Fallen From Grace

Personal Notes: Things I have to bar myself or I will cry:

  • Country music
  • Holiday commercials featuring family reunions
  • Anything dramatic or emotional involving fathers*
  • Or small children/babies being scared or hurt
  • My church choir, especially during Christmas

Seriously, I just can’t handle those things without bawling my eyes out. I’ve started keeping Kleenex in my purse Just For Choir Performances.

So, for once the title is kind of apropos of nothing, except that it’s a line from a song playing right that moment, and I have been kind of lax in posting. Shall we remedy that for today?

I told Blogger to make sure to publish this post on December the 18th.  This year December the 18th is a Friday. It was also a Friday when I was thirteen. Quick, remember being thirteen, or this won’t be quite as potent!

I rocked all kinds of upheavals the year I was thirteen, the biggest perhaps being The Move. Now my family had never been one to really put down roots anywhere; we moved at least once a year, and actually I never went to a single school two years in a row until I attended M. Elem. for fourth, fifth, and most of sixth grade. That was a good year, almost.  Finally had a BEST friend, had a cute little puppy love boyfriend (Hi, Jensey and Eric, of you’re reading this!). And then.

My mom remarried. Yup. And we moved. Not just a town away.  No. We moved from our very small town in lower Missouri to a very small town in Alabama. Myself, two, erm, larger adults, and an infant, stuffed into the cab of a sixties model Ford pickup truck, with a horse-trailer full of our possessions attached.

When I was thirteen, it felt like losing everything important in the whole world. Thirteen-year-old me is still holding a grudge. Thirteen-year-old me cried for every waking moment of the fifteen hour drive. Darn straight, I did.

But, eventually, I calmed down.  A pair of gorgeous blue eyes may have had something to do with it. But that’s only the half of it. The eyes are what made me look at him, but it was the I.Q. that made me fall head-over-heels in first real love with him.

You think I’m kidding, or foolish. Are you remembering being thirteen?  Did you forget? Sure, physically, in a more adult way the big pre-husband, teenage love was more cataclysmic, but that first love, it left its mark, too.

At thirteen, I hadn’t yet had my first kiss, hadn’t yet figured out that I should totally want to be kissing someone, because I was still clinging to the idea that shoving your tongue in someone else’s mouth was disgusting (don’t worry; I am very much over that misconception.  One day when I was FOURteen, Jimmy K. helped realize my fallacy there).  Anyway, the most serious thing Gorgeous Eyes-Q and I ever did was hold hands once or twice. And part of me really regrets that, because I can romanticize the Hades out of most of my previous relationships. Part of me still wishes she knew how GEQ kisses. Which is a kind of a tangent, sorry.

The point is, that was my first real love, and my first real heartbreak, and even though we’re friends now and love each other as such, I still remember December 18th, 1992, the last day of school before Christmas break.

Because that was the first time he told me he loved me and asked me officially to be his girlfriend. I remember how hard my pulse slammed into my veins, the enormous rush of adrenaline and endorphins. Oh, man. I’m not sure anything has ever felt that same kind of amazing before or since.  Sure, my first kiss was pretty awesome (thank you, Jimmy; I’ll always be grateful), and a few years later, when I fell into real, grown up love for the first time I was changed, different forever, and of course married love is the inexplicable phenomena and all . . .

But on December 18th I am always thirteen again, and I am horribly in love with you.


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