Is this burning an eternal flame?

My sweet BFF added a great epilogue to the great haiku competition:

Your eighth grade boyfriend?
Fabulous! Cute, funny, smart
Too bad he likes men

Breaking up by phone
Ever done that, dear Cha Cha?
Yes! With MY cousin!

Fun’ral home intern
Took you to prom in a hearse?
Relationship: Dead

Let me just say that there are pros and cons to having been friends with someone since fifth grade.

This bit of poetic brilliance got me to thinking – I have been dating for almost 21 years. Yep. And it keeps getting worse!

However, as the haiku attests, those years have also produced some interesting stories. So, in celebration of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to stroll down memory lane for the next few days.

My very first date was to a junior high dance in April 1988. I was in seventh grade. My date had a permed mullet and wore the mid-80s equivalent of a leisure suit. A powder blue leisure suit.

But it all worked. I had a perm, and glasses, and I wore a little white dress that I thought was soooo awesome.

His dad drove us. When they came to pick me up, I realized that my date was from A Good Family. I am very blessed that to my people, A Good Family doesn’t mean “they own the lumberyard.” No, it means that Date Boy’s daddy grew up across the street from Aunt Ione and was one of the famed “Smith Boys.” My grandma approved.

No, I’m not making any of this up.

So, Date Boy gave me a corsage of white carnations tipped in blue. Blue to match his suit. At the school, we danced in the classic junior high style – my fingertips on his shoulders, his on my waist, our arms outstretched as far as possible so that our bodies didn’t actually touch. We swayed to the music while talking to our friends, as if dancing together was totally natural, as if we weren’t dying inside over being ATADANCE! WITHADATE!

In retrospect, the whole thing is just so innocent and wonderful. I saw Date Boy at our 10-year reunion and he’s a bit of a stoner. His fiancee actually looked like she wanted to deck me. I went to a seventh-grade dance with your fiance. Insecure much?

Love? She is a fickle mistress.

Tomorrow: Eighth grade, the telephone break-up and the so-called hearse.

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