Thursday, September 15, 2005

Neighborhood Kids

My neighbor dropped by yesterday and asked if I could pick her elder son up from school. Her younger son (with the big thang) popped his head in and said, "Because I have to go to the doctor. I have a bad pee pee infection. It's swelled up real big and it's all red. Well, the top is red, the bottom is kind of pink."

I am doubled over laughing at this point, and his slightly drug addled mom has just realized what her son has said. She tried clamping her hand over the kid's mouth, but it was far too late. It was less than no trouble to pick up her son, so I agreed.

This particular son has a crush on Gwennie, but as you may know, Gwennie walks across the street every day with a boy named Nicholas. I had no idea how hard Elder Son was taking this until yesterday. I was waiting for all the kids to cross the street. Elder Son reached me first and we waited for Gwennie and Nicholas who were holding hands and laughing as usual. Elder Son frowned and looked menacing and he wouldn't speak to Gwennie in the car. Heehee. And so it begins. I've decided to take a position of non-interference. Unless there is actual meanness or snobbery on Gwennie's or Emma's part, they can pick their own friends.


I only had one steady boyfriend before I dated Jethro. I'll call him Joe. He was a very sweet boy, but so not the one for me. He was Southern Baptist to begin with and I was very very Catholic. It wasn't really a problem for either of us, but there was always this undercurrent. You'd think two Christians would have less friction that a Buddist and a Christian, but not so. We made out a lot, but I don't think he ever got past a very limited second base. Poor guy.

There were so many little things that drove me nuts. He always said the same thing whenever we got behind a slow car: "Come on, people. Vertical peddle on the right!" I had made the near fatal mistake of laughing politely the first time he said this. After that, he seemed to think it was one of his better lines.

There was one incident in particular that marked the beginning of the end. He was going to Baylor College in Waco and decided to come down one weekend to see me. He and his boys had stopped at a Mexican restaurant first. I was growing a little weary of him by this time, but it was hard to break up with him. I didn't have a whole lot of friends and for me, boyfriends were a little hard to come by.

The doorbell rang and I answered it. There was Joe standing there, smiling. I stared at him in horror. He had been eating beans apparently because his front tooth was encased in a bean skin. There is nothing so gross looking. He swept me up in a big bear hug and tried to plant one on my mouth. I gave him my cheek at the last minute. I wasn't quite sure how to tell him in front of my family and his friends that there was no way in hell he could kiss me on the mouth with a bean skin on his tooth. Joe just chalked up my reticence to Catholic modesty. I was panicking by this time. No one else seemed to notice the bean skin which, to me, had suddenly become the biggest thing in the room. I was standing at the edge of the kitchen and living room. Everyone was talking and Joe sidled off to the kitchen presumably to get a drink of water. Suddenly, I was snatched from behind, pushed up against a wall, and kissed about as soundly as I've ever been.

Have you ever screamed with someone's tongue in your mouth?

When he was all through, the bean skin was gone. I checked my own mouth frantically with my tongue, but came up dry. I never did find it and I must have looked quite strange to Joe, who was standing there grinning like a Cheshire cat. Somehow, I don't think my reaction to his grand, romantic gesture was quite what he'd expected. We broke up a month or two later. I called him at college and told him we needed to see other people. Rumor had it that he still liked me, although I can't imagine why. Poor guy. I wasn't mean to him, but I was thorough.