Thursday, June 01, 2006


I love the blogosphere. I especially love reading the blogs of other women. I have my favorites, and usually, the old favorites introduce me to new favorites. Today, Izzy introduced me to Crouching Mommy, Hidden Laundry. Aside from her ferociously funny title, today's post was funny, touching and fuzzy, wavy flashback- inducing. I read about her encounter with a childhood sweetheart and all I could think of was Jeremy.

So in the tradition of good blogging everywhere, I'm going to steal...ahem, use the inspiration and take a little trip back in time myself. We all have "the one who got away." Jeremy wasn't my longest relationship by any means, but one of my most significant. Though there were many men after him, he was the precursor to the love of my life, Mr. Clairol. I would see shades of Jeremy in him and remember what I might have had with him. For that reason alone, I would pursue Mr. Clairol, though I had never pursued a man before in my life. I was brought up better than that, don't you know.

I met Jeremy when I was 19. I had a friend who was socially awkward and shy around boys. One night, she called me and sobbed on the phone for thirty solid minutes about this horrible boy she worked with, who wouldn't stop teasing her. She was at wits end and in true teen fashion, I told her, "You need to tell him if he wants to pick on someone, he should choose someone his own size."

Well, she did. And then, she gave him my number!

And He Called!

After the initial conversation about why it wasn't nice to pick on my friend and his justification that he was toughening her up (bullshit), we meandered on to other things. I know...I know. But he was smart, charming, funny and articulate. Rare things in a teenage boy. I don't recall the conversation, only that I had agreed to go out with him at the end of it. Or perhaps I only hoped he would ask me out. I can't remember. Eventually, we went on a date.

When we first met, I was in awe. I was a sheltered, little Christian girl, who had never dated a boy without the explicit approval of my father. Jeremy was tall and lanky, with long red hair and a beat up Camaro. He wasn't handsome, by any means. But, oh my, the boy oozed sex. Seriously. Even my mom remembers him and will tell you he was HOT.

Perhaps this was why, when Jeremy came to pick me up one night, my father ignored him. Jeremy attempted conversation and my dad watched sports on T.V. He said nothing to him. He did not reply to anything Jeremy said and seemed hell-bent on pretending he wasn't there. But Jeremy hung in there and kept coming back.

Daddy may have hated him, but I didn't. He awakened my inner rebel. Had he wanted it, he probably could have had my virginity. God knows, I wish it had been him and not the shmuck I married. (1st hubby, not Mr. Clairol) We went out, made out and he opened my world a bit to things I hadn't really thought much about. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was halfway in love with him when I went back to college.

We spoke on the phone that semester and saw each other when I came home for breaks. But 19 is a fickle age and I was hearing rumors that his ex was back in the picture. We had never agreed, explicitly, to an exclusive relationship. I was succumbing to a strange fever that gripped my Southern Baptist campus. I wanted a "real" relationship, one that was destined for the altar. And I knew, in my heart of hearts, that Jeremy wasn't that relationship. So one night, when I was introduced to and swept off my stupid feet by some poetry spouting knucklehead with wire-rimmed glasses and a slick line, I sloughed Jeremy off.

I went home and made a date with Jeremy. I sat there and told him that I didn't think he was "marriage material" and that I needed to move on. I was a shit. I look back and cringe at the words I used. It might comfort Jeremy to know that my idea of marriage material couldn't hold a job, cheated on me repeatedly and to this day, does not pay child support. Not only is 19 fickle, it is moronic.

Perhaps if I hadn't been in such a hurry to get married and so sure I wanted roses and moonlight, Jeremy and I might have developed something more permanent. Perhaps we could have grown up together. Who knows what might have been. I can't say I regret my decisions, only that I regret the way I treated a fine young man. My first marriage shaped me. It caused me to grow up and become the butt-kicking babe I am today. I don't think I would be who I am today without that and that would be a shame, because I like me. Plus, I wouldn't have Drama Queen. And I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have Mr. Clairol. Even if I could, I wouldn't go back and risk that.

But every once in a while, I get a little nostalgic and wonder where he is now. I hope he is successful and happy and completely satisfied with his life. I hope he pursued his kick boxing and his fascination with the Japanese language. I hope to God he kept that Camaro. Because, however brief our time was, he left his fingerprints on me. In a very good way. (Get your mind out of the gutter...I meant in a metaphorical sense. Yeesh.) Every time a brown Camaro passes by, I think about that red-haired boy and sigh. And, to this day, hockey games get me "in the mood."

No, I didn't share that part of the story. Some things are too much information. Trust me.


Blogger theshellieshow said...

You've got me thinkin'! Yes...his name was Michael...

10:04 PM  

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