my first, and to this day, ONLY "long-term" relationship occurred between the ages of 16 and 18 year of age. douggie dated my friend cindra, captian of the dance team, their entire freshman and sophomore year. he was small-town high school attractive, quarterback of the football team, catcher on the baseball team, point guard on our 7-years-running conference champion basketball team.
i went over o his house once a week, sat down at the dinner table, and WITHOUT FAIL his mother would serve us steak and potatoes. and all the milk we could drink. except me. i usually drank juice. i think his mom even kept a special container in the fridge just for me.
now, while being the milkman's son may not seem like the job every cool kid in town was jocking for, the fact that douggie's father was the morning glory milkman was CLUTCH in the progression of our retarded high school relationship.
douggie & cindra's relationship came to an end a little before the end of their junior year, and i snaked my way into mr. w's study hall every monday, wednesday, and friday for the entire month of may. douggie and i flirted and joked around i routinely got asked to go back to my own study hall for causing such a ruckus in the math lab. the boys never did their homework because they were all too busy doing mine, and all the girls sat in the back corner talking shit. i wish i could say i was exaggerating for dramatic purposes, and i'm sure i sound pretty damn full of myself, but it's the truth. it was a small town, and i very few female friends, none of whom i am in contact with today.
not that i was anything special to look at. i was average at best, really. i was a ballet dancer so i was too tall and too thin for a northern, beer drinking girl. i went fake-baking, which left me with orangish-tinted skin, and i had bleach-blonde, waist-length hair, and bright green doe-eyes. i hated the way i looked, just like every other adolescent female, and on top of that i was painfully shy and quiet.
but douggie and i got along. we quickly became friends. we shared the same sense of humor, and grew up in the same town so that was enough of a relationship base for my 16 year old self.
one day in early summer, my red and silver dodge pick up truck was parked in the parking lot of the only bank in town, where i went almost daily to deposit the tip i made as a waitress as the busiest pub & grill in town. douggie and his best friend, soda, were on their way home from delivering milk cartons to summer camps all over the northern part of the state. somehow they talked me into driving down hwy 32 to blue ribbon bridge, a small bridge over the lake by my family's lake house where local kids have been illegally jumping for years.
we got out of douggie's truck and stood around looking down at the dingy lake water for a few beats before i did something so uncharacteristic of myself at that point in time. i jumped. i laughed. i yelled at the boys to stop being lame. it was a turning point for me, something someone with a little more sentimentality would call a "pivotal moment in my life."
i dragged my soaking wet body out of the lake, and shook the water out of my long, blonde hair.
"What?" i demanded of the boys as they eyed me suspiciously. as i peeled my wet tank top and daisy dukes away from my sticky skin, i furrowed my brow at them. i wasn't stupid, but i WAS naive. boys didn't look at me like they looked at janie, all boobs and ass and that flat 14-year-old stomach. i was always just a friend of moreen's or a friend of marie's. i never had my own identity in that town. nobody paid much attention to me because honestly, i never paid much attention to anyone else.
but as i stood there, barefoot, ringing out my hair, laughing at their stories about the wild world of milk delivery, i realized that i was being noticed. not for my mediocre high kicks and sloppy pirouttes, but for the way my barely 34-C's curved perkily out from my wet shirt. the way my ribs were so narrow that my bustline went practically concave at my waist; the way my ass, and thighs, which no matter how much i starved myself and puked up my cafeteria lunches, were way too fat to ever be the appendages of a prima ballerina, sprung voluptuously from my short, wet blue jean shorts.
it was a weird feeling, a funny realization. i wasn't particularly funny or good in school. i wasn't smart or pretty and i was horribly un-athletic. but i could make boys narrow their eyes, lick their lips, clench their fists.
douggie poked me in the ribs as we walked back to his truck.
"you're so fun," he glanced at me sideways as he hopped into the drivers seat.
it was all i wanted. everything i needed to hear and i didn't even know it.
nobody likes to make the first move. most people are sheep; they like to follow. so i started doing what no one else would do - i jumped first.