Monday, June 7, 2010
The Standard Bearer
I know you were all crushed by my week off last week, but I had a great reason--I had a hangover. It was Memorial Day, I'd spent the most magical weekend in the recording studio, and Sugar Snow then repaired to a local watering hole to celebrate. I am the dumbest drunk ever, giggly and silly. It was a great time. And while the CD is not done, we are nearing the end of the recording process. My boys are fun to hang with. If only I could remember what they said. Or what I said. The only concrete proof of anything is the picture of me displaying my footwear on the bar. Which is to say my foot was on the bar, I was not dancing on the bar. I think.
I've been waaaaaay too serious on the blog lately, and in searching for something ridiculous and meaningless to write about, I came across an article about celebrities and their first dates. This made me wander back to my first date, in the Fall of 1980, when I was a child of 14. I have no memory of what machinations I used to get this senior guy interested in me, but somehow I managed. Looking back on it now, I cannot imagine letting my daughter go out with an 18 year old hirsute man who wore overalls and smoked cigarettes, but then again, I didn't ask my parents. I got my ass handed to me when I came home at 2, and was relegated to an 11:30 curfew until my senior year. At which point I could stay out until 12:30. Yeah, I know. Was it worth it? To this day, I am not sure.
That is because he took me to probably the worst event ever invented. He surprised me with tickets for Motorcycles on Ice at the Richfield Coliseum. MOTORCYCLES ON ICE. That would be motorcycles with spiked wheels driving around an oval track, skidding into one another, spattering brains on the ice. It's not that I was high maintenance or anything (that came later) but I kind of thought pizza and a movie was standard. But Mr. Hairy Smoker was not standard in any way, which is why he both attracted me and repelled me simultaneously. So there I was, in my purple baggy overalls and white cowboy boots, freezing my pubescent tuchis off, watching Mad Max reenacted on the frozen tundra. I think I went into a coma, I was so cold. I have no memory of anything after that until much later. when we were in his gigantic Oldsmobile, sitting in the parking lot in Cedar Center behind the Pick'n Pay. He produced a beer from out of nowhere (Schlitz under the seat, I found out later), put out his cigarette and kissed me.
In reliving this today, I realize that this first date has affected me in several ways. I am unbelievably unsentimental about grand gestures. In fact, I don't like them. Maybe if he had taken me to Charlie's Crab (faaaancy!) and brought me the cliched flowers and candy, I would have thought that all dates, all occasions, needed to be marked by something BIG. Maybe he saved me by taking me to Motorcycles on Ice, which is a pretty lame date. Anything is better, pretty much. So my bar was set way low, and is low that way to this day. During college, I went out on a date with a guy who hunted down a prized Cabbage Patch Doll as a gift. And I ripped him a new one for infantilizing me.
The other thing is this: I kind of dig the taste of a man who has been drinking and smoking. I know, that is disgusting. I KNOW and I feel a huge amount of shame about it. Actually,really, only a little. Because that kiss was remarkable. It was perfect. It was textbook. It erased all memories of blood red ice and my frozen blue ass. If the date itself set the low standard for romance, it set the highest standard for kissing. I didn't date another guy who smoked until I was a Junior in high school, and coincidentally, he also wore overalls as well as clogs, of all things. But his kisses were amazing, too. And while I have, of course, had excellent kisses from men who tasted minty fresh, there is something about that very distinctive taste that takes me right back to that Cedar Center parking lot, and that cold night in November.
By the way, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush went to Chipotle and the car wash on their first date, in case you are interested.