Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Childhood Memories #1: First Grade, First Girlfriend

Bruce Coville said that if you took one memory from each grade of school, you'd have as many book ideas.  I'll begin with first grade, and what else but a little love story.  Have you used any childhood memories in your writing?

I've been in the popular crowd a relatively small percentage of my life, but first grade was one of my years.  My best friend was the coolest kid in the class (who, btw, ended up in rehab by his freshman year in high school), the teacher loved me, and I nabbed my first "girlfriend"--a short-lived experience that has stuck with me still.

It all started while waiting for the bus ride home one day.  There was this big tree that hung over our line; it was a special tree, because it grew two things (don't worry, one of them isn't "Looove").  First, it had those seed things that have a little wing attached so when you threw them in the air they floated down like helicopters. They're like a free parachute-army-man toy.  Second--and more important--they had these brownish clusters of some sort of flaky substance that bore a passing resemblance to baby corn when they were whole.  These flakes were not meant to be eaten.

But I couldn't help it, I loved de-flaking and eating these gifts from above; they were like little golden snacks before the bumpy and boring bus ride home.  On this particular day, Shannon--that's her name--happened to be waiting in line behind me, and we discovered that we both liked to eat those flaky things! Match made in heaven, right? So for a couple days we would sit in line waiting for the bus, and eat the Flakes.

Then I made The Move.  I proceeded to the back of the bus, next to my buddy Daniel, and she sat in the row just ahead of me.  On this particular day we hadn't been doing any sharing of flakes, so conversation hadn't been flowing yet--which makes this next part even awesomer, I think.  I was sitting there crouched low in my bus seat, wondering if I should say hello or make some small talk, when suddenly her hand appears on the top of her seat in front of me.  In a flash of instinct, before I could even think to stop myself, and leaped up and kissed her hand!  She blushed and pulled it away, and I think from then we were official.

A week or so later I got invited to her birthday party, and my mom proceeded to buy (of all things!) a lip-gloss kit.  Come on, mom, what are you doing to me?

Shannon opened up the gift from hell in front of the ENTIRE party, and her mom says, "Ooh, Shannon, now you can kiss all kinds of boys!"

Without hesitation, Shannon shouts out, "I know who to kiss!"  Who might she mean, do you think?

This is not something a first-grade boy wants to hear in front of a huge crowd.  I immediately started scanning the room for something I could crawl into to prevent the shame of a potential public display of affection.  A bean bag chair reveals itself, and I launched into it head first.  I think I blacked out for the next five minutes or so, until finally her mom pulls me from the bean bag chair and hands me a slice of cake.  

I left the party shortly after, and hung up the towel on the whole romance thing.  I would not have another girlfriend for the next twelve years.


Paul Äertker said...

Now that was a tragic story!Shakespeare has nothing on you. And you waited 12 years. I think an incident like that might have caused me to cross over to the other side!

Tyler said...

Yes, can you hear the violins playing in the background? My life has been one big tragedy ever since. It's this pain I draw upon when composing my drafts.

Emily Cross said...

Hi Tyler,

How are you?

i'm sorry to bother you, but I've recently started up a community forum for writers called the The Writer's Chronicle(mainly for those who blog) where we can meet and discuss all that is writing with other 'online' writers. Also with the recent addition of some published author members we have decided to set up a section to support published writers and help them promote themselves and their books - as we all know how hard it is to get published and how its even harder to get a large readership!

I know this email is out of the blue, but i was hoping that you might drop in and take a look around and perhaps join if your interested?

I'd greatly appreciate it,


Emily Cross

Here is the Link:

Hardygirl said...

Awww. But, you kissed her hand. How cute.


AmandaKMorgan said...

This is probably the best first grade love story ever.

Tyler said...

Haha, thanks!...I think.