The One that Got Away

I am not lying when I say that I am engaged, and have been for nearly 20 years. See, there was this girl. She was awesome, and that actually used to mean something coming from me because girls always mystified me, spellbound me, hypnotized me, and usually could get me in trouble very easy and rob me blind. So I always thought what they were better in concept. On paper, girls were always like some alien species of advanced, exotic, ultra-intelligent, flawless beings of pure will and grace. Heck, just watching one do a cartwheel used to splatter my brains. To me, they were more on par with adults while we boys were like, wild chimpanzees or something, just flinging poop at each other. But while that may have been true for us, in execution, girls were really just a more sophisticated cabal of flingers.

So with all that build up for this species of radiant splendor and strength and intelligence, and all that jazz, just imagine my additional puzzlement when, after spending time with one for a while, she revealed herself to be just another goofy weirdo like me. Smarter, of course, prettier, you bet, but just as human. We spent a lot of time together playing husband and wife at day care. We slept together at nap time (in the same room at least). We did all that kissy stuff, and got in trouble for it. Heck, we even spent many a romantic afternoon together: lunchtime at the plastic table with our square pizza, summer days poking at anthills at the big old tree, rearranging their dirt "towns," maybe followed by a movie. You know, the normal girlfriend/boyfriend stuff.

She was six ... but don't get the wrong idea! I was around five or six too, and our playtime courtship developed over many months at my daycare into the all-out genuine relationship that it was. We watched the clouds and picked out the shapes, "Ooh, a butterfly!"  "Ooh, a dolphin!"  She lied through her teeth and I believed her... about how on her trip to Disneyland she'd been turned into a frog by a magician, about how she'd reached outside the airplane and tasted one of those clouds (yes, she confirmed they did taste like cotton candy!). We played house in the plastic house, she'd get all mad when I wasn't home at a decent hour. I'd tell her how I got all backed up at the plastic pool office and had decided to go blow a few minutes at the sandbox... you know, the typical husband/wife stuff.

It was all so wonderful, we promised to get married someday. We'd even keep a piece of bark off the tree as a memorial that we were engaged (don't ask). But it was not to be. Shortly before she was taken out of that daycare, we officially broke up. To this day I don't remember how it happened, whether it was something I said or did, all I know is that whatever it was, it was somehow my fault... (that's girls for you). She wouldn't accept my apologies for nothing, and even mocked my desperate pleas. It was pointless to try, we both knew it. Even if she wasn't going away, we could never go back to the way it was. But my heart was broken that summer, for maybe two of three hours.

So Kim, just to let you know, if you're not taken yet, I'm still available. (wink)

(Oh yeah, if you're reading this, sorry about the Halloween party and how I got my plastic fishing pole hook caught in your Little Mermaid outfit... that was... only somewhat funny, and I learned my lesson).


  1. Those are impressively detailed and vivid memories. I have to spend some time digging before I can get a clear picture in mind of kindergarten and first grade memories. There was a break in my life between first and second grades... and the memories from 2nd grade have always been as clear as a bell. I can see now that there is a unique frame of reference that I had as a small child; when I was trying to "grow up," I did a mental exercise to try to change that perspective. That explains the break between my little kid memories, and my middle aged child memories.

  2. This was a cute story to read! :)

    I never really had any romances as a kid- although I did have a friend who used to have a crush on me and vise versa but then we spun on the bars one day and he busted his mouth pretty bad and his mom moved him to a new school. :(

    I love all the little details, such as naptime and being husband and wife. Romance like that is sweet! :)

    1. Thanks. The funny thing is I had totally forgotten about all this for many many years. Romance is so fleeting at that age. "Let's play with the anthills" = "let's get married!!" heh