Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Martha's First Love Story

Caveat: this post makes me seem like a total douchebag, especially in light of everyone else's lovely posts.

My first love story went like this.

I was eight when my family moved to a duplex in the Tokyo burbs. My neighbor, Paul, was a few years older with shaggy blond hair, blue eyes and amazing cheekbones. I was obsessed with him and timed my commute to school so we had to walk together.

One day, the neighborhood boys invited me to their snowball fight.

I wasn't fast, and I couldn't throw very far. I solved this by packing my snowballs with sand from the local park to give them extra weight - and I nailed Paul right in the face.

(As an adult, I know this is sucky, but I was eight - gimme a break.)

Paul clutched his cheek and ran from the park. A few minutes later, the neighborhood boys scattered as his mom approached. I remember this moment with crystal clarity. She strode over in brown leather equestrian boots and a puffy marooon coat, hands stuffed in pockets.

She proceeded to lecture me.

I had hurt Paul.
I should be more careful.
She knew I "wasn't a bad person, per se," but was obviously misguided.

I listened. I nodded. Five minutes went by. Then ten. It occurred to me this wouldn't end until I apologized. So I did, and lemme tell ya, it was disingenuous as hell.

Because on the inside...

On the inside I was thinking, "Are you kidding me?"


(8 yrs old and future love cynic)


The next time I saw Paul, his hair was not so shiny and his cheekbones were rather dull. He was just such a dweeb (total 80's insult).

How could I have been in love with someone who couldn't take a rigged snowball to the face? I had endured worse (we're talking metal-nunchucks-to-the-head worse) and I was younger and a girl.

Paul and I lived next door to each other for five years. He got taller and better looking. But it didn't matter. Even as he sparked the interest of my friends, he never again sparked mine.

I never found him hot, funny, clever, or cool again.

So maybe his mom had it wrong. Maybe I'm not merely misguided. Maybe I am a bad person. But at least I'm not a weak-ass narc.

Ah, first love. Ain't it grand?

13 comments:

L.G.C. Smith said...

Oh, God. I'm laughing out loud all by myself in the middle of the night. Yes, you're evil, and I think I wanted a big brother like you when I was eight. Now I wish I'd been so confident myself. It's a lot easier to love well when we know and like who we are.

Sophie Littlefield said...

Martha, Martha, Martha....you are making me laugh so hard it hurts! of course this is your first love story. Nothing else will do!! But good lord in heaven, Martha Jane Louise, is that a BROWNIE uniform you are wearing????

Juliet Blackwell said...

I love this story! My first love was my neighbor Chris Marriott. He wound up burning down his family's house, playing with matches. The bloom was off THAT rose, if you know what I mean.

whitneymiller said...

BWAHAHAH. This is so Martha, it hurts. And you are beyond cute in that uniform and impish grin that says, "I'm gonna get you, sucka!"

Martha Flynn said...

Guys, in retrospect, this story kind of explains a lot about me....yikes!

Not only was I a Brownie, I was AWESOME at it. Consider it phase A in my apocalypse training.

Juliet - I probably would have taken a liking to that firestarter guy. Something is wrong with me.

Tom Neely said...

Sweet story. And now I'm ready and waiting for the tale of your second love. Wait a sec, I'd better get some popcorn first.............

Christine said...

"But at least I'm not a weak-ass narc." LOL! That was the cherry on top, Martha. (Thanks, Sophie, for posting the link on FB!)

Adrienne Miller said...

True. The ability to take a good shot to the face is way more attractive than nice hair or cheekbones. ;-)

In contrast, Martha, I was kicked out of the girl scouts...well, I was politely asked to consider other after-school activities. Which should explain my views on the apocalypse as well.

Martha Flynn said...

Hi Christine!!! I wish I could join the ladies when they descend on your home of Nashville in a few months, but alas, I won't be. Boo!

Adrienne, I want to go beat those people up for you!!! Naysayers.

Josie Brown said...

I think he might have liked you, too.

Only his mom blew it for him.

And I know, if you could take it back, you would.

So much for unrequited love.

At least, that's the way I'd have written it.

Christine said...

What a bummer that you can't come to Nashville! Hopefully, you'll have another opportunity to come; we really enjoy it. I hope the rest of the ladies have a good time at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. It's lovely. And, yes, there's more than country music in Music City, USA, if they're interested. ;-)

Rachael said...

Good god, you were cute then, too!!!

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