Thursday, November 26, 2015

You Never Forget Your First...

At first glance, it would have been a great premise for a book. It had about 6 classic Chick-lit backstories in one. My older brother was his best friend so we didn't know how he would react. A solid premise. Our older sisters had been best friends for years. Not as strong a start but still, an old faithful. We had been friends for years. A popular theme. We were 11. ............wait, what? 

Ah yes. The catch. Nobody wants to read chick-lit about 11 year olds...

We were friends. Our families were friends. We went to music lessons together. Eventually we realised we sort of fancied each other. (Insofar as 11 year olds can fancy each other). It was all very innocent but exciting - the sneaked glances, the playful banter, sneaking out of class to go to the shop together, sitting together in music class as often as possible... I sent him a Valentines Card. I know - it was serious stuff. Eventually it got to the stage where we had to either admit our feelings or forever wonder: what if.

I remember it so clearly. It was a Friday night, after music lessons. My Dad was driving us home. We were sitting beside each other in the car. He looked at me and said, do you want to be my girlfriend? And I said yes, but no kissing yet because I wasn't ready. He said that was ok. We held hands for the rest of the journey to his house where we dropped off himself and his sister, and then continued home. I told my mother when I got home because she had told me before, no boyfriends til I was at least 16, but I knew she wouldn't mind. In retrospect, she probably knew it wouldn't last...

We went to different schools, so we didn't see each other for the week until the next music class. There were no mobile phones and we didn't ring each other coz that's not how it was done. The following Friday, a week after we had started going out, and the first time we had seen each other since, we decided we were better off as friends and we broke up.

It was short-lived and it was beautiful. We never kissed. We held hands that one time on the way home in the car a week earlier. I waited another 2 years before I got my first kiss: in the Gaeltacht on Achill Island, aged 13, from a guy who fancied himself a practitioner of black magic, and who made a wand out of sticks and detritus from the ditch - a fact I didn't learn until afterwards when my friends told me to run quick because he had 'put a curse' on another girl in the course because she refused to go out with him after they shifted in the first week...but that's a story for another day...

I did learn a valuable lesson from that first failed attempt at love:

No man; be he 11, 12, 30 or whatever; will ever wait for a girl who doesn't put out.

...Actually, I probably didn't learn that one for another few years... The lesson I learned was probably more along the lines of, 'never date your friends', or some stupid preteen-girl shit. There's a reason why this would never make a good book. I was 11 - surely you weren't expecting much from this story. 

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