Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Ex-Files: Rachel

Today we begin a new feature here on IYROOBTY, called The Ex-Files. In each of these posts, I will discuss a past relationship. This will, in turn, hopefully have a two-pronged effect on you, the reader. First, you will be entertained. And two, you will learn more about me, the man cowering behind the blog. But the best part of all is, none of these girls will be here to defend themselves. Giddy-up!

Close your eyes and journey back with me if you will... On second thought, you'll probably need to keep your eyes open--unless you have one of those cool computers which read aloud to you.

It is the spring of 1990 and I am in the eleventh grade. I come into class one day, and Ms. Dandridge, the voluptuous American History teacher was there. And... uh.... oh yes. And Lucy, one of my classmates, approaches me with a proposition. And a photo.

It seems that one of her fair-skinned, dark-haired friends had noticed yours truly around town and had been inquiring as to my situation and taste in women. Or, just my situation. A date was arranged and for the next six months or so, I would be in the throes of a relationship with one Rachel.

Rachel was a year older than me. She went to a neighboring high school and invited me to her senior prom. I had no idea about proms or pictures or anything. Actually, I've been to three proms and in several weddings, and to this day I'm still not sure what the purpose of a cummerbun is. Or how to spell it. But I went. And I think I will always remember how she looked that night.

She had an odd face, I remember. I honestly didn't recognize her on prom night. If she hadn't walked out of her parents house, I would never have known that was her. She had her hair done a way I never saw it again. And she never looked more beautiful than she did that night.

There were several oddities about our relationship. For one, prom night was the only night we ever hung out at her house. I normally wouldn't care, but at this time in my life, I wasn't knee deep in cash.

This was the same girl I would only ask out every other weekend, because I'd skip lunch at school and save up my lunch money for two weeks to be able to pay for our dates. So hanging out at home would have been nice. Especially since they had a pool table.

Most of our dates would consist of a movie and/or going out to eat. Then parking in front of an abandoned country store and making out until the last possible minute. And racing time to beat her curfew home. I remember one night she unbuttoned her shirt while we were making out.

Another oddity, I suppose, is that she would drive the majority of the time on our dates. This probably had a lot to do with the fact that she had a 1989 Camaro, and I had a 1984 Ford Escort with louvers on the back window.

She seemed to have control of the relationship for the most part. Maybe because she was older. Maybe because she was the first girl I ever really dated. I mean, I'd been on dates before, had girlfriends, made out in the 8th grade hall with the assistant principal's aide, but this... this was new.

We dated for six months, or seven, or eight. I don't remember exactly. Roughly from early spring until sometime in the fall of 1990. Rachel was also the first girl I brought over to have dinner with my parents.

As we didn't go out but once every two weeks, we spent lots of time on the phone. I remember her complaining several times that I never had anything to talk about. Although I'm sure I did, I suppose Nintendo and sports were not her favorite topics of conversation.

She complained so much, and I think maybe even threatened me, that I began making a list of things to talk about before I would call her each night. Pathetic, I know. But again, I was new at this relationship stuff.

So I would call her and just go down the list, one by one. I changed my oil this afternoon. Do you like that new song by Wilson Phillips? You won't believe what happened in Physics today. Do you want to go out again a week from this coming Friday?

Songs that remind me of her include "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette, "She Ain't Worth It" by Glenn Medeiros and Bobby Brown, "So Alive" by Love and Rockets (I think), and "Here and Now" by Luther. Cheesy, yes. But at least I never made her a mix tape.

I don't remember the how and why we stopped dating. Maybe I ran out of things to talk about. I think I heard she liked someone else. Maybe she thought I didn't like her because I only asked her out every other week. I recall her mentioning it at least once, and I didn't want to tell her it was because I couldn't afford to.

I did tell her eventually, maybe after we stopped dating. I would describe her reaction upon hearing that as surprise with a tinge of guilt.

I asked a girl I worked with to the Homecoming game my senior year. We played Rachel's school. She called me and told me she had seen me at the game. Then I remember her coming by my house at some point and giving me a ten page letter she had written, and wanting to get back together. But I was over it.

As with most of my relationships, I mainly remember the good about Rachel and me. I grew and learned a lot from dating her. I gained confidence. And I'll always remember those nights parked under the stars. Steaming up the window. How good her lips tasted. And wishing time would stand still. Or at least slow down. But it never does.

When you're seventeen, you think of time in minutes and hours. Not months and years. When you're seventeen, parking is very good indeed.

"Sometimes I long for just one night of the way I felt back then. Ain't that just like a dream, it always ends..."


  1. I was just thinking tonight about times with someone you wish you could just stand still. And yes, parking at seventeen was important.

    I wonder why she never invited you over... large family? jerky parents? she sucked at pool? Guess we'll never know....

  2. That was some great reminiscing Bone. You are making me think I ought to do a post about some of the guys I dated. And much like you, I would have to start at 17 and that would make it Mike. :)


  3. She had dinner at your house, but never invited you to dinner at her house?

    Did you meet her parents before the prom?

    I'm seriously curious because the teenage girls I know now have parents who would ground them for life if they didn't bring home a boy they took to the prom, or actually just dated.

    Then they have to prove that they can speak in words of more than one syllable, and that they have good intentions etc.

    It's all bull and everybody knows it, but.....

    Of course there are and were many ways of getting around that which almost every parent knows first hand. However now parents have an easy revenge--cell phones

  4. A Ford Escort with louvers. That's hot.

    Isn't pride funny? You want to take her out more, but can't afford to do so, and you sacrifice for her. Sounds like the makings of a great man.

  5. Oh, admit it, you still make lists of things to talk about when you call a girl.

  6. 10 page letter! good god! she reminds me a bit of myself at that age except i had a 1966 ford mustang that my boyfriend and i would steam up. parking- ahhhh- i miss parking. at 33 is it in bad taste to park? ;)

    glenn medeiros! i am having serious music flashbacks...

  7. That was so sweet that you gave up lunch to date her. And the 10 page letter reminds me of the letter from Rachel on Friends... was it front and back? hee hee

    I think I've blogged about all the boys from my past. But parking was the best. I wonder why we don't do that any more? Oh yeah, bad breath and no time for it.

  8. OCG: I'm not sure. I wonder why she never invited me over. And she probably wondered why I only asked her out every two weeks.

    Circe: Well, that was my hope by posting this. "I hope Circe gets the hint and posts about some of her exes now."

    Hugs ;-)

    Pia: I think I had to come inside and meet her parents the first time we went out. Can't remember if I had dinner with them. It's possible, but if so, it wasn't more than once. My memory is hazy after sixteen years.

    Lass: Yep, it was. I'd like to insert here that it had a system. But it didn't.

    Anon: Oh, no. Hardly ever. I'm too old for that much effort now :-)

    Ms. Sizzle: A '66 Mustang?!?! You're the female Brandon Walsh!

    The only thing about going parking at our age is possibly getting caught. That would be a bit embarrassing. Much more so now than then.

    Oh, and I still have the cassette single. And a dual-cassette player. Just sayin'...

    Renee: I think it was front and back. But again, I don't remember for sure.

  9. The "Ex-files" LOL! I just love it!
    I half expected you to talk about a girl with a tail or something! :) (wasn't that a funny episode! The guy with the tail who was getting all those women pregnant...but I digress!)

    I really enjoyed this. I was touched by your scarifice and kind of saddened by her being so out of touch with reality, but 17 and 18 yr. old girls have this problem sometimes...Hey, I know a few in their 40's who are still out :)

    And my parents were all about that- "Who are you dating, and who are his parents, and where are you going, and why don't you just stay here and play ping pong?"

    It's good to have parents who care, even if it bugged the poop out of me at the time :)

    Well done Bone, I do think we know you a little bit better! :)

    Now, tell us a story about a creepy chick! LOL! I'm kidding! :)

  10. idI wonder what we ever had to talk about at that age -- high school boys and high school girls I mean. We have so few shared experiences... or shared priorities... I think even in college you start to get on the same page more, but in high school... I'm not surprised you ran out of things to say. I think I remember talking politics a lot with boys in high school. Very nerdy. But a deep subject that never gave out. :) :) :)

  11. That is just the cutest story. I think it's dear that you saved up your lunch money to take her out on dates. Most kids would have just asked their parents for more money.

    Making out in a Camero huh? You were pretty cool!

  12. That brings back memories. Seventeen. What a fun age. I broke up with my boyfriend of a year and a half at seventeen and made out all summer with a boy I'm pretty sure is now gay. Sweet love.

  13. What crap... I never dated anyone my age in high school... they were always 5 or so years older than me......................

    I don't have these same sort of memories.

    But they sound nice... so I'll live vicariously through you, Bone. :]

  14. Mayden: Ha, actually you're idea would have probably been more interesting. But I've never dated any aliens. Far as I know :) If they were creepy on the first date, I just didn't go out with them again.

    Lostcheerio: Good point. Again, I think with most relationships during the late teen years, you'd see each other much more often. And you could just hang out, watch a movie, or do something, and there wasn't a need to talk for hours on the phone.

    Carnealian: I wasn't one to ask my parents for a lot. Or maybe they didn't have a lot. Now once my sister came along... that's a different story :)

    Tenacious T: Ah, that's a nice memory. I don't think I ever caused any chicks to change teams. Far as I know. Hard to believe that was half a lifetime ago.

    Blondie: That's OK. Remember, subtract 7 from your current age, then double it. That's the age of your ideal man ;-)

  15. What a sweet guy you are, to give up your lunch to be able to afford dates.

    I guess it never occured to your 17 year old self to brown bag lunch and then you'd still have the cash and not be hungry.

  16. Ahhhh thats it!! I finally figured out why our phone conversations were so orderly. You had that little piece of paper in your hand. :-P.

    I hope things are good in your little corner of the world.

  17. I love reading your writing. It kind of takes me back. I love where I am now, but loved the uncertainty of my teenage years....I never knew what lay ahead. As a married mama of five, life seems a little more *ordinary*...more settled, more predictable. I miss the adventure. That's why I'm going back to school...to continue the adventure. Keep writing. This old lady loves reading it ;)
    Thanks for adding me to your links. I'm honored :D

  18. Xinh: I actually wondered that myself while writing this. I think that no one in my high school brought their lunch, maybe like two people. So I didn't want to be the oddball. Also, if Mom saw me making lunch, she probably would have asked for the lunch money back :-)

    Tiffany: Haha, no. Things are well here.

    Jennifer: Well I'm far removed from those days, too. Although I'm not married. And obviously, not a mama :-)

    I definitely plan to keep writing. Thanks for your compliments.

  19. YES, keep writing.

  20. HotPink: I'll think about it ;-) Thanks for stopping by.