Just A Thought
First Love Note
I remember well the first perfume drenched note given to me—carefully folded and marked to be read only by me. I stole away to a secret place to open it. With every fold I opened, perfume filled the air. I knew this had to be love.
The words inside read, “I love you. Do you love me?” And then there were two check boxes drawn—one for yes and one for no. My heart pounded and my number two pencil shook as I checked “yes.” After all, this girl had punched me on the playground, so it had to be love.
And then there was the first kiss. I pause here and give a glimpse into kissing in the 1980s. Most kissing I’d seen was on daytime television, mainly the show, Days of Our Lives. As she came towards me her mouth was wide open—like as far as it would open—and I thought, love hurts!
First Serious Love
In the 1980s, the skating rink was where love bloomed. The first date was terrifying to me there because I couldn’t skate. And when I tried, I certainly didn’t know how to stop so I’d skate into the wall, which doesn’t help make an impressive first date. I’d also like to note that the snack area was especially slick, and the tables offered little support when falling. And so once again… I learned love hurts, apparently.
First Yearbook Love
And then there was yearbook signing. Everyone passed their yearbooks around, and a certain girl signed mine and wrote her phone number down. This had to be love. We would probably marry. But I discovered the phone number had several extra digits deliberately added. So much for love or marriage.
Then there’s the first breakup. Seeing the girl you’d given a cubic zirconia—ordered off Channel 45—suddenly holding hands with another fellow was traumatic. I may have even cried a little. Casey Kasem on America’s Top 40 would be in order that Friday night and especially the long distance dedication because that’s what we did in the 1980s.
I can still feel the sting of the Aqua Net hairspray as I gazed into the mirror at my stunning mullet. My rented white tuxedo and cumberbund made me feel almost royal.
In our small town of Mount Airy, a prom meal meant going to Winston, and in the 1980s the place to go was Darryl’s Restaurant. After the meal came the ride to the prom and then some very intense dancing was in order. And then the first slow dance. Magic was in the air as Milli Vanilli played, and life was good! It was then that I found that slow dancing with my date wasn’t that hard, even in a rented tuxedo—it must be love.
As the evening wrapped up and the smell of Aqua Net died down, I knew this was a night to remember. Our prom theme was Rod Stewart’s song “Forever Young.” To this day when I hear that song my mind drifts back to that high school gym, the pain of rented shoes that matched the tux, the stiffness of my mullet, and the constant rocking back and forth of a slow dance—yes, it had to be love.
Lasting LoveLittle did I know that the 90s would bring me a haircut, round glasses, adulthood—and the love of my life, my wife, Candy. Love … finally!