Kids, way back in the fall 1990, I was pretty sure I was in love with a dark haired cutie. (DHC) He was sweet, he was adorable and he made me smile. He was, however, NOT your father. The first time I remember ever noticing your father was on the bus in 7th grade. Well, I was on one bus, he was on another...sitting with your Aunt Michele. I was waving at Michele and caught your father's attention. He flashed this million dollar smile. His blue eyes sparkled and he waved back. Even then, his ego was so big he just assumed I was waving at him. It's funny because, although, he had been going to that school all of his life and I had been there since 3rd grade....I don't ever remember our paths crossing before that day. I know we never had any classes together, never encountered each other at recess or in the lunch room. We weren't in any extracurricular activities together. Strange how that happens, but I remember it like it was yesterday...He was wearing a teal blue IOU sweatshirt, his dark hair curled on his head and he had cutest dimples in his slightly rounded cheeks. I was smitten, even then. His name was Greg, aunt Michele said. "Sometimes we sit together on the bus but we never really talk in school"
It wasn't until the summer of 1991, between 7th and 8th grade, that I remember actually talking to your father. He was hanging out at the local county fair with the Nieman family. In fact, it was because
I slinked back behind the stock trailer carrying our sheep and wide-eyed stared at him. There he was. This cutie from the other bus. In his wranglers, boots and flannel shirt. He had changed since I last noticed him on the bus. He had grown about 6 inches, thinned out and had the slightest hint of facial hair. He was so handsome, even then. I left that day without saying a word to him. I was intimidated by his presence. I later found out that he would be in my 4-H club and would be hanging with the Nieman's on the livestock show circuit. I saw a lot of him that summer at the various fairs but we never really had the chance to talk to hang out. But I noticed him for sure. I had a lot of responsibility resting on my shoulders and didn't have much time to deal with boys...YET!
I came back the school in the fall of 1991 with a new set of friends and a new crush. We were big 8th graders, rulers of the school. We were so grown up. Since we had that previous summer in common, it wasn't long until your father and I became close friends. We even "went out" for a couple of weeks but then decided that we would just be friends. The worst part about that? I had to give that teal IOU sweatshirt back. Oh how I loved to wear that. He wanted to go out with another girl and I was still crushin' pretty hard on DHC. We began to drift apart since we were from two different social groups. I played sports, was in band, was going to be a freshman cheerleader, made straight A's., loved Drama. He was too cool for school, always had something going on and had just started Rodeo. My friends were all people he didn't associate with on a regular basis. We just had nothing in common...other than the summer. We would say Hi to each other in between classes but we didn't really talk much in school.
Fast forward to a dance that spring. I think it was the Valentine's Dance but I can't be sure. Aunt Michele, do you remember?? It was the dance your mom made the dress for. I went to the dance alone. DHC and I could never seem to get it together. He had a girlfriend, I was single. I was taken, he was free. So, I went to that dance totally dressed to make DHC notice me. For some reason (probably stupid, dramatic and totally teenage reason) that I can't recall, I became angry at DHC. So, I purposely looked for a guy...ANY guy to dance that last dance with. I wanted to make DHC jealous.
I have vivid memories of that night. The smell of the popcorn mixed with the burned vaccum smell of the multipurpose room. The brightness of the lobby lights, how stuffy the dance room felt. They were saying it was the last dance. A few notes played...It was Garth Brooks' Shameless. I suddenly felt like I was suffocating. I spun around looking for anyone to save me...everyone was starting to pair up. I didn't want to not have a dance partner. I wanted DHC to see that other guys wanted to dance with me. I panicked. I had to get out of there. I practically ran out of the multipurpose room and there he was. Your father. In his black silk shirt, jeans and boots. He was sitting on the table, his long legs draped over the seats. One foot on the floor, one foot on a stool having a conversation with some of his buddies.
"Dance with me" I said, a little too fast and a little to desperate. I explained that I needed to make somebody jealous. He slowly smiled, glanced over his shoulder at a few of his friends and winked. "Sure, Shorty." He lead me to the dance floor, spun me around and wrapped what seemed like his mile long arms around me. "Just relax" he said as if he could sense how tense I was. I leaned in, rested my head on his shoulder. He smelled of shampoo and Stetson. We didn't talk the entire time. I began to relax as we swayed to the beat of the music. The song was almost over and I lifted my head back to look him in the eyes. I was going to say thank you for saving me but suddenly he kissed me. I don't know what made him do it. At the time, he said he was just trying to make the charade look good. All I know was that kiss..it made my toes tingle. Up until then, I had never been kissed like that. Not the knock the wind out of your sails kiss...
And that, Kids, was the first time your father ever kissed me. Not because he wanted to, not because he liked me...but because he was helping me make someone else jealous. Little did I know....that kiss was actually the beginning of the rest of my life. Because your father and I didn't start dating until almost 2 1/2 years later.
Stay tuned for part 2.