I was sitting here tonight just chilling and writing down another cute childhood story when while I was writing I recalled a memory that I had totally forgotten about and not thought about since it occurred way back in sixth grade. I decided to bounce over here and write this one as it is cute. It is a confession of a secret I have been harboring for about 43 years.
In sixth grade we had our desks arranged in alphabetical order. One day, (I remember it very well being a Friday), Mr. Adams rearranged all of our desks, where we were to sit. I was disappointed in my new location. You see, I had a huge crush on Barbie “Smith”, (name change here for internet sake), and was hoping to get closer to her. In the new locations I was way in the back on the right side of the classroom and Barbie was way up front on the left. As everyone else was leaving to go home, I was dragging my feet until everyone had left.
Looking back on the conversation that followed, I realize today that Mr. Adams must have had an idea that I was not happy with my seating. I had to really muster up some courage, but I did it. I asked him if I could sit up next to Barbie. I can vividly remember his smile. He must have thought that was very cute – I know I would today. What a cool dude! He said something like – Barbie is your little girlfriend? I said something like – not yet, but I hope so. He laughed at that.
Then he said “sure Robbie, go ahead and move your desk up here and I will move the other one”. I was nervous the whole weekend for Monday to come. Only Mr. Adams and I knew of the swap. I got to school early so that I would be seated before everyone started arriving. I don’t remember who I swapped with but I do remember it was a boy and when he came in, I told him Mr. Adams moved me up here. It’s possible it was a boy named Pacifico as for some amount of time he and I were having a debate as to who was going to win Barbie’s affection.
Childhood memories like these are the strongest for me. I can still see Barbie. She walked in and looked at me a little oddly and then set down. She took a few seconds and then looked at me. I spoke first – I told her I asked to be moved here. If you’re good friends with Barb then you know what she did next. She said nothing…she just smiled, ever so slightly in her slightly shy little way which gave me chills as I knew then I had actually done something right. What a cutie! I was in love. Looking back, this experience taught me something very important which I was to apply later on with a little girl I ended up marrying – that if you really loved a woman, you have to make your move and not give up so easily. If you feel she’s worth it, then you have to go the extra mile. (I will save my wife chasing story for another time).
Barbie and I were an item for maybe a month. I remember Barbie and I, Pacifico and Pam hanging out together for a spell during recess and lunch. Barb lived very close to the elementary school, (stinkin’ Lincoln), and I can now recall walking to her house one day and just hanging out together down in the furnished basement. I recall, I think, a long couch being situated directly underneath a basement window and both of us standing on the couch to look out the window out to the sidewalk. It was then I really made a daring move and got a little kiss. As I’m sitting here typing this, I’m thinking – was that the first kiss I ever initiated? I had been kissed before, but I never had the bravery to be the one who took the first step – I think it might have been.
The kiss must not have been all that exciting as Barb never invited me back and I don’t recall for how long we were an item after this. My kisses were to have that same effect on many little girls in junior high school. It seemed I didn’t really quite master the technique until high school, (and I can now imagine my wife reading this and making her typical smart aleck comment – I have news for you buddy, you still haven’t). All my little sweethearts ended up dumping me. I never got to be the dumper.
Later on I was to spend several years working for a local foundry in town. Barb’s dad worked for one of our customers in town and he would come over and sit down with me to review order statuses. We always took time to chat about Barb. He would show me pictures and I could tell he loved having the opportunity to talk about his little girl. It was fun for me too. Her dad was a good man.
I believe that in the end, it is only our love and our memories that we get to take with us. So thanks Barbie for helping me to make a nice long lasting memory – sixth grade was a very special time in life for many reasons and you were one of them.