"And if you said 'Jump in the river,', I would, because, it would probably be a good idea..."--Sinead O'Connor, "Jump in the River"
I had occasion to tell this messed-up story from my sometimes messed-up life to a co-worker today, who seems to think that teenage girls who can't wait to do it are a recent invention. I could assure her that, in fact, they were making them in the early Nineties, at least. Why? I was one of 'em. I figured of y'all might enjoy it, too. It's almost as good as the "executive ass-watching" story.
Okay. So I met my childhood best friend when we were three. We have been good friends all this time. When we were children, it was sort of a "Bart and Milhouse" friendship. I was Bart, a girl version. (This is why I use an icon of Bart in a cheerleader's uniform in my LiveJournal.) From here on in, I will nickname him "Milhouse."
Milhouse and I grew up in Daytona. He wouldn't do *anything* without a push. I was the one who pulled down a bully's swim trunks at a swim party. I was the one who thought it would be fun to hitch a wagon to two big dogs using a jump rope and bait them with hot dogs on a stick to make them run. I was the one who made him go into Shark Encounter, in the deep end of the pool, into the lake, on the roller coaster, over the bar of the swing set, on stage for the talent show. I basically came up with all the more interesting ideas and had this boy doing my bidding. Then I moved to Orlando when we were eleven, and we communicated by phone and letter most of the time.
Somehow that child grew up into a very attractive 16-year-old! Just in time for us to be able to see each other again! His ears still stuck out, but his long curly hair made that irrelevant, as did his nice rear end and guitar-player biceps. He noticed that I had grown up, too. We began seeing each other. We thought we had an LDR because we were 50 miles apart. (And then I'd fall for someone in NYC, still living in Orlando. Oh, well.)
I kept wanting to go all the way with him. He kept refusing. I wondered if I was too fat or ugly. I wondered if he was gay. No, it was just he was scared, he told me. Scared of our parents, Catholic guilt, getting me pregnant, what have you. Eventually we came close, but we never did do *that*. I was continually frustrated with him, and wondering where all those boys they warned me about in youth group were at!
We eventually decided it wouldn't work. It was just a matter of my aunt being right, that two good people don't always add up to one good couple. I moved on, and so did he.
Years later, when he moved to LA and had a pregnant wife, he finally explained the real, true reason why we never did *that*.
"I would be taking off your clothes, and then I'd remember things," he said. "Like the time you made me drink that orange cleaner."
"It was a squirt, and it said right on the bottle it was non-toxic, and anyway, I had some too."
"Or the time you made me stand on the teeter-totter and I fell on my ass."
"I just wanted to see if it would work!"
"Or when we went to the snake house in the zoo and you told me to pet the snake."
"That snake wouldn't have hurt you; the handler was holding him. I petted him, too, and it was cool to find out they weren't slimy."
"Or the time..."
"Dude, what the hell is your point?"
The point was this: "When we were kids, a lot of the time you wanted me to do something really bad, and I'd get hurt. When we started dating, I decided, this is one thing that's too important to mess up, not like that little kid stuff. I thought, we're going to do this when *I* really want to, on *my* time, when *I'm* good and ready. I wanted it to be right for us both."
And all I could say was, "Shit, if I'd have known that back then, I'd have been okay if you never swam in that lake..."