Tap-dancer, mother of the Climber (15) & the Cherub (12), and girlfriend of Mr. Fixit.
Monday, August 29, 2011
They Say That Falling In Love Is Wonderful
This old passport photo of me, taken when I was around 21 years old, recently fell out of a box and the boys found it. I remember absolutely hating this photo when it was taken; I think we all hate our passport photos, don't we? But now I look at it and think gosh, look at that sweet young thing with her fresh dewy face. (From memory this was taken in England for a visa into what was then known as Czechoslovakia. I'm wearing my travelling clothes - I still own that raincoat but I wouldn't wear it anywhere fancy - and my eye make-up is smudged. The person I was travelling with was the moody English boyfriend and it turns out we were not very compatible backpacking companions; the relationship never really recovered from our tour of Europe, although it limped on for a while afterwards. But I think I always knew that I didn't want to have children with him, he just wasn't steady enough.) Fixit told me later that when the boys found the photo Cherub said it was cute and Climber said no wonder she had a couple of boyfriends. Bless them.
And in other old boyfriend news, my first, my very first boyfriend is now my friend on facebook. Not that we ever had a recognizable boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Just at the end of Grade 6 he said will you go with me? and I said, shyly, yes. That's what we called it back then, going with someone. You didn't actually go anywhere, but it meant you were official. Despite this official status however, nothing ever happened after the Question and Answer. We just carried on as normal, me with my friends, him with his, and probably only mixing it up for a game of handball (what my kids call foursquare). We were only 11 after all. Then it was the summer holidays and afterwards we started high school. I guess I felt a bit secure starting high school because I had a boyfriend, that is until I got friendly with a girl called Tanya Chambers who pointed him out across the playground and told me she was going with him. I remember quite clearly stalking up to him and saying next time you drop me don't forget to let me know! in haughty tones, while his jaw went slack in consternation; it was clear he'd completely forgotten that we'd been going together. Fair enough really, we hadn't seen each other since primary school finished. I don't think I ever thought badly of him about this, maybe because he had the grace to look embarrassed. I'm pretty sure his friends were keeled over laughing though. Ironically, he was also the first boy I kissed, but only because 4 years later he played Frank Butler to my Annie Oakley in our Year 10 production of Annie Get Your Gun. Gosh, fancy having your first kiss in front of all those people! I do remember how excruciating it was the first time we had to do it at rehearsal. I think we both approached it, and every subsequent smooch, with an air of let's get this over with, shall we. So romantic. And now we're friends again, and I'm actually pretty happy about that. He seems a good person.
Meanwhile nobody ever asked me to Go With them again. I remained boyfriendless until I was in Year 12 [6th Form], when out of the blue, the boy that my friend Michelle had invited to her birthday party because she fancied him put the moves on me instead. Imagine my surprise, boys always liked Michelle best. It caused a little bit of tension between Michelle and me, actually, although thankfully not for very long. Anyway, the system had clearly changed in the six years between my two first boyfriends. Nobody said will you go with me? any more. Apparently the conventional courting method in Years 11 & 12 was to initiate some sort of physical contact, a hand on the knee say, and if your hand was not slapped away, you were on. At least after high school, they asked you for your phone number.
NB. All photos featuring the children are now classified as "private" on Flickr and can only be seen by my Contacts (that is, if you click through to Flickr for a better look at them). If I know you or your blog I am happy to be friends with you on Flickr . Joining is free and easy, and you can store up to 200 photos there.