This particular memory popped into my head this weekend and it superficially fits into week’s Mrtl Motif Monday of First Kiss. However, that is not why I thought of it. It is just a funny memory that cracks me up as an adult knowing how the world works and all.
When I was in Grade 1 (we don’t say first grade in Canada but Grade 1) and about six years old I had a school friend by the name of Patrick O’Connor. Quite a common name so I won’t bother to change it to protect anybody’s privacy. Besides, it is a really cute story.
Anyway, I considered him my friend and not my boyfriend as my real school crushes were on this kid named Sebastian who I flirted madly with in a typical childhood fashion by ignoring him, avoiding him at all costs and never speaking a word to him if I possibly could help it. I still flirt this way because I believe in finding something that works dismally for you and sticking to it. I also LOVED LOVED LOVED Mr. Hawthorne who taught Grade 5. I just couldn’t wait to get to that grade so I could gaze upon his face ALL DAY LONG! That dream was never realised as we moved out of the neighbourhood in the middle of grade 4 and I never saw him again.
Anyway, I considered Patrick a regular friend and had great fun playing at his house as he had guinea pigs. I loved guinea pigs and wanted one soooo badly. This also was never to be as my mom decided guinea pigs were just a little too close to rats and thereby dirty and not allowed near her house. Not only did Patrick have two guinea pigs but they were male and female so he ALWAYS had little eensty teensy baby guinea pigs that were soooooo cute to play with. Anyway, while we did play at Patrick’s house a few times he especially loved to play at my house more. When I would beg to play with the tiny guinea pigs he would always overrule me and we would go to my house instead to play dress-up, his favourite game in the whole wide world. You see, Patrick’s most favourite thing to do was dress up like a ‘lady’ complete with high heels and lipstick. My mom was quite the fashionista so my dress-up box was full of fabulous frilly things as well as blonde wigs and hairpieces. While dressing up was fun it sometimes got to be a drag (!) as Patrick always had to be the prettiest girl in the group and would be bossy over wearing the most dramatic scarves, the silkiest slips and the highest heels.
He eventually got nosey and raided my mom’s closet, flipping through the hangars giving a running commentary on what was ‘boootiful’ and what wasn’t. My babysitter was mostly preoccupied with my little brother and never seemed to care that this little boy would be prancing around the house with the rest of us girls in my mom’s frocks and stilettos. Maybe she never noticed he was a boy in the first place. I am not sure. But eventually my mom saw him and got a little upset telling me that he was NOT be dressing up in her clothes anymore. I didn’t want to tell him to stop as I thought that conflicted with my upbringing on being a good little hostess. But mom’s word was final and bad hostess I was. After that it was no longer fun for him to play with me so he eventually stopped coming over.
One day, for some reason or another that I cannot remember, before he was cut off from his ladies’ fashion supply he took me aside and very chastely kissed me on the cheek. Once again I didn’t think much of it as he was, at this point, just one of the girls but somebody must have seen it happen as the very next day drawn on the schoolyard wall was a HUGE heart with his and my name in it. Our full names so nobody could get us confused with anybody else in the school. I was MORTIFIED!!! First of all how did this graffiti artist find out our names? I knew it was a much older kid as the printing was very neat and there were no spelling mistakes. Secondly, why did they even care? We were just a couple of the youngest kids in the school. I was very shy and not popular. I flew under the radar most of the time. And I was most definitely not in love with Patrick. They were perpetuating a filthy lie! Thirdly, Mr. Hawthorne and Sebastian would see it thereby ruining any chance I had of marrying them when I grew up. OH NO! I would have to ignore and avoid them much harder now to show them how much I really cared.
Within a few days the school custodian painted over the heart and my life returned to normal. Patrick moved away soon after and I never really gave him another thought. That is until I grew up, met my first drag queens and started thinking…