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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

28

#28. My first girlfriend was twenty-eight years old.

Okay, so before you go off snickering about how it was ‘just last week’ or anything like that, let me lay some numbers on you. I’m thirty-three now. I’ve been married for seven years, and dated my wife for six years before that. And I met my first girlfriend five years before that.

Caught up with that? Okay, you can start snickering, now. At least you’ll be doing it for the right reason.

I’d launch into a tumbling, windy explanation, but truly, there’s not a lot to tell. I was in high school (barely), and volunteering / acting in a community theater. She was doing the same. I was just coming through puberty; she was on her third husband. Yes, on, as in ‘still on‘. What?

She’d also had three kids, apparently, though I couldn’t really tell. Well, of course I couldn’t tell. She could have had three elephants and I wouldn’t have been able to tell. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. And really, neither did she, I think. But somehow, we clicked, and then… well, we made all sorts of other noises. Some of them were probably close to ‘clicking’, but most of them were more like ‘clacking’ or ‘oomph-ing’ or ‘hawoo-ing’. It was that sort of relationship.

Actually, I’m not sure I should really call her my first ‘girlfriend’. But that’s what I consider it. Lord knows I wasn’t dating anyone else at the time, of any age or motherhood status. And we did get along and have fun being together, though I don’t think we could possibly have had many common interests. I can’t really remember very well, but I imagine most of our conversations went something like this:

Me: ‘Hey, hon, you into playing soccer and baseball and pretending you’re in a rock band?

Her: ‘Um, no, not really. Do you like going out to bars and shoe shopping and doing body shots of tequila?

Me: ‘I… don’t… know.

Her: ‘Oh.

Me: ‘Oh.

Her: ‘Hey, wanna get naked?

Me: ‘Um… yes. Yes, I do.

Romeo and Juliet it wasn’t. Well, except the fact that we had to hide it from our parents. Well, close enough. Our parents. My parents and her husband. What’s the difference, really?

Anyway, this lasted for a while. Four or five months, I think. Then, I made a fatal (or near-fatal, anyway) error, and got drunk with her and a couple of school chums. Yeah, I didn’t know what I was doing there, either, and got uber-loaded on vodka as we passed the bottle around. I called my dad for a ride home, and the rest was history. They coerced most of the story out of me, and guessed the rest, and I never saw her again. (Nor did I drink vodka for another four years, but that’s pretty understandable, don’t you think?)

Anyway, I did hear from her a few years ago. She’d tracked me down somehow and sent me an email. We exchanged a note or two, but I think just knowing that the other was still around was really enough for us. My memories of the whole time are fuzzy, because I was so young then. And hers are probably pretty fuzzy, too, though it’s more likely that she just has Alzheimer’s at this point.

Anyway, it was quite a way to start a sex life. (And just about all you’re going to hear about my sex life, too. I don’t need more people laughing at me as I’m walking down the street.) But I don’t think it scarred me for life or anything, or caused me any great damage. It even makes a helluva story — you know, with the right crowd. It’s not something I could whip out in the middle of a Catholic cathedral, of course. (It’s amazing what’ll set those people off sometimes.) As a matter of fact, I’m not sure there are any residual effects from the whole thing, except a few fuzzy memories and a vow never to drink vodka from the bottle again. Oh, and one more thing. I’ll never look at a powder blue Volkswagen Beetle quite the same way again. Damn, I was a lot more flexible in those days.

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