Friday, December 18, 2009

Stage Chemistry

Up to that point, I'd never had a more embarrassing or thrilling moment in my life.

I'm ten years old, in fifth grade, and I'd been cast as the Mom in Goshen Elementary School's Christmas play and the boy I'd had a crush on since I was six was cast as the Dad.  A kiss between us had been written into the second act.  A kiss!  A real peck on the lips kiss!

This had to be shortly after my older teen-aged sister cut my long little girl hair into a long mullet.  With enough curl I could pass myself off as a adolescent Carol Brady.  Lord knows there wasn't any other value in that haircut.  It brought an aspect of realism to the part.

I was proud of my little onstage home and the homemaking skills I was scripted to perform there.  We had a sad looking stage couch, a pathetic floor lamp, a sorry dinette set set with a bowl of plastic fruit, and a sagging Christmas tree at the back decorated by the rest of the fifth graders.  In the middle of all this playing house domesticity, while pressing my dainties with my toy prop ironing board and iron, under the spotlight, I was to lay one on my Mike Brady in the quickest and least germ transferring way possible.

In first grade I gave this boy a construction paper covered and Elmer's glue scented shoebox containing 100's of paper hearts for Valentine's Day.  I loved him.

With all the rehearsals over and the moment now mattering because it was in front of an audience of parents and peers, we leaned into each other, focused our eyes on each other's noses and mushed our tightened lips together.

The audience whooped.

That sealed it.  When I grew up, I was going to marry this boy.  Marry him, have perfect children with him, and live in my parent's camper in the backyard. 

Did he feel the same way?  Of course he did!  I could tell because he wouldn't talk to me at recess.

Five months later I moved away.  Sharing years of marital Christmases with him in front of a tree decorated with paper snowflakes was never to be.  Even though I was only 27 miles away calling him would make me die from embarrassment and it was long distance anyway.

Getting over first love hurts.

The point of this story?  Don't let your older sister cut your hair into a mullet.  It wrecks the rest of your entire life.


Treat yourself this Christmas!  Fix yourself some eggnog, take off the utilitarian cotton knits and put on some slinky satin and hose!  Day 18 of my audio advent calendar, Walking Around in Women's Underwear by Bob Rivers.

Please don't send me your photos.  Thanks.


  1. Dear Author !
    And variants are possible still?

  2. My daughter is ten and just at the age when the boys tend to pick on the gals they like. She was so upset one day when the little boy she has liked since first grade started pulling her hair.

    Had to explain that it was a good thing... Men are such simple creatures.


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