Monday, November 22, 2010

(Husband) Old Flame

I was working out at the gym today when my blood pressure took a turn.  Not because of the workout but the girl walking in front of me.  It was not a situation where I knew I had seen her somewhere before.  No.  I knew immediately.  The last time I saw her was about 15 years ago for about 5 minutes.  Just enough time to show off her brand new muscular Marine boyfriend.  The time before that was another 5 yrs earlier except for a longer stretch than 5 minutes. 

I met her my in the beginning of my Junior year.  I had earned a small role in our High School production of a Midsummer Night's Dream so we had several scenes together.  We became friends and, because we lived close to one another, hung out a couple of times.  I perceived these times like any other time I hang out with a friend.  Evidently she read things a little differently.  When I was invited over for a family dinner I got a little freaked out.  Especially when her dad decided that would be a good time to drill me on defensive driving techniques.  I had never driven her, or planned on driving her, anywhere!

Well, it wasn't long until the Snowball dance came around.  A refreshing time for guys when we don't have to hang ourselves out to dry and girls don't have to make a choice between a bird in the hand versus two in the bush.  A pretty young thing asked me and I said yes.  That was a poor choice according to little miss unforgiving.  For those of you who judge, please remember that I was 15 years old.  15 years old!!

Even as a dense 15 year old I still had enough sense to realize little miss unforgiving hated me.  Y'know why?  Because for the next two months of practicing our parts in the play she never ever ever ever spoke a word to me.  We walk off stage?  No talking.  We are about to walk on stage?  No talking.  Putting on makeup or socializing with the cast for coffee after rehearsing?  Not a word.  The only talking we ever did was when we were saying our lines to one another.  To make it worse our parts were the comedic relief.  We had to make jokes, laugh, and generally act like we liked each other.  Going into the costume room felt like walking into a dreary cemetery at midnight with wolves howling and the full moon hanging overhead.

At one point I had to approach her and ask, "Do you really hate me that much?"  Do you want to know something even more ridiculous?  At the time I'm not even sure I knew what she was mad about.  (Sigh) 

When it really comes down to it I know after 20 years I have changed and so has she.  So why does a stupid High School issue feel so scary?  Am I going to hide my face every time I see her? 

When I saw Daisy I reached out my sweaty hands, arms, and body to hug her.  She has shown me so much grace and I'm not sure I knew how much until I felt like a hated 15 year old again.


  1. Wow, memory is so funny how it stores those tiny moments with people forever, storing the insecurity along with it. Old faces tend to have this transportative quality to them...

    Sorry this was awkward for you. You told such a good story here that I winced for you. I like how you started it in the present, went long into the past and then ended it in the present again. You did it seamlessly too!

    Oh, in high school I starred in two productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream: the first time I was Puck and the second time I was Bottom. Who did you play??

    I hope the blood pressure is down now... Ha ha. The body tells us so much about our feelings, eh? It's hard to ignore let alone try to forget!

  2. You must have been a good actor. I was the moon. Thank you for your kind words.