My first “girlfriend” was the longest relationship of my life until marriage took the record. She was my fifth and sixth grade. I don’t know if I can write this without using her name but I’m going to try. Even though it was more that 50 years ago it might still be embarrassing that she was connected to this clown.
Obviously, she was very special. We lasted thru most of the fifth and sixth grades. She lived a block away. I think she was what you would call a strawberry blond and to me she was beautiful. I still think of her and wonder where she is every time I’m in the old neighborhood.
There is one event that stands out. No, not a first kiss or anything in that realm. This was Halloween about 1960.
This comes in two parts, both in her apartment. On an afternoon just prior to the day appointed for the very much anticipated Halloween party we worked very hard to create unique costumes that meant we were together. Two cartons were painted. One carton became a book of matches and the other a pack of L&M cigarettes. The latter was red and white, truly imitating the real thing.
It’s in the pretty dim past so I’m not absolutely sure which of us was which but my behavior suggests that I was the matches. We were amazing.
That evening, invited classmates piled into the apartment. We were not a wholly innocent group but not like today. We were already playing spin the bottle and post office and slow dances were very popular. In spite of this, I was a silly eleven or twelve-year-old boy and remember being thoroughly impressed with myself as I walked around the party saying “baby, light might fire”. I was the co-host in my eyes. Her parents were home, there were always parents in the house in those days. But like at all the other parties of my group, they were invisible.
I thought I was hysterically funny with my light my fire routine and made what turned out to be a total fool of my pre-teen self. My girlfriend found me in her bathroom staring into the mirror laughing and probably cackling uncontrollably. I was so funny; at least I thought so.
That was a Halloween of orange wrappers with the UNICEF logo around school lunch milk cartons so that we could “trick or treat for UNICEF” which was a ritual of many years. We never went out into the street. We didn’t have to with more than 100 apartment door bells to ring in our 222.
My beauty stayed with me after my nutty behavior. Of course I don’t remember when it ended or how. Like so many “relationships”, we moved on. The feelings are still fondness.