Remembering youthful thoughts and girly visions that tickled your tummy and changed your eyes from simple visual tools to lily ponds…… takes me back to the days of The First Date. I can remember we had to invite a girl during elementary school days to a box social for cub scouts. I can remember having to do that and wondering why I had to invite a girl as I had nothing in common with her and this was going to create lots of anxiety for the evening. I knew this anxiety would have a crescendo and I had no tools to identify or deal with this abandoned feeling of chaos. All I knew was…bolt! This was not fireworks…. this was someone smothering me with a pillow. So out of respect to the female characters in this stream of consciousness retrospective, the names and or identities shall remain secret and veiled so not to injure any of them, or perhaps, injure myself.
You know…girls had no toy trucks or graders to play in the dirt. They had no steelies or cat eyes to play poison pots. They couldn’t even dig the pots for marbles. They did not want to ride broncs and not one landed on Iwo Jima in the movies. I never heard a girl talk about” Cowboy Try”. I never saw a girl at the Ferris Barber Shop but you know what…. although I do vividly remember one old man who shined shoes there and he was unique with a slow southern drawl, rather understated with his bad grammar and subtle wisdom that seemed to ricochet off the walls searching for an ear. Never figured out what he was doing at the barber shop as a boy? Seems like he just talked and sat in some big shoe shinning chair and spoke in parables. Those damn parables hung on to my young mind for years and even those never had anything to do with a girl. Weird! It was almost like there were only a few token girls in my youth. No one talked about em and no one saw em.
Of course, most of the movies stars were men and it seemed odd they even put women in these movies because they seemed to detract from the main story, but these women seemed to like these movie stars. When the TV was invented, it had Westerns and once again the men were the stars and Heroes. I mean, what woman could ever bring down a Hero…. a real mentor for our future life.
As we grew older and began the wonderful “tickle” in life, the initial states of our belief system got thrown upside down. However, this new emerging fantasy life was so strange it had to remain a secret, because no one ever talked about it. I used to wonder why these feelings and stuff just popped up out of nowhere it seemed. I began to worry that……. hey, maybe these fluttering heart palpitations are only happening to ME….and I mean, only me. Maybe these tickling feelings would go away but deep down you hoped they would stay. Maybe these feelings were nasty, dirty, and one should run full blast the opposite direction. Was this just me….and I would wonder if the Priest or Pastor or maybe even a Doctor might know how to deal with these kind of “emotional dreams” and this growing malady. Damn sure could not discuss this with my Mom.
Later, the boys (my buddies) would talk about really strange behavior…I mean really strange. And guess what……. this strange behavior would be with a girl; I mean…. involve a Girl. I never thought about what the girl thought….as I was having a hard enough time just thinking…. but I knew for ME it was overwhelming and selfish. Whoooooeeeee! It was hard to think about anything but me. Then I wondered if maybe you could just try it a little and not get infected. I wondered how you could enter that taboo land. I knew one thing for sure, it had to be dark where the boogy man could not see. So, how could one take that girl to a dark place without scaring her. I don’t remember any perverts back then just fun loving horny boys. But, luckily we had the movie theater. But where could you sit so no one would see what you were about to commit? I have this ying and yang going on about whether this is wrong or nasty or something…. but this is when I decided to let emotion be the ruling logic and just run with reckless abandon. I see many males today still proud of this validation. After going to the movies multiple times with your buddies you found yourself scouting out the vacant seat areas where no one wanted to sit. Those were like private little dark caves. Then the next problem became what girl to meet or ask to the movies. That first day at the matinee, in your dark cave, sharing a pop corn in “her lap” was enough to drive a boy crazy. Damned if that popcorn would just spill! But then you had to have enough guts to figure a subtle approach to putting your arm around her as that was the major move. Usually that took a few big yawns, leaning back and stretching and maybe on the third yawn you would subtly put your arm around her but making sure it was leaning more on the back of her chair instead of her shoulders. As the movie progressed then you could move the arm down and put your hand on her shoulders and if one of those shoulders were bare……ohhhhh, the tickling would begin. By that time you did not even know there was a movie playing. What was weird is that you (ME) were feeling enormous amounts of energy and blood flow and yet this docile little doe was just staring ahead at the movie like she was into the movie. I mean did she know I was even there? What did this non-signal mean. So weird and so confusing! So, the emotion said (notice I did not say logic) that you should maybe try and kiss her……if you could get her damn eyes off the screen to look at your eyes. Well, damn if the intermission would come on the screen and the full lights would come on and they would start advertising cokes and popcorn and milk duds and Black Cows and Flicks. It was really frustrating because I was getting my grove on in the candy store and the lights beamed me right out of my groove and almost put me on stage in front of everyone. All your buddies would walk by and start laughing and give wide eyed facials as if to say……”well, did you do anything” as if it meant the badge of adulthood while only thinking about the me, me, me feelings. Amazing how indulgent the predatory mind can be.
Then came the infamous parties that one kid would have at his house. He usually was a rich kid with a very cool basement and probably owned one of the first color TVs in town. Cool basements proceeded cool cars as phallic symbols. Cool basements with slow music, Wurlitzer juke boxes meant everything because there were no “intermission lights” coming on and lots of private caves. There were even upper class girls there that had boobs and were pretty and confident and once in a while would even rub up against you. If you could only press up against her and kiss her one night…. wow. Oh, well back to your developing girl friend. Sooner or later the parent would come down and turn on the lights, chuckle a little and act dumb and tell everyone it was time to go home. One of the upper class girls would come out a bit disheveled. Ohhhh man and this DAD wants us to go HOME……. can’t we stay the night?
When things really got hot was when you had your own wheels, and had a radio and glass pack mufflers, electric windows, and tuck and roll interior and 4 bar crossovers or later, chrome wheels with baby moons. Then the song…. The Theme from Summer Place would be playing on your radio station and you were parked at the infamous Drive Inn Theater………ALONE with your girl. For people in Wyoming, we were able to get KOMA in Oklahoma City which was a 50,000-watt station that would only come on at nights. Usually you did not care about getting concessions or even watching the movie. There were many nights someone would ask you how good was the movie and did you like such and such scene……and you had to just nod and stare because you had never seen the movie. And then there was the time that a pretty Mom asked me to take her to the Drive Inn and she did not stay sitting on the passenger side. Damn…. I thought…. what does that mean? That was better than an upper classman.
It was during these times that the emotional conquest seemed to be a simple vector in life that had new moments of kinetic enlightenment sprinkled along damp moments. It was this time that your buddies became secondary and the subtle transition was taking place and you were blissfully happy and naïve to female nuance. There was a time when nuance was not even noticed and you wondered how girls could joke about being in control of a situation. What a joke…. right guys? Little did you know there was a new player standing on the pitcher’s mound and the curve ball was confusing and wicked.
And then you began the long male slide, the transition and decided that being honest and vulnerable were new badges of maturity and commitment. As you stared into her eyes with pure awe, mixed with raw soul and heart you had never explored heretofore. You became a poster child for OCD. The more obsessed you became with a blissful heart the more compulsive you felt without a choice. It is not conscious but the emotion is now a lightning bolt that declared who your being is from moment to moment. Lightning bolts of emotion used to come with some punk spitting at you, or hitting you or saying something about your mom or girlfriend. Now it seemed like lightning bolts came from her beautiful and mischievous eyes, her flowing lines, her arched back, her soft requests for her hero to step up and then the flick of her lioness mane along with her perfume that you wanted to take home to your bathroom. These indelible images in your conscious have you joyfully running and leaping like a well trained pavlovian dog. The long phone calls, the steam filled car windows, the passionate river walks all cascade into a dopamine dream that renders you full tilt with blood flow. The love songs on the radio, the lonesome nights in the military, the sunsets and of course……the eye lashes and the hour glass.
It is at this moment that the girl has won the conquest and the question is she satisfied with such power that you have unknowingly relinquished or must she continue the indulgent journey just like you did. Now, some journey’s come” balanced and some imbalanced.” Imbalance causes fear and how one handles and communicates about imbalance is of course the key as any marriage counselor will babble on and on about. But in youth…..there is not a whole lot of “logical communication” going on.
Sometimes these imbalances cause what I call emotional bolting. Some imbalanced conversations begin with someone saying after a hot evening that they now want to be just friends, or they need more space, or they made a wrong decision with someone else and they are sorry. WHAT? Each of these “imbalanced communications” create a deep pain, an emotional pain that can find no cure. Death and a loss of your wife or girlfriend are some of the most confusing, searing and scarring pains in your life. Don’t these women or girls care about MY feelings? They are hard to understand that is for sure. You would just feel lost and even seem suspended in a dark lonely horror move and your muscle or strength has zero influence. If you decided you want to ask about the so called “wrong decision” and they answer with the sly…..”I do not want to talk about it”……you better run for the woods and begin to write your own drama……. as you abandon and transfer emotions as fast as you can run. Along with this comes anger and rage, threats, and the beginning of a choice of more self indulgence and the life raft for emotions called rationale…..which is purgatory or the long and hard process of growing. Yes, it is perhaps your fault, your personality, your choices, your emotional ignorance that you now have to address. This is God fixing you and he is not done. This painful time is usually a great time of learning and understanding a point of view beyond yours.
Over time man’s growth should be a never ending journey and hopefully he shares it with his off spring so that they will have some clarity with respect to nuance and the confusing signals of emotion versus logic. Often a person whom has experienced abandonment, abandons…… as part of both habit and familiarity. The intersection of growth or habit becomes a choice of whether you want to support the growth of a person or not, while you learn to sacrifice the child ego of me, me, me for someone else. That child ego has a deeply pained ego so you must stay clear of those choices.
Ironically I have been a protagonist and the antagonist in life. However, as my logic increased, and my emotions decreased I began to see girls and women in a different light. I knew that males had strength but often that was their problem. I knew that we were in charge…. but that was myopia. And at 68 years of age I find myself still learning about the female tool kit or better stated arsenal. Perhaps the following paragraph will give you insight.
Today, my wife told me to get off the computer in my male cave and come help her. I came out to see her loading lumber in the pick up. She was in her work out tights, in perfect shape and pretty blond hair. She then told me to plug in the blower which I did and she began trimming and then blowing the leaves like a macho male gardener. Then she told me to get in the garbage bin and tamp down the bushes so she could put more in there with her pitch fork. That is when I gave her the Leo the Lion look……like….” are you serious?”. (does she know who she is talking to) She laughed and winked at me….and said …..come on my hero…..get your skill saw out and cut a few of these boards. So, I got out my hand saw to do it “manually” like a real man. When she was all done, she wheeled the bins back in place, plugged in her Fiat, and went to shower and fix me a Beet drink so I could continue pumping blood. As she jumped in her electric Fiat I said…now what are you doing and she smiled….going to get a manicure and a pedicure. Hmmm, as I shook my head in confusion and wondered who is on first?
I was thinking today about my wife……and wondered how such a pretty girl cold have played with Tonka trucks, did dry wall and rode horses. Hmmmm, but she never rode in a rodeo in Rawlins Wyoming, that’s for sure. Oh yeah……as I pondered a few of her minor accomplishments…..well she did make the Olympic Team and the World Championship Team in Helsinki Finland so I guess that should count a little. But she cannot change a truck tire!
Man learns to love denial……part of validation. Damn this apron looks nice on me but I prefer my chain saw. It is at this moment I am shocked to hear this blood curdling yell……. TIMBER…………the trouble is…..SHE was yelling TIMBERrrrrrr and when she was done yelling…. She starts that mischievous chuckle and she flicked her hair and just stares at me……….now what the hell does that mean……..as I look around and see “she did not fall any tree”. Hmmmm and why is she raising her eyebrows as she continues staring at me? Does she know I cut a record called Me and My Love…..I mean it is not Blake Shelton but damn girl. And I just got back from Nashville! Yeah……OK….it was a Comicon…. but so what, I walked on Broadway too and I went to the Losers and Winners and SKULLS. I knew I should have never taken those pictures of some of those Comicon fans in costumes. Sure enough, the other night we are going to dinner before seeing Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, and she actually shows our friends the Comicon pictures……and laughs. But…. gotta love a little humility and humor mixed together.
Damn nuance. I am going to go watch Peyton Manning and the Broncos where I control the channel changer and no one is taking it away from me. Plus…. I can switch back and forth and sneak a peek of my old show, CHIPS, back in the day!