A couple of days ago, I wondered in this blog about giving teens a little space to try stuff out, to take some chances. I would like to give a personal example of what I was talking about. You will see what a goose I was, but this experience taught me one hell of a lot.
One summer vacation, when I was in my late teens, I was a little bored -- waiting for school to start again. It was a hot day and I decided to take the dog for a walk, wearing my cute little shorts and top. On the last leg of my journey, I came upon who I will refer to as The Golden God Of The Sidewalk. He was a young man I found sunbathing in a lounge chair on the sidewalk in front of his house. A young man a little older than I, with beautiful blond curls cascading down to his shoulders, a gorgeous tan, and a lot of upper body going on -- wearing nothing but his little pair of shorts. So, we struck up a conversation and I ended up asking him if he wanted to come home with me for a visit.
Lest you fear what happened next, I will tell you now that my entire family was home -- dad, mom, and two younger sisters. They all visited amiably with said Golden God and he visited amiably with them. He even played my youngest sister's guitar, getting suntan oil all over it in the process. Something that I don't think she has ever forgiven me for, even unto this very day. I thought he was pretty cool.
Upon leaving, though, he turned toward me, took my face in his hands, and kissed me. Quite dramatically. My first kiss. He merrily departed, leaving me with the realization that the entire lower portion of my face was covered in, um, his saliva. Ryan Atwood's talents he did not possess. Running to the bathroom, I proceeded to wash my face with hot, soapy water and then disinfect it with alcohol. Sort of an over-reaction? Yup.
I thought that was the end of that. But, over the course of the next month, he called me at least a few times a week, saying things like, "I got a car. You wanna go out?" In my great maturity, I made lame excuses and had my sisters tell him I wasn't there. Real dignified and kind of me, right?
About a year later, I saw him in a shopping mall. He had a new hairstyle and a hickie on his neck. When I spied him, I turned around and fled and hid in a store. But, he had also spied me and chased me through the mall, came into said store, and searched for me. He did find me. We had a brief conversation and parted ways.
I proceeded to feel awful about all this.Not because I brought him home and kissed him, but because I failed to behave kindly toward him when he was obviously so fond of me. It taught me something, the hard way, about how to behave toward others.
But, it is also now a sweet memory. My Golden God Of The Sidewalk, who gave me my first kiss and thought I was hot enough to be worth chasing -- at least through a mall. ;)