August 19, 2008

Keeping Track of Love

When I first began blogging here, I started with an exaggerated statement about being in love 20 times. Then I challenged myself to think of 20 times, so I could back up my exaggeration. But being the trash talker that I am, I challenged myself to 100, a Ben Franklin-ized amount of love.

At last count, I had written about 5 loves.

I'm far behind on my loving. In somewhat chronological order (unless I forget one and have to digress), I'm going to list the next 15 times I was in love, then I only have 80 to go.

6. The first boy who was brave enough to ask me to dance at the Jr. High after school dance. The lights were low, the girls giggling on one side of the room, the boys posing on the other. He was nervous. I pretended to make fun of him for the benefit of my girlfriends, but only so they wouldn't feel bad that nobody asked them to dance. I secretly was thrilled.

7. The first boy who risked roller skating with me at Skateland. He was good. Me not so much. The entire slow skate he kept saying, "You're going to fall, aren't you?" and held me a little closer. Yeah, I fell. Until the next slow skate when he did NOT ask me.

8. My first job when a boy named Mike would always make sure he bagged at my register. I loved him until he asked me where the "Lean Cuzzins" went. He meant Lean Cuisine. Yeah, even then I was a bit elitist. Sorry, Mike. My cuzzins aren't so lean.

9. The shy football star in my Latin class. He was so handsome and so quiet. I think he didn't know how to handle being a school celebrity. He would ask me for help on some of the tough assignments. I spent two years gazing at his shaved head, wondering what was going on inside it. Please don't tell me nothing.

10. The star of our HS musical. He was the Skye Masterson and every girl wanted to be Miss Sarah when he sang about "Luck be a Lady".

11. My last summer before college, a sweet boy on the beach helped me chase a runaway kite and we spent our nights sitting on the boardwalk wondering if we could see the same stars back home. We could.

12. My first real boyfriend, when I got back home from the beach. Still in the glow of my summer sweetheart, he worked with me at a store. His first words to me will never be forgotten. Wheeling a cart of lawn poison past my counter, he said, "I'm selling poison, how much would you like?" Strangely, it worked. I bought his poison and much more for the next two years.

13. I'm superstitious. There is no 13th entry.

14. The little old man who came through my line at the store and held his wife's hand. He told me the secret to his happy marriage was to always treat his wife like his girlfriend. He always offered me a mint. I wonder if my breath was bad, or he was just being sweet. I hope it was just him being sweet. Either that or he was concerned I may not be kissed?

15. The following summer. My first real boyfriend and I were on hiatus and I met another boy at the beach. Are we sensing a theme here? It was chaste and pure because I was heartbroken, and this sweetheart waited an entire year until I wasn't heartbroken.

16. The BMOC at college. His confident swagger and certainty of ruling the world had all of us captivated. I used to tease him about his harem, but secretly wanted to be part of it.

17. Am I almost done yet? Criminy. Shifting gears. My college roommate and I. We both were without boyfriends that first year in the dorms and we bought each other Valentine's. She remains the sister I never had and I cherish our friendship. Yes, I'm in love with my friend. Still am.

18. My political science professor. He encouraged me to think outside the box and to reach for the stars. I touched a few and may never had if I hadn't been told I could. Sometimes it's that simple, just reminding someone what is within reach.

19. My creative writing professor. The only way to get an A in his class was to have something published in a real magazine. I didn't get an A that quarter, but I never stopped trying. I would have an A today. I'm so grateful, and yes, I loved both of them.

20. Mr. Fresh. I don't even think I have to explain why the man I married is on my list of loves.

Now I just have to fall in love 80 more times.

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