My first romantic experience with a boy came in the 8th grade. His name was Jon (no “h”), he had red hair (I’ve always had a thing for guys with red hair – yes I know, I am capable of attraction to men other than those of the black persuasion), and his family had just moved into my neighbourhood. Actually, he was a transplanted American, so he was also the first non-Canadian boy (which apparently became somewhat of a trend in my life).
Being from a warmer state and arriving in the dead of winter he was wholly unprepared, opting to wear shorts in the middle of February to his first day of school. He had a winter coat at least, but the image he makes in my head is quite odd – skinny stick legs poking out of boarder shorts, a winter coat bulking up his torso, and a mop of red hair.
Despite his clear awkwardness in life, we shyly grew closer as Winter turned to Spring and then to Summer. At least, as close as things can grow when you’re as inexperienced as we were (oh those were the days when I waited until at least the SECOND date to sleep with someone). One warm evening at dusk we decided to go for a walk down our street alone, and it was while we were walking that he grabbed my hand.
I was shocked that a boy that wasn’t a relative was touching me, and I felt giddy and happy and those familiar butterflies – imagine, from something as innocent and as simple as hand-holding.
Eventually Jon and I parted ways and never made it past the hand-holding stage (no folks, he never even made it to first base, clearly things have changed in my dating life).
At times I get the same feeling from A – those butterflies that come from something new, from someone you genuinely like. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that and I’m really enjoying it.
And for the record: it’s so much better at 30 than it was at 14.