fake names for these people. too late now!

    kristen, he sure as hell didn’t. that was part of my “small but mighty” charm.

    doug, you are not the first to suggest such! i actually had a friend without glasses who ran around in a “jets” jacket.

    littlebrother, LOL. glad i could make you proud. of course, you were probably pulling weeds while i was showboating with miss scott.

    anita, you shouldn’t have toyed with him. i know how it feels. and you now know (from my brother) what became of her!

  17. Muskrat, I’m curious. Who was covering Little Brother when you were off showboating with that PiG?

  18. …meanwhile, down the street from you, I was busy making out with Menee Rurdock while wearing my brothers junior high letterman’s jacket. Damn right I was a pimp.

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