The year was 1976. Kim and I were both 18 and had not long ago, stood together atop the Eiffel Tower, (the fake one at King’s Island), looking outward, wondering what life held for us. My first car was an old ’67 Pontiac Bonneville that, (under the supervision of my stepfather), I installed my own timing chain. The Bonneville was a heavy duty luxury tank discarded by the military for its low gas mileage. It weighed five million pounds and would go anywhere in the snow when even the snow-clearing vehicles were sidelined. A gas guzzling tank however, that car helped me to learn a few of the basic maintenance tasks occasionally needed to keep them running. Continue reading →
In this story, (link), I wrote about getting engaged the second time, the last time. It was just before the summer of 1978 and we had set a date for marriage in October. I was working as an Assistant Manager at Taco Bell and had just begun my correspondence study. Kim had not yet begun her LPN program where she had earned a scholarship. The time was ripe for a vacation, our very first road trip.
Scattered within all of these little stories I’m sharing with you, there is a ‘sub story’ about the progression and development of my love affair with my wife. The stories are in chronological order, intermittently published. I’ll begin this one here by telling you that this is the story about telling my girlfriend Kim, (now my wife), for the very first time that I loved her. I don’t know where the story will go. Even though this occurred almost 40 years ago, the memory is easy enough to share. It’s the background, the ‘noise’ if you will, that I think will take the longest for me to think through and document. Was I scared to say I love you? If so, why? How far back does it go? Am I needy, why did I always have a girlfriend, what was the reason? Why did I feel so certain that Kim was the one?
In our high school years, is there anything more stressful, more demanding or more public than our love lives? If you ‘go with someone’, everyone knows about it. Breakup; it’s buzzed from ear to ear in a rate equaling the speed of a Japanese bullet train. Today it’s even more public and faster; relationships begin at school, (or maybe Tinder if you’re older), they’re announced in Facebook, (sometimes with a “marriage”), and break ups are coordinated in Facebook so as to help the breakup end cordially, without additional drama. In my day, it was no less stressful, but the act of breaking up was not as immediate as it is today. Oh no – you got to see it coming, carefully stalking you like a cheetah on a gazelle and then when you knew that it was all over, BAM, your heart was suddenly being chewed on. Continue reading →
The last story in the ‘Chasing Kim’ saga dealt with the first night I shared meeting the parents, watching home movies and necking in the basement. It was a thrilling two parter so if you need to revisit them before you begin this exciting chapter, then please do. Here are the links (Part 1) (Part 2). (Read me)
(Everyone sing with me) Let’s all go to the movies
Dinner; all the family was there; Mom (Gerri), Dad (Mel), brothers Scott and Kevin and sister Traci. I’m not quite sure how Kim prepped her siblings, but they were all kinda’ treating me sort of like Bright Eyes from the Planet of the Apes. I felt a bit like I was in a cage and was supposed to do something, perhaps entertain. It was fun being the center of attention, I guess. Continue reading →
Are you married? Maybe you’re currently dating. Do they still call it dating? Back when I was a kid, we called it “liking” someone. If you liked someone well enough, you asked them to “go steady”. If you went steady, you each traded something important and gave it to the other person to wear and to publicize that you each were spoken for. In the 50’s it was a school jacket or a pin. In my day, it was an ID bracelet in Jr High, (read me), then class rings in high school. In fact, going steady was often the whole reason for getting a class ring for a lot of us. Today, the kids pronounce they are “married” as a Facebook status.
The failure on my part in late ’73, early 1974 with Betty set me back a bit. In that story(read me), I had mentioned that I had a girlfriend pretty much in every year previously. Losing Betty caused a little moping and ‘regrouping’ I guess. I went in and out of several 1-2 week relationships with girls I honestly can’t remember the names of today. I think one’s name was Sherri Hicks, but I still can’t remember the name of that girl I had to fightover (read me). There was also the fact in 1974 for a time, the only thing I had on my mind was getting pot and smoking it with a couple of ‘pot friends’. This will be a story in of itself one day.
It was 10th grade, early 1974 and the Vietnam War was finally ending – a time for new beginnings.
Better to leave your heart broken than to hurt yourself trying to fix it
My wife and I were “destined” to be with each other. I absolutely know this to be truth. How do I know? Well, you will have to stay tuned into my blog to learn as I am slowly making my way into those stories. Before I posted any Kim tales, I wanted to write all the other childhood girlfriend stories to document my learning experience on the path to finding the love of my life, my wife of 35 year; indeed another childhood sweetheart as well since Kim and I began our journey together during high school. The story here is of my final love before finally given the opportunity to try to win my future wife’s heart.
At least for a partial time during the school year, I pretty much had a girlfriend in every grade while growing up. Unless we were playing together, I never really knew much of what to do with them though except maybe to carry their books and walk them home. My first real ‘dating’ experience came at the age of 15. Her name was Betty. I met her at the First Baptist Church at one of the junior roller socials we used to have in the gymnasium. A ‘roller social’ was a time where we cleared the gymnasium floor, (which was also the church on Sunday), and we roller skated. It was open to us teenagers and it was a nice way to give us a safe haven to hang out at. Betty had come with a friend and I was immediately attracted to her big brown eyes and pretty face.