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..."