Remember that tingly feeling?

My blogging friend Candice made a reference in one of her recent poems to a “spinning bottle” and the angst of growing up. It got me thinking of the first time playing the game “spin the bottle.”

We were back in the sixth grade, which was very precocious then in 1969 and may be even now, although kids are far more aware now than we were. The mother of one of our friends was more forward thinking than my mother was or would ever be.

It was very exciting and gave me (and I am sure others) quite the tingly feeling of anticipation. As I recall, there were about five girls and the same number of boys. All gathered in a tight circle around a coke bottle. Now there is a commercial for the cola.

You hoped the coke bottle gods would favor you, especially if one of the girls you liked most was spinning said bottle. But, to be frank, it mattered less as you just wanted your chance to kiss a nice girl. And, you hoped the feeling toward you was not one of “oh, no” although those words were not uttered out loud. Now, our kiss was in front of everyone else, but my wife said she played a game where the kissers went into another room as they were sixteen when they played.

Of course, when it was your turn and you knew a kiss was coming, then you hoped it would land on the girl you favored. As I think back, I am at a loss of how long we played. My memory makes the time stand still, but it was likely a couple of hours with so many playing.

We could have never played this with my mother present. As I recall, my friend’s mother was sitting off to the side of the room, likely in the dining area of their apartment. As a divorced mother, my guess is she was remembering back to the tingly times in her youth. My wife said, “you mean she remained in the room!”

Kids grow up much faster now. But, I am quite certain those tingly feelings exist. That first game of Twister. The first note or text with someone you liked. The first hand being held. The first kiss. The first French kiss. The first steady girl (or boy). And, the other firsts….

Even at the age of 57, we can remember those tingly feelings. And, we still get them. The nice thing about long time love, moments where it floods back are quite nice. So, a toast to those tingly feelings. May they never wane.


Two Love Stories

I was telling one of these stories the other day, so I felt it might a nice way to celebrate the day, with two love stories. The names have been altered, but the stories are otherwise true. I will add that neither story is about my wife or me, but I personally know all five participants. And, as Forrest Gump would say, “That is all I am going to say about that.”

Arriving Late for the Game

The first story is set in the early 1950s. Dave and Betty both went to a small college where everyone seemed to know everyone else. The future couple was no exception and had met in class. Yet, on this night, at the big basketball game on campus, Dave was on the court. He was a good player on a good team and was known for his hustle. Betty was a pretty young lass from a rural area. Calling where she grew up a town would be a stretch.

On this night, Betty arrived late for the game which was underway. The home team fans usually sat right behind the team with the bench being opposite the door she came in. If you can picture those wooden fold out stands that telescoped from the wall, you would have a correct image of the gymnasium seating. Since play was underway and the players were coming toward her, she sat down immediately on the lowest bench near the floor. During the rush of action, the basketball bounced her way, with Dave in pursuit. After diving for the loose ball, Dave wound up in Betty’s lap. Embarrassed grins and laughter followed. After the game, Dave was smart and bold enough to find Betty to apologize and the rest shall we say is history.

Good Handwriting is not always a plus

Jack was a hard-working consultant, devoted to his clients. Pam was the same way working for the same company, but in a different town. They had never met until they went to the company training event in the headquarter city in the late 1970s.

Before traveling there, Jack had shared his frustration with Darren who had let one of Jack’s clients down on a deadline. Jack was all about client service and wanted the same level of attention from anyone he brought in to work on his clients. Darren was saddened that he had let his friend down, especially since he could not tell him face to face. So, he did the next best thing and sent Jack an apology note with the words inscribed “You are in my thoughts. D”

While this note was being penned, Jack and Pam met at the company training event and hit it off. They bonded during the social and team building exercises. Yet, outside of having a marvelous time together, there was no romantic involvement. After they traveled back to their respective cities, Jack’s thoughts drifted toward Pam. After a few days, Jack opened his mail and saw Darren’s note of apology. Yet, there was a problem. Darren’s note had been separated from the envelope by the Administrative Assistant, so Jack did not know who sent it.

Jack’s reading of the note and its less than stellar handwriting led him to interpret the “D” as a “P”. Maybe he wanted it to read that way, but he thought it was from Pam. So, he called her and said, “I may be presumptuous, but did you send me a note saying ‘you are in my thoughts’ because if you did, the feeling is mutual. Pam said she had not, but wish she had. After getting together again and starting a long distance romance, she transferred to the same city and the rest is history.

I have spoken to all five participants in these two stories, even the poor scribe, Darren who confirms his role in the matchmaking. I wrote this morning in a comment to a post by that “love, like life, is a journey.” What I did not say is the journey can start with the oddest of beginnings, so never be surprised by opportunity. If you have not seen the movie “We Bought a Zoo” there is a very powerful moment that occurs twice in the movie. The most poignant moment is when Matt Damon’s character got the nerve to ask the most beautiful woman he had ever seen “Why on earth would someone like you ever consider talking to someone like me?” Her response was “Why not?”

Dave was bold enough to go up to Betty after the game. Why not? Jack was bold enough to call Pam and make his query. Why not? Any person who has had sweaty palms over speaking with someone knows this feeling. So, it does take some gumption. Life is too short to not ask. Why not?

Happy holidays everyone. May the new year bring good tidings and good answers to your many questions. Best regards.