Monday, December 29, 2008

Poor Customer Service = Missed Sales at Christmas and Year End by Zales "The Diamond Store"

Dear Zales,

I am writing you to say I am upset with the complete lack of courtesy or customer service that I have received on my last two visits to your stores. I was treated as if I were an idiot and on top of that I was called a liar by your sales associates.

Over the past year I have made several purchases at the Zales in the WC Mall in my town. I purchased jewelry at this Zales for my mother, all three of my past mother-in-laws, all of my nieces, my sister, sister-in-law, my own children and on several occasions I have made impulse purchases for myself. In May alone I purchased my children’s birthday presents, my nieces birthday presents, graduation gifts and a few Mother’s Day gifts.

On August 15, 2008 I went to Zales to purchase a watch battery. When I returned to the store after a shopping excursion around the mall I decided on impulse to also purchase a ring. The young redheaded girl behind the counter (maybe 16 years old) was extremely helpful, very cheerful and in training. A heavy set woman with blonde hair was doing paper work near the back of the store. She stopped what she was doing to show the young trainee how to ring up the watch battery, the ring and print out my warranty.

In October one of the small stones surrounding the large stone of my impulse buy - fell out. I was in the GM Mall in my town and thought since I was shopping there that day I would drop off the ring to be repaired. The sales associates laughed at me! They said I did not buy this ring at their store and I was not in their system so I couldn’t possibly have purchased this ring at any Zales.

I was irritated by the treatment I received from the sales associates at the GM Mall but figured I would just take the ring back to the Zales I purchased the ring at the WC Mall the next day. I dropped the ring off without issue. Since I would be without my big ring for a week or more I decided at the last minute to purchase another ring to wear in the mean time. I enjoy new things.

On December 9th I received a post card stating that my ring was repaired and ready to be picked up. I called the store the morning of December 10th to make sure it was ready since I planned on stopping by during a lunch hour shopping trip to the mall. What should have been a 5 minute transaction turned into an hour long ordeal.

When I arrived at the store I gave the sales associate the post card I received in the mail and told her I was there to pick up my ring. I also gave her the ring I bought on the same day I dropped the other off since it required the main center stone to be tightened as it was actually jiggling and making a clicking noise when I moved my hand. She pulled out a small yellow envelope then asked how I wanted to pay for the repair for the first ring? I was surprised since I was told the warranty would cover the repair when I dropped it off. I explained to the blonde associate that the ring was covered under warranty. I was laughed at by your sales associate who also sarcastically told me “Not only did you Not purchase a warranty for this ring but you did Not purchase This Ring at This Store or any Zales. If you Had you would be in our system.”

I explained every detail of my purchase as mentioned above and showed her which case and shelf the ring was in when I purchased it. She still insisted that I did not purchase the ring from any Zales let alone the one I was standing in. I was getting extremely irritated at this point. She asked me for my home phone number, cell phone number, my past address, current address, how to spell my first name, how to spell my last name, was I Sure it was a Zales store and not some Other store in the mall. To which I said to her “Did you Just call me an Idiot? I know which case and shelf the ring was in when I purchased it and every detail of the transaction! Not only have you Not found this sales transaction you Only seem to have Two sales with my information” At this point other customers started to leave the store.

Since there was only 5 minutes left of my lunch hour I said “Fine, I will pay for the repair which is more than the cost of the warranty just so I can get out of here and get back to work. I Will return later With my paperwork and I will expect an Apology AND a Refund!” The sales associate Laughed at me and said “You could save yourself a little money later on if I actually purchased a warranty on the ring today.” I was so angry I couldn’t speak! I had already purchased the warranty and she was still insisting that I purchase it Again! The sales associate said “Fine when she took my credit card to process the purchase.” After ringing it up she gave me my ring. While I looked at my ring I noticed one of the stones on the side of the band was PINK not Clear!

It wasn’t even the stone that was to be replaced! I questioned this and the sales associate obviously had enough of me so she passed my ring to a younger associate and said “Walk this customer out of the store and keep hold of this ring while she looks through the loop in a different light.” This was My ring and I had already paid for the repair. Why on earth would she need someone from the store to hold on to My ring?

After stepping a two feet out of the store the young sales associate and I both saw there was some sort of red either in or under the stone that looked pink. The young sales associate showed the ring to the blonde associate who had been very rude to me the whole time and mentioned the red coloring. The blonde associate cupped her hand over the young associates ear and whispered something to her. Then the blonde associate said to me in a very irritated voice “Instead of repairing your Other ring we are going to give you a New ring exactly the same and write up your other ring as damaged merchandise. Our manager will be here on Thursday IF you want to pursue this matter further. That is all, no need to do anything else today.” She was so over me being there. She was trying to help another customer while I was talking to her but she shooed me away. I took the new ring and my repaired ring and left stomping mad.

After work I went home, took the original receipt and warranty out of my jewelry box and stomped my high heels through the mall over to the Zales store. As I entered the Zales store the blonde associate was still there and talking to a family. I walked up and said nothing, just stood there for maybe a few seconds. She turned around, smiled and with the fakest cheer said “Hi, how Are you?” I told her “I do Not appreciate being called a Liar, treated like and Idiot or asking to pay for a warranty I had already purchased.” The family she was talking to left the store immediately and she said while smirking “I never called you an idiot or a liar.” She started to walk away and blow me off when I pulled a very familiar looking black flyer in a clear envelope out of my purse. The associate didn’t even blink when she turned on the Charm routine. She never apologized but did credit my card in the same amount that was charge to me during my lunch hour for the repair.

While reviewing my original receipt and warranty she noticed the number or something that indicates who rung up the transaction. Apparently it was a trainee who had only been on the job for two or three days. She called her off her break and reprimanded her in front of me for ringing it up as a cash sale and explained that was the reason my name and information did not come up on their computers. I told the blonde sales associate that I already knew the person who assisted me in the purchase was in training and told the young girl it was Not her fault since the heavy set blonde (a different blonde) rung up the transaction as part of her training. Now I am thinking the rude blonde associate not only lacks customer service skills but also the skills to work as a team player nor would she be someone I would want as a co-worker. I am not saying this to have her fired but maybe she needs some training in the proper ways of business.

After hearing that the sale of this ring was rung up incorrectly and the fact that only Two of my sales actually showed up in the Zales Database at ONLY the store of purchase I asked about the many, many other sales transactions I had made during this year. What if my relatives dropped off something for repair or to resize a ring I purchased for them? I gave them the warranties but what if they had the same problem I did? It would seem like I gave them a fake warranty! That was unacceptable to me!

The blonde associate explained to me that no matter what the warranty number would be available on all purchased warranties and would come up on their database. I was confused since I did purchase a warranty on every piece of jewelry I purchase be it from Zales or another jeweler. How is it that my name, phone numbers, address and all other information is printed out on my warranties but it does not exist in your databases for the many, many purchases I have made this year?!

The blonde sales associate said that every warranty is stored in the database and to complete the database for all of my transactions I would need to bring in every sales receipt and every warranty I have purchased over the past year. Do you Know how Embarrassing that will be for me to ask nearly every member of my family to hand over their warranties because the jewelry store I purchased their many gifts from doesn’t have any record of the sale or warranty??? That makes me look extremely cheap, that I did not care where I purchased their gifts from or at the very least that the company I selected to purchase from might or might not have the information in the system when they Need a service from the warranty! That same company might or might not honnor the warranty or worse ask for money on top of the warranty!

Before I left the blonde sales associate said “If you are still thinking of telling the store manager about this whole thing don’t worry about it. I will fill him in on everything.” The way she said it I just knew she would only cover her own butt and not explain the whole ordeal.

When I returned to work from my lunch hour to pick up my repaired ring I was Very upset and told every co-worker about it! I told my family and my out of state and out of country friends about it! I was Very upset! I told them the next day what had happened that night when I returned with my paper work and how I never received an apology after showing Proof that I Did Purchase the ring from that very store AND the Warranty! I was still upset about it Today when another co-worker whom I only see from time to time mentioned how Customer Service has gone down hill. I explained my whole ordeal with your store to her. She was appalled and said she would have contacted corporate about the situation and that I was nicer than I should have been!

For those of my friends who were at ITS the first ring I dropped off was the big ring I wore at ITS. The second ring I dropped off for repair was the one I bought to wear at the Happy Hour on Black Friday.

I refused to purchase ANY of my Christmas gifts from Zales Jewelers as a result of this mess! I took my business to the other jewelers in the same mall who didn't have the attitude problem.

Monday, November 24, 2008

High School Reunions, New Love and Then Some...

So much has gone on since I last posted. Drama…not like the high school drama, just parenting in the “other country” as my children and others have now named our new “State”. Try as we might to adapt to this new State after all this time, well, it just isn’t like “home“, yet.

I am finally in ONE house, the New house!

I went to another Get Together with friends from my past.

I met a Blast from the Past!! It was Fab…U..Lous!! The kind of fab-u-lous that makes your knees week and your pulse quicken when you brush hands at the table. Then holding hands while walking through the leaves at a state park which was once your stomping grounds.

Oh wait! I didn’t tell you about the first Get Together with my friends! There was Drama but I will get to that later. Things started out slow and awkward. The hotel Hampton Inn, didn’t have my reservation when I checked in. The girl behind the desk actually said “Are you sure you have the right hotel?” I spent 2 hours on the phone with them booking a suite for my friends and a room for myself. My response to her sarcastic, overworked and underpaid, remark …”Did you JUST call me Stupid?!” She and the other girls at the front desk all took a few jaw dropping steps backwards. Stuttering she said “Um-a-um-a-na, No.” They eventually found my reservation. After two hours on the phone with reservations to figure out how to book two rooms at once, they still messed it up by booking the suite for two nights and my room, the person paying for it all, for the wrong night! The front desk corrected the situation making my room for two nights and the suite for one night. Why didn’t the suite come up when I checked in? It would have been fine if I staid in the suit the first night but even that didn’t come up when I checked in.

I was finally checked in and on my way to my room. Oh my room preference is away from the elevators but I gave up on them fixing that. Then I went to check my wireless internet access and that wasn’t working. “We can send our maintenance man up in 20 minutes but it might be longer.” Oh joy! For some reason I thought it would work when I checked in and I let everyone know I would check my email and websites when I arrived.

Oh well, there is the bar down stairs where our day long party will end the evening. I was really surprised at a few things. Most of the people were 20 years older than me. There was a little glimmer of hope that not everyone who came here was in their 60s. I did promise something about an 80s night of music. Well, this woman passed by in a really short denim skirt, she was actually stick thin, blonde curls down to her waist. I was finally feeling optimistic that the under 60s crowd did still come to this place to dance! Then “She” turned around. The face that turned around was that of a 60 + woman! It would not have shocked me if she had not been wearing that micro jean mini skirt. It just seems so WRONG to be that age and have that face when you wear an outfit like that! Up until then I didn’t understand why the 30 + set (like myself) shouldn’t wear a plaid school girls mini skirt. I put my mini kilt in a box when I got home! It just isn’t right! Even a woman can see that! I can still fit the mini kilt I wore in high school but after what I saw, I wont do that again!

Since everyone down in the bar and dance floor was well over my age category I decided to give my in room internet another try. There were a few emails and website updates. Nothing major so I decided to venture out for a bite to eat. I. Got. Lost! In my own hometown! Too many new roads and new turns off the old roads. I couldn’t even figure out where to park for downtown dining! Roads were already being closed off for the festival.

I called my friend Rick to see if he had any suggestions and I was freaking out a bit about getting lost. He had been back a few times so maybe he would have some idea of what to do. He was helpful but then I saw something shiny! “Heather, are you still driving? You seem distracted.” “Um, I am in a store. Okay, I saw something in a window and I had to go in. I am a girl ya know. Looking for the perfect outfit. Hey! I did pass by three shoe stores before I actually stopped.” He laughed at me but staid on the phone while I told him about the different outfits I saw and how disappointed I was when I was actually in the store. Eventually I went back to my van and drove around. I had to say goodbye to Rick so he could get ready for traveling and I could find a place to eat. He did laugh more at my “what way does this street go!! I am on the high way again!! How do I get back?!” I gave up finding a fancy restaurant but wouldn’t give in to fast food that would make me feel like I ate rocks. I settled on Cracker Barrel. It was near the hotel and I wouldn’t get lost downtown or end up back on the highway again. Message to Cracker Barrel…if someone orders food to go, don’t just give them the covered dish…give them plastic ware!!! I was taking my food to go and didn’t realize there was no napkin, no fork and no knife, not even a butter knife or a spoon!! Thanks for the Salt and Pepper though! Thank goodness I remembered the suit case I used was previously a pageant suit case (much like a Girl Scout kit-be prepared) still loaded with the basic essentials like one set of plastic ware! The Cracker Barrel didn’t even give me one napkin so I used a tissue from the room. Tip, pot roast might require Utensils!

The internet wasn’t working when I returned to my room so I called a friend who walked me through the process. Yeah! I didn’t have to wait for the maintenance man to fix the internet. He did come by later to offer me a port-a-crib. I was in a room by myself. I did hear a baby crying on our floor so I cheerfully told him he might have the wrong room. While he was at my room I did mention the dripping noise in the bathroom and he said that would be fixed in time. I thought it would be fixed during the time I was there.

Around 4 am the dripping noise and my excitement about the next days events, the reunion with so many friends...I fell asleep.

Then I woke up every half hour. I was excited about the next day!! After the first hour I was no longer amused by the sound and vibration of the elevator. Oh well, at least it distracted me from the sound of the dripping faucet in the bathroom. Around 8 am I was so tired the sounds outside the room didn't bother me. I was tired by morning and the internet stopped working so I couldn't check my emails. I gave up, gave in and went to in to town.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Getting Back To High School - Oh the Drama and High School Guys

Ok, I have been extremely busy. Soooo much to tell you but I need to take a chill pill so I don’t try to do it all in one post. It would just be way too confusing.

I still need to put off the continuation of “Crazy For You” since I haven’t seen Chris yet. We might catch up with each other next month.

So far there was the Get Together with friends back in my home town. This started out as a request to meet up with all the Angels but grew to a much larger group. At first I didn’t think too many people would be interested in coming to see me. Why would they? I thought of myself as an average girl in high school and didn’t think I was all that special so, aside from my best friends maybe a handful of people would come. The numbers grew and grew based on word of mouth at lunches and other such things like friends saying to post on a website that I am coming to town and let’s All get together.

Strolling down memory lane has so many ups. You remember all the great times and forget about all the real chaos behind the scenes. Between the time I announced that I would be back in my hometown and the date of the Festival there was so much drama I was going to back out. When I was “wishing for the good ole days” I forgot to wish for everything but nail-biting-what-the-heck-afraid-to-sleep-cold-sweat-drama. There was huge jealousy spiraling out of control for no reason at all. Girls fighting over men, via emails and online commentary and even a few of those late night phone calls between friends “guess who has a crush on so and so?” and “Can you believe he/she is talking to him/her and not me right at this moment?”

At first I thought this next issue would have been a pleasant surprise but it actually scared me a bit. About 95% of the guys who RSVPed or contacted me after hearing I was coming back…well, they felt the need to confess exactly how much they liked me back in the day. A few actually scared me into blocking any way they could contact me. I was greatly surprised by the number of admissions to having a huge crush on me. I would have to say 98% of those crushes I had absolutely no clue about back then or the select few I had spoken with after high school.

Oh and another really funny thing was a few guys who said they remembered me actually didn’t remember me by name but as soon as they looked me up in the year book suddenly remembered they had great amorous intentions towards me. I did test them a little by asking when and where they saw me in school , who I hung out with most and what my usual attire was since I was a bit out of the norm.

Apparently at Players I was a bit consumed in my own little world of worry and wonder. Several guys said they went to Players but I couldn’t even imagine them at that place. Then there were a few that I suddenly recalled actually dancing with at Players. So not like me to dance with them since they went to my school and were not part of my guy pal group. But, I did dance with them because they asked and I knew they wouldn’t have wondering hands. There were actually a few guys who said they wanted to come to the Get Together but didn’t trust themselves to behave well. They remembered I had rules and I would be greatly offended if they crossed any of my lines. Those few decided it was better to email rather than see me in person.

A few more guys were concerned about how much their looks had changed since high school. I thought that was funny since I had no intentions to make any romantic connections. I just wanted to see everyone, stroll down memory lane a bit and catch up on what they have been up to over the years since I last saw them. This last set of guys were part of the group I had not seen since high school. Don’t they realize most of us have changed in our physical appearance since high school? I even told them over and over again I was no longer a size 2 and 98 lbs. At the Get Together and before hand the women all seemed to be concerned with who was thinner than they were (I admit it was something I thought about a few days before going) and the guys were concerned with their hair or lack of hair. Many of the guys are now bald and I would have never considered that a good look on any guy before but I now have a new appreciation for baldness. The bald or hair thinning guys had me doing a double take look and I almost gave myself whiplash. Maybe it was the smile on their faces but my goodness I never thought I would like that sort of look. Any guy considering not going to a reunion of any type based on his lack of hair should really reconsider and get himself to that reunion.

There was one guy (Phil) who couldn’t seem to wait for the Get Together. He traveled to my state to see me. It was the cutest thing!! He brought his old letterman leather sleeved jacket for me to wear with all his pins but something was going on with the leather sleeves. They were sticky to the touch and seemed to be decomposing in some sort of weird way. Still, he brought it to show me he intending letting me wear it on our “date”. That wasn’t the cutest part. Since we went to the same school it was against my “rules” to date him and he never mustered up the guts to ask me out. Well, he went through his old boxes and dug up his class ring which he placed on my finger at the start of the date and asked me to “go steady.” He was even shaking and a bit nervous just like the guys were back in high school when they asked. Is that like the cutest reunion thing you have ever heard? It is the cutest I have ever heard! Ok, so it was really stepping back in time but such a sweet gesture!

There is so much more to tell but it will have to wait until later. I am STILL moving items from the old house to the new house. I think one more (it’s always one more) loaded truck will do the trick. Well, it did take two moving companies to move me to my new state. I should have remembered that. I do have my New Year’s resolution…to unpack the boxes in the newly dubbed “Box Room” unpacked or in the proper place (seasonal, craft and such doesn’t need unpacking) by New Years Day 2010. Also, I will have at least ONE thing hung on a wall (picture, ornamental item or something) by New Years Day. I really do hate patching holes in the wall if I don’t like it at first try.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Short on Time so ... Picture Book of What I Have Been Up To

Went to work one day and guess who was there?

Went out with friends to celebrate closing on the new house. No, I wasn't in trouble. See those smiling faces?

The "New" house has this...What? No, it's not that kind of bar. It is a 1950's Soda Fountain! I mentioned this to my Girl Scouts and they all want to have a sleepover at my house.

Oh, and what is this? Starting from left to right: wood stove, indoor grill and gas stove. All of this is in the same room as the Soda Fountain.

This was me mid June this year

This was me September 4th with a Secret Service Man (yes, really).

Me on September 15th (sucking in my tummy as if my life depended on it)

Me on September 28th, not sucking in my tummy. This was taken after being in the office for 10 hours then coming home to pack up boxes for the move and three nights of 2 hrs of sleep each. This photo was taken at around midnight by my son who snook up behind me and surprised me! I know my make up really should have been take off by then and eww but look at the rest of me! I went from a size 16 to an 8!

Did I starve myself? Did I join a gym and work out like crazy while starving myself? No, I bought a Ramones CD and started dancing around the house while doing house work, helping Snow White with homework and packing. Just moving around (dancing around) after work every day for an hour.

Went back to my "hometown" during a festival and to see many wonderful friends.

Played Tourist and took 364 photos in my hometown but my blog wont hold them all. Might post more later.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Whole Lot O' Busy

Sorry I haven't been updating the stories as much as I should. I have been busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest lately. Work was crazy for a little while and I almost had to travel over seas. Now work has died down and my personal life has really kicked up several notches.

I found another house in the area that I like! Yeah! We are moving soon! What do you mean I have pack again? I hate packing. If I could afford to buy everything new I would so not pack. Too bad I am not independently wealthy. I will be packing and getting ready for the "Reunion" as well.

What reunion? Didn't I tell you? Well, here is the story. I contacted my five best friends from high school, the Angels. One thing lead to another and now my going back to our old town has turned into a good sized reunion. Not your typical high school reunion with just one class and one school. No, this reunion includes several schools around the area with alumni from the classes 1984-1987.

Guess what? Chris wont be there but I will see him in November when he returns from his travels. I might stop the stories until I chat with everyone to make sure I don't forget anything. So far everyone else is really surprised at how much I remember from high school.

Well, I need to get a few boxes packed tonight so I am going to close this for now. I am not abandoning you, I am just taking care of few things. Believe me, I would love to do this every day but the responsible side of me keeps pushing me to take care of things.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Unexpected Turns

So, there we were, Giggles, Dave, Chris and I all on our way to O.C. in Giggles gigantic Mercury. It took about three hours to get to the Bay Bridge. Once we were there traffic came to a stand still. This always seemed to happed at the bridge, even in the middle of the night. I decided to get out of the car to stretch my legs. Dave also got out of the car to stretch.

I didn’t know Dave at all, he sort of gave me a weird vibe so I didn’t really talk with him much during the Prom. I actually found myself keeping a good deal of distance between us. Outside the car he started out with small talk which I didn’t mind. Then it started to feel like a quiz game with him asking me question after question. This wasn’t a conversation it felt more like an interview. Since the cars were still not moving forward I leaned back on the hood of Giggles’ car. Dave came to stand next to me and started stroking my right arm. I quickly pulled away from him and Chris jumped out of the car. “Hey buddy, what do you think you are up to?” Chris pulled me away from the car and away from Dave. Giggles started complaining about being the only person in the car. I looked at Dave and said “Why don’t you give Giggles a break for a few minutes.” Dave folded his arms across his chest and said “It’s not my car. She wanted to drive. She gets to sit behind the wheel.” I rolled my eyes and walked over to the driver’s door “Ok, you come out and stretch, I will sit behind the wheel. If the cars start moving then you take over. Ok?” Giggles wasn’t about to let anyone get behind the wheel of her car. “No! All of you come back inside the car. I am sure we will start moving soon.”

Chris opened the back door on the drivers side and push me in. He looked at Dave and said “You can sit up front with YOUR date.” Dave said “Prom is over Dude. I am just along for the beach trip.” Then he opened the back seat door on the opposite side of the car. Giggles was not at all happy. She should have been angry with Dave but no, she was upset with me. She demanded that I crawl up to the front seat with her. Chris and I argued that Dave should go up front with her. In the end no one was willing to change their current seat.

There I was in the back seat with Chris to my left and Dave on my right. Dave irritating me by whispering in my ear so Chris pulled me up to sit across his lap. It was very late and I was getting sleepy so I rested my head on arm rest of the door. Chris asked if I was comfortable and I nodded. He wrapped his arms around me and put my head on his shoulder. “Isn’t that better?” and I agreed it was much better. I was just about to fall asleep when I felt something on my leg! I looked over at my legs and saw that Dave was rubbing my leg!! I started kicking him in the chest! "Get off of my leg! Leave me alone!! Geesh, can’t you just let me be!"

Giggles had had enough as well. She yelled at me to get up front and told the guys to go to sleep until we get there. I leaned forward to climb over the front seat but Chris held on to me. He argued that Dave should be the one to move since he couldn’t behave. I told Chris “It’s ok, I am tired of having to deal with this. It’s better if I just go up front.” I wanted to sleep but Giggles said I had to stay awake to keep her company. If I was going to stay awake I needed to move around a bit first so I got out of the car and walked up the bridge a bit. At this point we were crawling along with traffic but at least we were moving a bit. Giggles told both of the guys to stay put in the car “She will be back in a minute so don’t worry about it.”

Finally, we reached the end of the bridge and traffic opened up! We were going at the pace of the speed limit. In only a few minutes we would arrive at our hotel. This seemed to pick up everyone’s spirits. As I saw the end of the ride was near I glanced around the car and saw each of them were wearing beaming smiles.

We reached the hotel where Giggles told the guys to unload the car while she checked us in. I was instructed to keep an eye on the guys and our luggage. Giggles came back and showed us the way to our rooms. I carried a few bags, Giggles carried hers and they guys carried up the cooler, their bags and a few odds and ends we had packed. Giggles inserted the key (an actual metal door key) and opened the door. As she flopped down on one of the double beds she laughingly said “Home Sweet Home.” The guys were still outside when Chris said “So, where is our key?” Giggles sat up and said “I need to explain something to you. We only have one room instead of two. I cashed in the other room to pay my portion of the room when we come back for senior week.” The three of us looked at her in disbelief. She continued to explain “I needed more money for gas and rather than ask all of you for more money I changed our two rooms into one. The girls will sleep in one bed and the guys will sleep in the other.” Chris was not happy at all with this arrangement. “I did not spend good money to sleep with some strange guy. I would have gladly paid more for gas than have to share a bed. You didn’t even give us the option. You wait until we are already here to spring this on us?!” He shoved the cooler into the room and stormed off. Giggles said “I don’t see what he is so upset about.” Dave pulled out a beer from the cooler then sat down on the other bed. I went to find Chris to see if I could calm him down.

I found Chris down on the beach kicking sand. He didn’t see me coming up from behind him but something made him aware that I was there. He stopped kicking the sand and without even turning around he said “Can you believe she did this to us?” With that he plopped down to sit in the sand. I sat down next him without saying a word put my hand on his shoulder. He went on to say “I am not, repeat, not going to sleep in the same bed with Dave.” I patted him on the back then said “I completely understand. I don’t even want to sleep in the same room with him.” I paused for a moment then let out a sigh “Poor Dave, no one wants to sleep with him.” We both laughed. I took off my shoes and walked ankle deep in the ocean. I kicked up a bit of water towards Chris. At first he pretended not to be bothered by it. As I turned my back towards him he rushed up behind me, picked me up and swung me around. I screamed and giggled myself silly.

Chris cheered up and we didn’t have to worry about sleeping arrangements for another few hours. We were still planning to watch the sunrise. That was the whole point of driving out to the beach in the middle of the night. We walked back to the room to have a few drinks. I knocked and Dave opened the door. I asked where Giggles was and he explained that she went down stairs for ice. We each had a few drinks and Dave started in on me again. Chris and Dave started arguing so I poured my drink into my prom glass and went down stairs to find Giggles.

I walked down the iron stairs towards the front office. As I passed the front office windows I saw Giggles was obviously flirting with the guy at the front desk. Well, I wasn’t going back up to the room where the guys were arguing so I decided to sit by the empty pool to enjoy my drink in peace. I could hear the crashing waves and a distant radio playing. Everything seemed soft and light. I was surprised that Chris didn’t come looking for me but that was ok. I was enjoying my time alone.

When I finished my drink I decided to go back to the room. Surely the sun would be coming up soon. On my way to the pool gate I stepped on a small piece of glass in my bare feet. I walked up to the front office to see if Giggles was still in there. I didn’t see anyone inside, not even the guy behind the desk. I checked the door and it was still unlocked so I went in. I looked around to see if I could find a Band-Aid. Just then a new front desk guy popped around the corner. I explained in sort of a slurred speech that I stepped on some glass by the pool gate which led to my searching for a Band-Aid. This guy gave me a short lecture stating no one is to be at the pool after 11:00 pm and it was nearly dawn. I laughingly said “What? Are you afraid I would drown in a pool with no water?” He laughed and produced a Band-Aide. He washed off my cut then put the Band-Aid on for me. He insisted on carrying me back to my room “to prevent further injury.” I knocked and Chris answered the door. The front desk guy said “I believe you might have lost something.” Chris didn’t think it was funny but the front desk guy and I thought it was hilarious.

A few minutes later Giggles returned to the room, without ice. “Sorry, ice machine is down for the night.” I laid on the bed closest to the bathroom. I was too tired to stay awake and wanted to take a nap. Giggles said if I fell asleep now I would miss the sunrise. I assured her that I would need a little tiny nap in order to actually see the sunrise. Chris promised to wake me up in time to watch it with everyone. Giggles decided to walk out on the beach since she didn’t want to stay in the room when the beach was right outside.

A few hours later I woke up to the sound of doors slamming. Apparently Giggles was trying to wake me up by slamming the bathroom door shut a few times. With a great deal of sarcasm she said “Oh! Did I wake you? It’s about time you got up. You missed the sunrise already. Do you want to miss a whole day at the beach?” Dave had to put his two cents in too “I had to sleep in a chair since Giggles wouldn’t share the other bed.” I was confused. I didn’t know what he was talking about. I sat up in the bed, rubbed my eyes then I saw him. Chris was asleep in the same bed I was still in! I could see his bare shoulders above the top of the sheets. My hand went to my mouth as I gasped! “Surely, he, he isn’t …um naked under there is he?!” Apparently Chris was awake and heard everything that was going on. He was only pretending to be asleep. He laughed and threw the sheet off of him in one swift movement. I covered my eyes with both of the my hands! I didn’t want to see him naked! Giggles was laughing at me so I peeked through my fingers and saw that Chris was wearing shorts. He said “You fell asleep on top of the bedspread so I covered you up with my half and I slept under the sheet. No big deal. What do you think I am? Some kind of pervert? Please.” Giggles stopped laughing “Chris you were suppose to share a bed with Dave.” To which Chris responded “I never said I was going to sleep with Dave. That was never in the plans we all made.”

I decided to take a shower before heading out to the board walk with everyone. Chris wanted to check out a few things along the beach. Giggles was ready to head out and wasn’t waiting for anyone. She asked Dave to come along and enjoy the day. He decided to stay and wait for me. This lead to Chris staying as well “Heather in the shower and you in the room, not a good combination.” Giggles grabbed her wallet and my arm then whispered in my ear “Make sure you lock the bathroom door. You don’t want either of them in the bathroom with you.” I assured her I was going to lock the bathroom door. Heck, I locked the bathroom door when I took a shower at home.

About an hour later I emerged from the bathroom wearing a pair of white shorts that came down to about my knees and a pink Esprit sweat shirt that completely engulfed me. What? I was tiny and it was the last pink one they had on sale at the Limited. So what if it fit me like a tent. Chris and Dave were both a bit astonished at my baggie look but Chris said “You still look cute but I think you might want jeans. Your legs are going to freeze until lunch rolls around. I assured him I would be just fine so long as I kept moving about. With that the three of us set out to find Giggles. Ok, I was the only one who wanted to find Giggles. They could do whatever they wanted but I reminded them that she had the one and only room key.

Not much was open and the board walk was pretty barren at this time of the season. Add to that most people were keeping warm inside during the cool morning hours. As we walked along the boardwalk I almost wanted to whisper as to not disturb those who might still be sleeping. While on our search for Giggles I popped in to a few shops looking for souvenirs for friends and family. One thing I knew I couldn’t return home without was the Salt Water taffy. Why do people make such a fuss over taffy? Why did I have to watch as if I were mesmerized by the taffy pulley in the front window display?

During our walk I was surprised by a man who seemed to be from Jamaica. He wore an over sized rainbow colored crochet hat with long dreadlocks dangling down from all sides. I loved listening to his accent. He convinced me that I just had to try this new art. You pick out a colored or white square piece of paper then he places it on a spinning wheel inside a container. After which you pick out different colors of paint in what looks like cheap restaurant ketchup squeeze bottles. Once your square started spinning in the container you squeeze the tubes of paint either one at a time or two at once at the square. It makes a neat little design that reminded me of an Spiro-graph. The guys thought I shouldn’t waste my money on it but I decided it was an inexpensive souvenir and a little funny too.

We finally caught up to Giggles at Freddy’s, a pizza place right next to Board Walk Fries. As I had pizza before but never the Board Walk Fries I wanted to try out the fries. For just a few bucks you get a giant sized “cup” full of fries with the skins still on, sprinkled with Old Bay seasoning. They were Great! I couldn’t eat the whole “cup” myself so I shared with everyone. Eventually we ended up giving them to Dave because he licked his fingers then grabbed a few more. Ewww. Who wants Dave’s soggy cooties on their fries?

After the rest of them ate pizza Giggles asked “What should we do next?” I suggested building a sand castle but that was too juvenile for them. Chris said the only way he would play in the sand is if he could burry Dave. Giggles and I sort of snickered but still, we couldn’t do that. He didn’t want sand up his shorts and we didn’t want sand all over the hotel room either. Growing up on the East coast beaches took it’s toll on me. I hated more than anything to get sand in my hair. Even after living in Maryland, hours and hours from the beach, for six years, I would still catch myself running my fingers through my hair checking for sand granules. (I still do that to this very day…weird I know.)

We decided to make our way up to the very end of the board walk. This was actually my first trip to O.C. and everything about the traffic on the bridge I had only heard about from my friends. I think my parents were tired of the beach so they never took us on family trips to O.C. So, I was a little disappointed to find out all the rides and games were still shut down. Every board walk I had been on in the past seemed to be open year round. If you have ever watched Gallagher “The Maddest” (comedian) when he talks about how the US was discovered in earlier days, when people reached California they saw the end of the continent and they were pissed so they built piers. When I reached the end of the board walk I felt just like that. That was it? I wanted to go further!

Oh well, with no further to go we turned around and headed back down the board walk. We walked down a long pier near the middle of the beach and then under it to see if there were any sea shells the shops didn’t get that morning. There wasn’t much else to do so we went back to the room to have a few more drinks. Well, I wasn’t up to having anything to drink, alcohol wise. It was getting a little boring in the room so I decided to go back outside and build my own sand castle by myself. A little boy came over to help me with my castle. We had sticks and blades of some sort of weed for flags, a few pebbles and itty bitty shells for decoration. When we thought it was finished we decided a moat was needed. Unfortunately, the sand sucked up all of our water in the moat. I noticed that my legs were growing red so I let him burry just my legs in the sand. His mother was close by and seemed to enjoy the fact that she had a babysitter right there on the beach. After awhile they had to leave.

I left my legs buried in the sand as I watched the waves roll in. Even though it wasn’t near dark the beach was a bit deserted. I don’t remember how much time had passed but eventually Chris appeared at my side. “What are you doing out here all by yourself and only half buried?” “Just enjoying the sounds of the beach. See my sand castle! A little boy helped me build it.” Chris laughed and sat down next to me pushing his bare feet under the sand. He brought with him two drinks and I said “I hope one of those is not for me.” “No chance, these are mine. Go brave the essence that is Giggles if you want a drink of your own. I have had my fill of her for the day.” I giggled at the thought of the two of them battling wits and my missing it. At times it was really something entertaining to witness. Their Q-tip debate always gets me!

Chris and Giggles, the way they didn’t get along always seemed to surprise me. Yes, each can rub someone the wrong way. Giggles usually could rub anyone the wrong way but Chris only seemed to rub the wrong kind of people the wrong way. If he was getting under someone’s skin that was usually a sign they were not the sort of person you wanted to be around. Giggles on the other hand, she was one of my very best friends and I couldn’t really see why the two of them were constantly at each other. Giggles was very head strong and seldom wrong about most facts and calculations. Chris always seemed to pick the morally right side of things. Maybe that was it, morally right and factually right are not always the same thing. Chris was a great moral compass even when he didn’t intend to be.

Chris and I sat on the beach chatting about this and that. What we planned to do with our lives and where we saw ourselves in 5 years. Ok, Chris wasn’t exactly sure where his life was heading but he knew he was going to make a good go at life. On the other hand I knew exactly what I wanted and where I wanted to be. I wanted to be Ronnie’s wife and where ever he was I was going to do everything I could to make his life easier and better. Would I work? Of course, I couldn’t just sit at home all day waiting for Ronnie to get home. I wanted to make some sort of financial contribution. The only thing I needed to figure out was what sort of job would allow me to be home before Ronnie left for work and before he came home. I was completely and totally for making him breakfast and seeing to all his needs before he left in the morning. Pack him lunch or bring him a picnic lunch in the middle of his day if he was not out in the field. I also wanted to have dinner on the table when he came home and even have his slippers and paper for him when he was relaxing after dinner. I wanted to give him massages and take every kink out of his day. I want to look good for him, make a good impression on his superiors and his colleges. To make him look good in front of his superiors and colleges. I would work part time, join all the on post charities I could, work in the Sunday school on post, make delicious baked goods for fundraisers and luncheons. I wanted to be the perfect wife and then after two years of marriage we would have our first baby.

I had it all planned out how my life with Ronnie was going to be. After explaining every detail to Chris I was so excited I could hardly wait for it to all start! Chris was not so thrilled “Come on, you can do much better than being a housewife.” How did he not see that what I was planning for my future took a great deal of brains and finesse? Chris thought I should have a wonderful career that included a large corner office with huge windows covering two walls of that office, over looking some grand city. Maybe before my biological clock stopped ticking I would have one child, a pet cat or some tropical fish. How could our views of my future be so completely different?

In the next post...maybe some sex, pillow fights and more travling.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

All Fired Up After Prom

We left off with the end of the Prom…

We Angles hugged each other and went our separate ways. No one wanted to go to the overlook since they were sure I would cry. Ronnie and I went to the overlook often when he was home. The rest of the Angels were dropped off at their homes via the limo. I drove Chris to Giggles’ house where we were going to change in to regular clothes for the drive to Ocean City.

Giggles rushed out to my car when I drove up. Change of plans, Giggles’ parents were home and awake. They did not know boys were coming with us to Ocean City. Giggles told her parents the same lie I told mine “It’s just going to be us Angels.” Even though there was a separate room for the boys our parents would not have allowed us to go. How would they have stopped us? They own the cars we drove and they paid for the car insurance. She waved towards her house and Dave ran from the shadows up to the rear passenger side door of my car. “Heather, take the guys to the McDonalds on 7th Street. They can change in the bathrooms there.” Chris was agitated to say the least. I calmed him down while Dave climbed in to the back seat. “Giggles! I need to change at my house and grab my bag for OC. In my rush to pick up Chris earlier I forgot it.” She said “Fine! Hurry up though. We need to get on the road. Meet me back here so you can drive home when we get back. We will take my car to pick up the guys at McDees.”

So, off I went to drop the guys off at McDees. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t change at Dave’s condo but who was I to say anything. After dropping off the boys I sped off to my house to change my clothes quicker than I had ever changed in my life! I felt a great need to get to the overlook. Just to be there for a few minutes, looking over the city lights as Ronnie and I had done so many times. Although he couldn’t be with me tonight I needed to feel close to him, be somewhere we would have gone after Prom. Surely it would only take a few extra minutes for this little detour across town.

When I reached my house I ran up the stairs and pulled off my dress before I even reached my bedroom door. I threw the dress on my bed, kicked my heels off in the direction of my closet and pulled on my jeans. While hopping around with one foot slipped into a white Keds sneaker I reached for a random shirt hung up in my closet and grabbed my packed bag. I hopped on the way down the stairs to the front door while trying to slide on the other sneaker. Just as I grabbed the knob of the front door my Mom appeared. “Did you have a nice time? Where are you going now?” “Mom! Oh, Giggles said I better not be late, we are leaving for O.C. to watch the sunrise remember?” I hugged and kissed her and ran out the door before she asked me anything else. As I ran to my car I shouted “Love You Mom! See you Sunday night!”

I threw my bag to the passenger side and sped off on to the highway. I reached the overlook in about 15 minutes. Surely I could get back down the mountain and back to Giggles house before she started to get concerned. Just as I was about to turn off the car I heard a familiar song on the radio, Angel by Madonna. It was then that I remembered something wonderful! Before Ronnie asked me to dance that first night, I was dancing to that song with my friends. Ronnie came up from behind me and whispered in my ear “I think you’re an Angel.” I quickly turned around to see who said this incredibly sweet thing to me and there he was, smiling at me and I knew he meant what he said. My hands went immediately to my cheeks in an attempt to cover the blushing that was overtaking them. I spun back around to face my dancing circle of friends. Then I realized I wasn’t dancing, I was only trying to catch my breath. My friends were each giving me a quizzical look. I shrugged my shoulders and tried to get back in the swing of the dancing. Flic was on my left and defensively asked “What on earth did that guy say to you?!” I waved her off since I couldn’t yet speak. Later at our table I told all of the Angels what he said. Giggles thought it was just a come on but much later realized that Ronnie meant everything he says.

That memory was the warm glow I needed after Prom. I wondered how long I had been sitting in the car thinking about Ronnie and decided I didn’t have time to look at the city lights. I had to get back down the mountain to Giggles house or the drive to O.C. could be a disaster. As I drove down the lone dark road I saw an unfamiliar light ahead. There was a car…ON FIRE! Completely consumed with flames! A fireman about 30 years old motioned for me to stop my car about 12 feet before I reached the burning car. Just as he reached my car window I heard a loud explosion! I covered my face with my hands and screamed!! He reached in, grabbed my wrist and said “Don’t be alarmed miss! That is just the tires blowing out from the heat. They always do that. Nothing we can do until the fire dies down. I asked what happened and he said “You kids and your Proms.” He shook his head and looked down “We are reporting this one as a domestic dispute. Better turn your car off and wait bit.” I didn’t recognize the car or anything but for some reason I started to cry. I asked him “Are the people ok?” He told me they were taken to the hospital but expect them to be out before the night was over. Then I snapped back to reality. What?! Wait a “bit”! He didn’t know Giggles. She will be furious if I don’t get off this mountain like NOW! I explained that I had to get “home” immediately. He saw the panic in my face so he gave me directions to get down the mountain…the back way. “Turn around, take this same road down until you see a church on your left. Turn right and you will be heading towards town.” That sounded simple enough. He forgot to mention that the paved road turns into what seems like a one lane gravel road about halfway down the mountain and I was a good 20 minutes away from the church.

Ok, so there was some drama when I reached Giggles’ house. I told her that my Mom stopped me at the front door and asked questions. This was not exactly a lie as it did happen, it just wasn’t the reason I was late. She was already upset that I was late. I didn’t want to hear how stupid she thought my idea of going to the overlook was. The guys were also upset about the long delay. They voiced their grievances while climbing into the back seat. Yes, this was going to be a “Memorable” trip to the beach! I had three people angry with me for this long road trip in the middle of the night.

Surprisingly, Dave was the first to say “That’s enough. She obviously feels bad about the whole thing. Nothing she could do about. We are on our way now so get over it already.” Chris didn’t say anything, he just slunk back in his seat, folded his arms and shook his head. Giggles on the other hand just couldn’t let it go. She harped on me for the next half hour. I kept my mouth shut thinking if I said anything it would just prolong her anger. Aside from that, it was really my fault and we could have been on our way sooner if I didn’t feel the need to go up to the overlook.

Chris decided there had to be something on the radio to listen to instead of Giggles’ ranting. When he asked her to turn on the radio she pointed to the sign taped over her car radio. “No, the radio doesn’t work! But I will sing to you if you want.” This tickled her! She even laughed for a few minutes! Then she uncovered the boom box in the center of the front seat. Giggles popped in a tape …The Go Gos! Ok, the guys were not thrilled with the selection but they were happy with the fact that Giggles stopped griping about the late start. Giggles and I sang along to the songs and even danced a little in our seats. I was relieved that the fight went out of her. It looked like we were going to have a great weekend after all.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prom - Be Careful What You Wish For…

I wanted my senior Prom to be memorable. I got my wish, though it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

I was dressed and ready for Prom! Unfortunately, Chris was already half an hour late picking me up. I called his house but his Mom said he left about half an hour ago. It usually takes about half an hour for Chris to drive into Frederick so I thought I should give him a few minutes. In the mean time Giggles calls my house “Why are you still home?! We need to get going!” I explained the situation and she said in a huff “Well, hurry up and get over here. Don’t waist time taking photos at your house. You can take photos at the Prom.” She called every ten minutes with the same attitude. “Maybe he stood you up. Did you ever think of that?” Actually, I had never been stood up before but “No, Chris wouldn’t do that! He knows this is important to me. He wouldn’t be able to show his face again in Frederick if he did that.” I was starting to wonder what happened to him. Now he was an hour late picking me up. Just as I was about to take my dress off and cry in my room the phone rang. It was Chris! Poor guy, his beautiful car broke down on a deserted part of the highway. He had to walk to the nearest city and call for a ride home. He also had to arrange for a tow truck. Before calling the tow truck he called me knowing I must have been freaking out.

New dilemma. Chris now had no car which meant we needed a vehicle. There was no way I was going to Prom in my car, AKA the Bomb. Why the nick name “Bomb”? It ticked and smoked but hey it got me from point A to point B. I talked to my parents. There was a lot of begging, groveling and maybe promises to put a new roof on the house or something equally impossible for me to do. Finally, Dad gave in and said I could take his Ford LTD. Yeah! It was a nice sedan and far better than my car. Problem was, Chris said he wouldn’t drive my parent’s car. GREAT! Not only did I miss showing up in Chris's fab car, I would also have to Drive to my own Prom. I was the Girl! I was suppose to be driven to the Prom by my Date. Ugh! Wait, we could still ride in the limo with the rest of the Angels.

Ok, I call Giggles to let her know what happened to Chris and that I was on my way to pick him up. She said it would take to long and they were NOT going to wait for us if we were late. “The limo is already here! You have 30 minutes! Hurry up!”

I hung up the phone and ran out the door. I drove as fast I could to Chris’s house. Then I realized, I had only been to his house once before. I got a little lost so I had to stop at a payphone to call him for directions. Yes, there I was outside a busy grocery store, on a pay phone, in my Prom dress. Chris told me “Take a deep breath Heather, you are practically around the corner from my house.” Off I went and finally I arrive at his house.

Before I knocked on the door Chris opened it. I was so relieved to see him. He was all ready to go…almost. “Chris, I am so sorry I was frantic on the phone. I know you are doing Ronnie and me a big favor by coming with me…” He cut me off “Let’s get one thing straight before we go any further. I am not doing this as a favor for Ronnie or anyone else. We are going on a date. You and I. This is a real date. Not like Giggles’ date. A real date. Got it?” I was standing on his front door step with my jaw gaping and in complete shock. Was he kidding me? Was he giving me an ultimatum at the very last second? Oh this was so not happening to me.

We were already late, I needed to hurry things along. I smiled at him sweetly and said “Ok, this is a date. We better move it or we will miss it.” With that we racing down the highway. Chris had never been in a car with me before and this was so not the day to introduce him to my crazy woman driving. He white knuckled it all the way back to Frederick. He might have thrown out a few curse words here and there but he survived.

Yeah! We finally made it to Giggles house! Her Mom explained that they left after I called her the last time. I asked her Mom where the restaurant was located and she gave me some round about directions. “Once you get to 355 you should see it off on the right. It’s a very large building.” When we were back in the car Chris said “Isn’t that typical of your friend Giggles?” I looked over at him and gave him an angry stare “This is so not the time for that.” Half an hour later after driving up and down 355 several times we find the restaurant. There was valet parking but I decided to park the car myself. As valets ran after us behind the car Chris said “I don’t think you are allowed to park the car yourself.” To which I said “With the luck we have had already today I am not chancing a valet scratching up my Dad’s car.”

I parked the car and we walked through the enormous entry way. A very elegant older gentleman asked if he could help us. I told him our reservation was under Giggles last name. “I am sorry madam but that table is already full.” I wasn’t listening to him. I saw Giggles and the rest of the crew at a large table and walked right over. Sure enough the table was full. “Hi, we finally made it. Oh you wouldn’t believe all the things that happened so far tonight.” Then I looked around and there were three people at the table I didn’t know. I looked at Giggles and she said “Well, we thought you wouldn’t make it so we invited the limo drivers and one of the driver’s girlfriends.” “Giggles? You mean that you gave away our dinner reservations? On Prom Night?!" Not looking at all concerned she said “We had to have our full party here in order to be seated.”

Chris could see that I was getting upset so he lead me out of the restaurant. We got into the car and started to cry. Surprisingly, Chris was being very optimistic. “It’s ok. We will have dinner somewhere else. Just the two of us. You don’t really want to go back in there and have dinner with Giggles right now, do you?” I shook my head. “Well, come on. Start the car and we will find a restaurant.” We drove around for awhile but all the fancy restaurants required a reservation. Chris decided it was time to stop driving around “Pull in here.” I didn’t see it at first but there was a little Chinese restaurant on the bottom floor of the large office building we parked in front of.

I had never had Chinese food before. The closest I had was at Dao’s Vietnamese birthday dinner when she was 6 yrs old and I was in 7th grade. As we walked into the restaurant Chris could tell I was a little apprehensive. “Look at it as an adventure. All of your friends are eating the same old things they have always had. Stake and chicken. You, on the other hand, are going to be adventurous tonight.” That cheered me up. While the waitress lead Chris to the table I went to the powder room to fix my make up.

When I entered the dinning room I spotted Chris right away at a table next to the window. It was kind of hard not to miss the only person in the room wearing a tuxedo. As I walked past the other tables towards Chris I heard people whispering and gasping. The more they did this the faster I walked. I kept my eyes focused on Chris. As I approached our table he jumped to attention and held out my chair for me. When we were both seated I leaned over the table and whispered “Everyone is staring at us. Why?” Chris laughed softly and leaned across the tabl towards me “They have never seen anyone as beautiful as you before.” That made me laugh. I had forgotten that I was wearing my Prom gown. Still, everyone staring at us was making me a bit nervous. Chris had a solution. He took the two very large, leather bound menus and placed them at the end of the table creating a sort of privacy divider between us and the rest of the customers. We had to lean in over the table a bit but it was fun. Chris was holding both of my hands in his on top of the table “I promise, your Prom is going to be a great night to remember. We are not going to let any of this silliness of preProm affect the rest of the night, right?” I smiled and agreed. At this point I knew I had made the right choice in choosing him to take me to Prom.

Just then someone cleared their throat. We both looked up and there was the waitress staring down at us from above our menu partition. Chris told her we needed a few more minutes. She giggled and walked away. Now came the difficult part, what to order. Chris tried to explain the different dishes to me but I finally gave up. There were just too many choices so I told him to decide. Giving Chris the power to choose something for me, to be in charge…that had never happened before. He was thoroughly enjoying this.

From the list of things he said to the waitress you would have thought he was feeding a small army. The two things I remember most were the wonton soup and the lobster with shrimp sauce. When our food arrived I was a little skeptical but Chris encouraged me to at least try everything. He was right, nothing ventured nothing gained. This was an adventure after all. I really enjoyed the wonton soup which was part of the first course. The salad surprised me “Chris, the dressing tastes like …like peanut butter!” He laughed, you really haven’t lived have you? Did your parents raise you in a bubble? That must be it, you are related to Bubble Boy.”

When the main course came …lobster tail with shrimp sauce. I kept telling myself, be adventurous, be adventurous. The smell was overwhelming. I had never smelled anything that…awful. I looked over at Chris who was enjoying his lobster. “Come on, you have to at least try it Heather.” I took the tiny piece with the chopsticks Chris rigged up for me with the wrapper then covered my nose. Chris laughed at me. “It’s good. Trust me.” I was doubtful but determined so I took a bite. Oh my gosh! What to do! What to do! I started looking around the table and at Chris and the whole room. I needed a place to spit it out! Right NOW! I stood up and Chris pulled me back down “Look at me. Look at me Heather. Are you allergic to shellfish?” I shook my head, No. He grabbed my napkin and placed it over my mouth. “It’s ok, just spit it out.” I didn’t want to spit it out into the napkin but I had to get it out of my mouth. So, I did.

Chris handed me back my napkin and laughed a little “I can’t believe you just did that. It’s lobster.” “I’m sorry Chris. I don’t know why but I didn’t like it. It had this sort of oil in it.” He looked at me like I was crazy “There is no oil in it.” I am telling you I tasted something like an oil and it felt really weird. He looked at me intensely for a few moments then said “I thought you were a Navy Brat. Doesn’t that mean you grew up on the seashores? You have never had lobster before have you? Didn’t you eat seafood?” I thought about it for a minute then realized I had never had real seafood before. The closest to seafood I ever had was fish and chips. Sadly I said “They don’t allow us bubble people to have seafood.” Chris burst out laughing! At least you have a sense of humor about it. Sad that you cannot eat lobster though. Hand it over, we are not letting this go to waste.” He asked me over an over again if there was anything else I wanted to try instead. The bad taste in my mouth wouldn’t go away no matter how much sprite I drank so I was finished with food for the rest of the night.

While we were waiting for the bill a few couples had come over to our table. They bowed and said “Congratulations.” I giggled. “What do you suppose they are congratulating us for?” Chris said “Either they think we just got married or they were impressed that you did so well with your first lobster.”

The bill came and Chris paid the waitress. Just as I was starting to enjoy myself it started to rain. I didn’t have a coat with me and now I had to make a mad dash for the car. My poor dress, my hair and my make up would all be ruined. Then it was Chris to the rescue again “Give me your keys.” I was surprised since he was so adamant about not driving my parents car. “I will bring it around to the door but you need to drive the rest of the way.” I gave him the keys and waited by the front door. As he pulled up I stepped out under the small awning. He jumped out of the car and said “Stop right there. Don’t move!” He ran over to me, took off his tux jacket and turned it inside out. Then he put it over my head and said “Ok, now you can run.” That was incredibly sweet.

While driving back to Frederick Chris said “I know it’s unpleasant but we need to talk about the Prom. We are still going to O.C. with Giggles so we have to tolerate her tonight. We are not giving up a weekend at the beach which I already paid for.” I agreed. I could never stay really mad at my friends. I could see why Giggles did what she did because that is how she is and we were late. She wasn’t trying to be mean on purpose but I thought she could have been a little understanding when she spoke to me at the restaurant.

The Prom was beautiful! It was held at the Peter Pan Inn in Urbana. There was a large ballroom set up with tables, a dance floor and a live band. Outside of the ballroom were beautiful fountains, statues and gardens with small table sets. When we first arrived I looked for “our table” hoping my friends would still save us seat. Chris said not to worry if they didn’t as we would still have a great time. While I was handing over our tickets at the entrance Kay-Kay and Huggles ran over to us. “We are so, so, so sorry about what happened at the restaurant. Giggles told us that you said you couldn’t make it and you were going to meet us later at the Prom. Are you mad at us?” I looked at Chris then I said “Dinner is over. We had a great adventure of our own and it was nice to have dinner alone. Sorry we missed dinner with you but it’s ok. We still had fun.” Everyone smiled, Chris squeezed my hand signifying I said all the right things. With that we were lead to the table with the rest of the crew. Giggles was standing near the table and rushed over to hug me. “I’m so glad you are here! Isn’t this set up fantastic! Lets dance!” She pulled me out to the dance floor before I could even say hello. We Angels danced until we felt like we would drop from exhaustion. Then came a slow dance. Chris didn’t dance much to the fast songs but he made sure not to miss the slow dances. There was one time I was at the table cooling off and a slow song came on. I didn’t know where Chris had disappeared to but I was sure he didn’t run off and leave. I don’t remember who it was that asked me for that slow dance but I agreed. Just as we were heading for the dance floor Chris came back to the table with two drinks. He looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders.

They always seem to play two slow songs in a row but I only danced the first song with that guy and returned to table where Chris was waiting. I thought he would ask me to dance to the second one but he was sulking. “Well, if you are going to sulk I am going to walk around the gardens outside.” Chris retorted back “I guess you told him to meet you outside.” I coyly said “Chris, why don’t you come with me? You haven’t seen the gardens before.” Even that didn’t work. “No, I will be fine sitting here at the table alone.” If he was going to be like that there was nothing I could do so I went to walk around outside by myself.

While looking at the statues and fountains I thought about what I had just done. I shouldn’t have danced with that other guy. I did have a date. I wasn’t interested in that guy at all. I just thought I was being nice by dancing with him. Had I known Chris would be so upset by it I wouldn’t have agreed to dance with that guy. I thought after a little while he would cool off and things would be back to normal. In the mean time I took pictures of the statues and gardens. I thought of how beautiful the night turned out to be. The clouds disappeared, the stars were out and the moon cast a shadow on the fountains that made them seem like something out of a fantasy.

Just then someone walked up behind me and put their arms around me. It was Chris “You have been out here awhile. I wanted to make sure you were ok.” I leaned back against him and said “I am ok. I am sorry about the slow dance. I didn‘t think you would mind.” Chris rocked me back and forth then said “I do mind. I am your date tonight.” I turned around to face him “I am sorry and it wont happen again.” He smiled and said “I’m not letting you out of my sight again.” Then he tapped my nose lightly with his finger. We both laughed and went back inside.

The Prom was winding down. People started leaving for after Prom parties. The band took another break and let the DJ fill in. That is when the inevitable happened. It was the second slow song…I was already on the dance floor with Chris when it started to play…Crazy For You. At first I jerked away from Chris but he pulled me close. I started to cry. Ronnie wasn’t here. It should have been him dancing with me at my Prom to this song. If he had been my date nothing would have gone wrong all night. Everything would have been absolutely perfect.

Chris realized I was crying so he said over and over again “It’s ok. You are ok.” Then he kissed me. On the dance floor. In front of everyone! I pushed him away and ran outside. I didn’t know where to run to. There was no where to run to. Ronnie wasn’t going to magically appear around the corner. I slunk down into one of the garden chairs and cried my heart out. No matter what is going on in my world, when I hear that song I need to be near him. If I cannot be near him when I hear it then it feels like my heart is being ripped out. Then I realized I wasn’t sad, I was angry. I was angry that I wasn’t in Ronnie’s arms. I was angry that Chris was kissing me when I wanted it to be Ronnie kissing me!

Chris came out after me so did the Angels. Chris knelt down beside me saying how sorry he was and that he didn’t mean to upset me. “You were crying. I didn’t know what to do.” Giggles slapped him across the shoulder “She’s engaged you idiot! She doesn’t want you. She is in love with Ronnie!” I realized that Chris stood up to face Giggles. “Chris, don’t. Can everyone just stop fighting. I freaked out a little but I’ll be ok. Yes, I miss Ronnie. There isn’t anything I can do about it. Chris didn’t make Ronnie go into the Army. He didn’t make Ronnie cancel his leave…” Giggles cut me off “What? Ronnie canceled his leave?!” Oh no, I hadn’t planned on telling anyone that he canceled his leave. I only told them he couldn’t come to Prom.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prom and the Plans...with a side of Wishful Thinking

Giggles’ date backed out at the last minute but she came up with a solution, Dave. This guy had graduated from his school a year or so before us and living on his own in a condo close to where Dizzy and Kay-Kay lived. I met him when Giggles took me to his condo where she gave him the money to rent a tux. Dave agreed to go to Prom with Giggles but she was paying for everything, even the dinner and their portion of the limo. Well, when it comes up at the last minute a girl does what she has to do.

Who was I to judge? I didn’t have a “real date” either. Chris was doing Ronnie and I a favor by taking me. I paid for the prom tickets but Chris said he would pay for his tux and dinner. I wanted to go Dutch on dinner but I didn’t press the issue when he insisted on paying for just about everything. He had no control on the prom tickets since he didn’t go to my school. Chris graduated the previous year and apparently didn’t go to his own senior prom.

Giggles and I were planning on going to Prom with guys we were head over heels love with. Due to this we had planned to drive out to Ocean City to watch the sunrise. We even prepaid a weekend at Eve Rock. Now that we were not going with Ronnie and her guy we tried to talk Huggles and Kay-Kay into coming with us instead of inviting our dates. Huggles and Kay-Kay had to work the next day so that idea went out the window. Giggles said it would all work out fine. We will take our dates with us. There were two rooms so the plan was the guys would stay in one room and the girls in the other.

It was Sunday again which meant Ronnie would call tonight. This also meant I had to tell him I was going to O.C. with Giggles, Dave and Chris…for a whole weekend. Would he flip out or would he be ok since Giggles will be there and he knows Chris is a decent guy.

When Ronnie called I was determined to be as chipper as possible. I was still upset that he turned down leave to come home. Nothing I could do about it but make the best of it. “Hi Sweetie! How are you? Is everything going ok over there?” Ronnie was happy to hear my voice, so cheerful. “I’m ok. Everything here is fine. We received off post passes this weekend. Me and some of my buddies went to Munich. It’s really beautiful up there.” Boy, he was pretty chipper himself. Maybe explaining about the weekend in O.C. wouldn’t be as bad as I had expected.

“Heather, I love the pictures you sent. My buddies took pictures of me in Munich so I can send you pictures of what I look like now. I miss you so much. I am looking at a picture of you right now. It’s one of you at Cunningham falls. I really like that bathing suit.” Oh yes, he was definitely in good mood. So I started to talk about Prom “Everyone here is all geared up and ready for Prom this weekend. Chris is going to drive his Austin Healey convertible so we will arrive in style. Giggles and the rest are renting a limo. So what I already paid our part of the limo. We will arrive in his little sports car. Who else will come in that sort of style? She also made reservations at a restaurant all the way out in Rockville. After Prom we are going to O.C. to watch the sunrise.” I sort of lost my enthusiasm thinking he wont be there with me. I sighed “I so wish you were going with us.” Heather, we already went over this.” “I know, I am not mad any more. It just made me think how much I will be missing you.”

Then it hit him, his mood changed from chipper to concern “You are going to watch the sunrise in Ocean City? With who?” “Well, Giggles and I made these plans when we though you and her boyfriend were going to Prom with us. We cannot get our money back for the hotel so we decided to have a weekend in O.C. It’s the same hotel we have booked for senior week so we can check it before hand.” “Heather? Will it be just you and Giggles going to O.C. this weekend?” Short pause. I knew I had to tell him but now I didn’t want to. “Heather? Is Chris going with you and Giggles?” “Yes, Chris will be there too. Don’t worry, Giggles booked two rooms, one for the guys and one for us girls.” This time Ronnie took a moment to pause. “I don’t think this is a good idea. Why do you need to go to O.C. after Prom? You will be there for a whole week very soon.”

Now I was starting to feel guilty. Why? This was my senior Prom and it is suppose to be memorable. The original plan was for Ronnie to go with me to O.C. but that was taken away. Everything else was planned by Giggles, I had no say in most things. I considered myself lucky that I got to even pick out my own dress. “Ronnie, Giggles is going with me and come on, it’s Chris.” After a minute or so Ronnie every so slowly said “I wish you were going with Jim.” Although he couldn’t see me I rolled my eyes. Lots of woulda shoulda coulda and wishful thinking on both ends. In a perfect world Ronnie would be going with me. But I had to put that out of my mind and not say anything about it. Why? Because there was nothing I could do about it.

He finally said “I can’t make this decision for you. I am trusting you to make the right choices and Giggles to make sure nothing happens to you. Sunrise, the beach and you…even Chris is a guy ya know.” I couldn’t help myself. I laughed! Heartily! “Sometimes you say the funniest things! Chris? Really? Now that’s funny!” Ronnie didn’t think so. “Alright, just be careful and don’t get in to trouble. Remember, I love you.” “Ronnie, I love you so much.” Then we talked about Graduation. I already knew he couldn’t come home for it so we didn’t talk much about it. Just more warnings to stay out of trouble, especially in O.C. All I could think about was the fun and running on the beach I could have had with Ronnie. Everything would have been wonderful if he could come with us.

Then I thought it would be a great idea to skip O.C. and spend that week in Germany with him instead. Again, another hopeful wish comes crashing down. I didn’t have a passport and Ronnie would be in the field all that week. Geesh! Nothing was working out the way I wanted. There was one good thing coming up. The next time Ronnie came home I will have already graduated and we could get married! We would finally be together! I could go back to Germany with him! The next time I saw him there would be no more goodbyes. Now that was definitely something to look forward to! That made for some very sweet dreams for me that night.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Earring Eatter …Friends With The Best Intentions

Ok my friends did try to cheer me up but lets face it we were teenage girls. I already found the love of my life but my friends were still searching. Some you might say were “on the hunt.” One friend in particular was very boy crazy. I agreed to hang out with her a few nights a week, just the two of us. Hanging out meant driving around the circuit through downtown and stopping in at McDonalds on one end and the FSK Mall Fun Factory on the other end. And yes, you were expected to dress up for this. You had to look “hot”. I settled for comfortable and cute. When Giggles came by to pick me up her whole face went sour as she said “Is THAT what you’re wearing?” Sure, I’m not out to impress anyone. Ok, I agreed to at least put on some make up and earrings so she wouldn’t be embarrassed by my not so “hot” attire.

One night while we were cruising around town Giggles saw a guy she had met before. She pulled over and the guys, yes I said guys, decided to join us in her car. Giggles drove around to some deserted train tracks between the mall and Urbana. The guy Giggles liked sat up front with her which left his buddy and me in the back seat. Giggles and the front seat guy were steaming up the windows and I was really getting uncomfortable so I decided it was time to get out of the car. They were just making out but still, I thought they needed some privacy. The back seat guy also got out of the car. He tried making some small talk which I didn’t mind just talking with him while we killed time waiting for our friends to come up for air. Then he GRABBED ME! He PUSHED me up against the car and... started kissing me! He was at least 6 feet tall and a few years older than me. I couldn’t get his face off of me! I even kicked him in the legs a few times but he wouldn’t let me go! He even slobbered all over my ears! I was completely grossed out! I screamed!

Giggles threw open the front passenger door and demanded to know what was going on! I was wiping the drool off of my ears when I realized something. “He…He ATE my earring! He.. He! He’s Gross!” From then on he was known as the Earring Eater. Giggles laughed! “He ate your earring?!” He called me a big baby and said “When you grow up maybe you can handle a man.” With that Giggles knew it was time to head home. Well, time to drop me off at home so she and Mr. Front Seat guy could have some time alone without the “the fussy children.” I didn’t want to get back in the car with him next to me but Giggles rolled her eyes and said it would only be for a few minutes.

We were in the car only a few minutes when the Earring Eater was all over me again! This guy was slobbering all over me AGAIN and all the elbows to the chest were not stopping him. I was so mad I could have spit nails! Giggles was obviously angry but instead of helping me she angrily smacked her rear view mirror so she wouldn’t see what was happening. Later she said it was my fault. My fault?! “You’re engaged! You should know better!” What happened to being my friend? Help was obviously required. If I had any one of my guy pals with me…well, that guy would have had to crawl back to town.

Yes, I should have know better. This was not the first time she wanted to meet a guy but didn’t want to go alone. She would bring me along and surprise me with this “chance meeting.” The guy would just happen to bring one or two of his friends. Sure, sometimes they hit on me but I quickly put an end to it by explaining that I was engaged. Usually it wasn’t long before the ‘friend’ was trying to get Giggles’ guy to take him home.

This last time with the Earring Eater, things just went too far. He didn’t care that I was engaged. My friend was boy crazy and I was guilty by association only. Sure, guys sees two girls together and figure they must both act the same way. I decided it was best NOT to go anywhere with Giggles. Instead I went out with my other friends. Eventually, she caught on that we were going out without her quite often. She passed me a note in school asking why we were not including her. I wrote her a note back saying that I didn’t think it was a good idea since she pushes me into awkward situations. She didn’t like my note at all. (curse words have been bleeped ** out)

Look, I’m sorry okay, but you have your facts all wrong. I do not “push” you into situations. The only time I know of is with Doug and Brian’s friend. I’m sorry about that. But flirting with all those guys is not wrong. You were exactly like me before you met Ronnie. You & I both know that your forever with Ronnie. It’s just lately I’ve been feeling left out. The last three times you, Kay-Kay and Dizzy-D went out, I was sitting home. You never bothered to call to see if I wanted to go. I know that flirting with Mike or whoever is not going to hurt because I know you love Ronnie and you want to just meet guys on friendly terms. I’m sorry if you think I was pushing you into anything, I didn’t do it intentionally. I feel so insecure right now. I’m hoping that one of the guys I meet by flirting will turn out to be as nice as Ronnie is to you. Do you understand what I’m trying to get at? You are one of my best friends. Someone I can cry with, laugh with and fight with. Give me another chance. I guess I won’t try as hard to impress anyone. I know your mad at me now, it seems like I always f**k up someway, but try to see it my way. Be open-minded. Love ya Always,
P.S. Friends again? write back

Hi Cuddles,
How are you? I’m pretty good. So what have you been doing? Sounds like you guys had fun last night. I don’t think I’m going on Sunday. First, you’ll have a loaded car, second, Jim’s working, 3rd - I don’t have any money to spend and since I’m going to Players Sunday night, I should do my homework that I’m 3 weeks behind in. I hope you don’t mind, but I really think I should do my homework. I’m starting to worry about my grades. Do you know if Rhonda’s here today? No one has seen her oh, remember that pass you gave me, well, I got snagged for hooking 4th pd Thursday. S**t, now I’ll probably get an 1 hr detention. That freaking sucks. So whats on your agenda for tonight? I get off at 7:00. Do you want to do something? Well, I’ve gotta go. I’ll see ya 3rd.
Love lots,

Yes, she was very boy crazy and sometimes it lead to undesired results for herself as well. I think she finally learned that putting out on the first or second date was not how to keep a guy. She thought, like many girls that if a couple does this then they are both saying they are in love. So not true about most teenage boys. Before anyone passes judgment on one of my best friends, think about it. There are a great many girls, even today who think this way. Giggles did learn this valuable lesson but wished she had learned it long before she wrote the following note.

Dear Cuddles,
I was so upset last night. I feel like a slut. There’s no excuse for what he did to me and I’ll never forgive him. Thought we’d really have something going but maybe it’s just as well that we didn’t. This is it. I’ve been stepped on all my life and I’m freaken tired of it. I’m not letting the guys get the best of me anymore - In a matter of speaking! (Ha! Ha!) I’m not getting serious with anyone. Not Duane, Kyle or even Troy. I’m so sick of it! Your so lucky you have Ron. I know he’d never do anything to hurt you. Please do me a favor. Call up Randy tonight [phone number deleted] about 10:00 and say I hope your satisfied. You’ve got Mary really upset. I think you should call her. Oh please! B***h him out and make him feel about 2 inches. Don’t let him know I asked you to do that. Please!
Love ya,
P.S. Please! Do it for me!

As it is the way with best friends all was forgiven. We were back to hanging out together, with the rest of the Angels. Giggles was right we could disagree and even fight with each other but that didn’t mean we were no longer friends. We always seemed to work out our differences and the gang was all back together.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Guy Pal Chris

I met Chris at Players at the begining of my Junior year in high school, long before meeting Ronnie. I liked Chris because he always seemed so confident and set on what was right and what wasn’t. We never really went out on a date but there was a time we thought about dating. That lasted all of five minutes. Chris wasn’t breaking any of my rules. He was older than I, he didn’t go to my school, wasn’t friends of my brothers, and we didn’t go to the same church. We didn’t even live in the same county. We liked each other but in a different way than anyone I had ever considered dating. It was sort of odd. We would dance together to fast and slow songs. He was definitely fun to be around. But something just wasn’t right, for dating that is. No matter what we were doing I never felt like I wanted to kiss him and he seemed to feel the same way. We were totally PG towards each other.

I did go to his house once. We talked for a little while and he told me exactly how silly of a little girl I was. At one point we ended up on his parents living room floor in a tickle fight. I told him to stop since tickle fights usually end badly. I cannot control my muscles when I am being tickled! They move involuntary. Chris got a black eye. He complained to his mom and she said “Well, you should have been talking nicely on the couch instead of trying to tickle her to death.” She turned and smiled at me. I had to laugh! She was on my side. When she left the room he looked over at me with a pack of frozen peas over his eye. I stuck my tongue out at him and giggled “Told ya so. You were warned.”

We were never a boyfriend/girlfriend match. More like rivalry relatives. We played devils advocate with each other all the time. It was FUN! We always laughed when one of us had made our point, no matter which one it was or how ridiculous the “winning" point was.

When I told Chris that Ronnie and I were engaged he actually laughed. He really thought I was kidding. Chris thinking it was a joke actually made tears well up in my eyes. He then knew I wasn’t kidding. Solemnly, he said “Is there anyway you can get out of it without hurting him too much?” I looked down at the ground and shook my head. I didn’t want to get out of it. I was happy to be Ronnie’s fiancĂ©. I knew I wanted to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him. How could Chris be like this when it was so important and real? I was very disappointed in Chris’s reaction. Did I expect him to be thrilled? No. I just didn’t expect him to go right to breaking it off immediately.

I at least expected a little tiny bit of encouragement from Chris. He thought Ronnie was a great guy and actually had a good effect on me. Then he said “We are all so young. You don’t know what you are giving up. How can you settle on getting married now? There is so much you need to do before you decide to get married, to anyone.” Chris knew I was hurting from his reaction due to the silent tears that were starting to fall down my cheeks. He took a deep breath then hugged me. “Well, if it’s what you want… Ok, you always want your way.” I had buried my teary face against his chest but he held my chin and pushed it up so he could see my face. Looking down at me and half laughing he said “What am I going to do with you? You are such a brat, use to getting your way. Ronnie is a great guy. He is lucky to have you.” I smiled and hugged him back.

Monday, August 11, 2008

How Was Your First Kiss?

Hey everyone! There is a kissing contest going on!

To see the rules and such see Scribbit.

My post for First Kiss is from…you guessed it the “Crazy For You Post Transitions.”


After that night at Players Ronnie deiced to ask me out on a date. Not meeting up somewhere, or running into each other. An actual date where he would pick me up, take me out and then bring me home. I was excited and a little nervous. I didn’t really know this guy and he was going to take me “somewhere?”

During our first few dates, well several of our first dates I was a little unsure about going out with someone I barely knew but I really liked him. To make myself feel more at ease I recruited a chaperone, Giggles. She was more than happy to come along. She loved being included. She let us hold hands and such but kept Ronnie in check. Ok, she kept us both in check and made sure everything was PG rated. She even sat between us in the car. As she said later “You would have so freaked out if it wasn’t.” She was right.

That first night when Ronnie came to pick me up I don’t think he realized that he had to meet my parents before they would allow me to leave with him. My Mom laughed but there was real meaning in her words “Do you think we could let a stranger drive off with our little girl?” He survived. It wasn’t really all that bad considering what other guys had sat through before. My parents liked him right away but they wanted to put a little bit of fear in him.

As I walked up to the passenger side of Ronnie’s car quickly steered me to the Driver’s side. As he opened the door he explaining that his passenger door doesn’t shut right so he doesn’t open it. His car had a front bench seat so it was manageable for me to just slide over. Ronnie quickly got in the car and apologized over and over about the passenger door. He slid in so fast I thought he did this on purpose since I had not reached the other side of the seat yet. Maybe he did it so I would be sitting closer to him. Later on I found out he was telling the truth about the passenger door and admitted that he slid in before I could go any further so I would be closer to him. The engine had real power to it which meant I had to hold on to his arm so I wouldn’t slid around on the seat! We were off to pick up Giggles’ at her house.

At the end of each night, Ronnie always dropped Giggles off first then took me straight home. I don’t know if it was Giggles’ influence and constant warning of “If you hurt her we will hunt you down” or he just had some gentlemanly inclinations but after nearly two weeks of dating every night he still hadn’t kiss me. I was starting to get a complex. Ok, I have told guys before they were not going to kiss me on the first few dates but this was more than two weeks of seeing him every night. Maybe he didn’t want to kiss me?! I confided in my girl friends. “What? He hasn’t even kissed you yet? Like ever? What’s up with that?” or “Oh honey, maybe there is something wrong with him. He seems really nice though.” “Maybe he’s just shy.” What ever the reason was I still wanted to go out with him. We always had a great time and he made me feel wonderful and special even without kissing me. He made my heart pitter patter. All he had to do was look at me and I would smile, giggle a little then feel my cheeks growing pink. I was definitely smitten.

One night while standing at my front door I was expecting a hug but he placed his left hand on the side of my face, I smiled up at him knowing I had a wonderful time just being with him. He, ever so slowly ran his fingers down my neck. My head tilted up unconsciously and just as I was about to giggle from the tickling effect of his gentle fingers, he kissed me. He said something in a sort of whisper but I couldn’t make out what it was. My knees went completely weak and I slunk into his arms. I think I whispered “Oh my” and “W-o-w” It was all I could manage to say. I couldn’t even stand up on my own two feet. I looked up dreamily into his eyes and saw he was completely at ease. He finally propped me up on my own legs and I sort of swayed to and fro for a minute before I some what regained my composure. I remember running my fingers through my hair and saying something like “Um, uh, yeah, I think I should be going now.” I almost walked right in to my Mother’s flower bed instead of the door. He quickly redirected me to the doorway and I said “Um, ok. Well, then. I will see you later.” or something like that. I closed the front door behind me and leaned against it while smiling and taking deep breaths. “Wow.”

One month passed by, Ronnie and I saw each other as much as was humanly possible. If we weren’t together we were at school, work or sleeping. We called each other every single day. We talked so long that my mother started placing a kitchen timer by the phone “Fifteen minutes young lady.” It didn’t take her long to realize I was pushing the timer back a few times. My siblings and even my Dad were trying to talk Mom into getting me my own “Ronnie line” (aka my own phone line).

After many dates with our chaperone Ronnie said “I like Giggles and all but don’t you think we have reached a point where her duties might not be so necessary? Come on, don’t you trust me?” Giggles later asked me where we three were heading that night? I had to break the news to her. Ronnie and I were going to start going out on dates …alone. She was bummed but understood.

Ronnie's Car was a Plymouth Duster.


Update outside of the Crazy For You fest…guess what? I was so nostalgic I decided I had to see the Angles again. What started out as a small get together…well, lets just say one friend told two friends and they told two friends….

It has only been two weeks and the list went from 5 people to 30! I even had a few phone calls! It has turned into more of a high school reunion than a small get together. The party is in a few months so who knows how many people will be coming. The more the merrier right?

There was one email I thought odd. There was this guy in high school who always scared me. He growled at me in the hallways and always made me jump. Turns out he is a pretty sweet guy. Apparently after high school he was good friends with all the other Angels and I had NO idea!

I am really happy with the list of people coming. If more show up that is great too. We are going to have such a blast!