Category Archives: Relationships

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 7: The Boy In Yellow

The boy in yellow…

The universe doesn’t always get is right when it picks your first love. And to be honest I’m not even sure if he was.

What I do know is after that party for weeks this extremely tall, blonde guy would stand by our table on the good hall and just look at me.

He would say nothing.

Just look.

I find out later he was pledging and he was not allowed to speak to girls.

I won’t give him a name.

I can’t.

Out of respect for what I’m about to share …

For him

For me

How do I even say all of this

How about the before?

The weeks before he was free to talk to me when I met not one but two men who  in rapid succession would introduce me to things I didn’t learn in high school and also in doing so break my heart.

They didn’t know.

I think there  is an assumption if you’re in college you come with experience.

Not all of us do.

So to my Kiefer Sutherland look alike. I had never spent a night at a hotel before. I had never really made out. You get the idea.

It was a night but you armed me with a little knowledge then disappeared.

Then there was my sweet brown eyed boy. You and I would break each other’s hearts on and off for four years. You never thought you were good enough for me. I never believed someone like you could want me. You tried so hard to impress my Dad and I will love you for always for that. You were a heartbreak but you don’t count because you were worth it.

I think I’m ready to introduce you to the boy in yellow….

~~~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 6: My First Party

Cherie squealed with excitement when we got back to our dorm. Not only were we going to a frat party, apparently my friend’s fraternity was pretty popular on campus.

Us going there gave Cherie a head start on her pledge journey.

I on the other hand was petrified.

I did not drink.

I did not date.

Oh and guess who had never been to a party? Maybe a little too much freedom at once. Cherie to her credit which is why she is still my friend saw my face.

“Oh Caprise…you’ve never been to a party before?”

“More than that…” I squeaked.

I rattled off all the reasons why I was afraid to go.

“Oh no, you’re going. But effective now- buddy system. No girl left behind.”

Scott encouraged me to invite a few ladies from my floor because of course he did. LOL.

From that night on we really did not leave anyone behind. It got wicked sometimes and ugly and feelings were hurt. But we stuck together. Except for one. And we will get there and it changed things.

Not a heartbreak but a disappointment that I have never let go because if it were me… well … will get there.

Sadly

My first college party was kinda of crazy. How could it not be? However, when your big brother – yup I became a little sister introduces you as knowing your Mom. My experiences were very tame.

As I’ve alluded to- the people who break your heart aren’t the ones you expect.

Poor Scott the one and only time he tried to kiss me- I got incredibly sick. God bless him he was one of the best nurses I ever had. Our paths cross once in awhile and everyone assumes we got together in college. We just chuckle as we both know he really was my big brother.

I know this was a bit light … but we are gearing up for my first big adult heartbreak. It’s tendrils still reach out to me years later so I’m trying to figure out how to write about heartbreak number five.

~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Don’t Let Dating Burn You Out

I have been divorced for almost 6 years and single for over two, if you get what I mean. After my last relationship I took a yearlong break from men, and what I literally mean by that is no dates, no random sex, the celibate life (well, except for some self-care, don’t judge, a woman has needs!!!)

People always say work on yourself, when you are happy alone, you’ll be ready to be with someone. So after the year, I was calm and happy so I decided to jump back in.

As a divorced woman with children and a full time job, is no lie that time is very limited. Since most my friends are married and none of them are jumping to introduce me to anyone, I had to turn into dating apps to find that special someone.

I have tried virtually every app out there, which I can compare and contrast for you next time. I honestly had to sit down last night to figure out how many first dates I have gone on, and how many turned into a second or third. I have to sadly report that my batting average is pretty low and for sure none have turned into a relationship.

I’ve tried dating older, my age, good looking, not so good looking, being flexible with my “must haves”. The end result is the same, I’ve struck out and I’m out.

So, I have decided to go back to my single “semi” celibate life. Call me a quitter, but a player needs to be able to know when to retire.

So for all of you still looking for “the one”, I give you some pointers so you don’t get burned out like I did:

Set a time to look at the apps – Looking at these apps can literally turn into a full time job ugh. Looking at profiles, messaging people, etc. It can also become addicting. Set a time to just do that once a day and then stop and live.

Date more than one guy at a time – I know for some of us that seems weird, but the truth is, until you are exclusive, men are probably doing the same. Also, this helps not to become so obsessed with one person and know that there are other interested men out there, he is got competition 😉

Do not be result oriented – This is a really hard one for me. I’m a successful career woman and I got there by setting goals and working towards them.  Dating does not work that way, trust me. So just meet these people and have fun and don’t fantasize about the future. If you start
putting milestones on your dating, you will not enjoy the experience.

Next time I will follow my own advice as I do believe dating can be fun, however for now I am going to bench myself for this season, perhaps I am not ready to retire after all.

See you in the trenches,

Mythologywoman

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 5: The College Years

College…Have you seen the movie Animal House? Well let’s start with John Belushi spent a very short period of time at my alma mater. Some of Animal House was based off his experiences on campus in a fraternity.

I was a little sister for a Fraternity on the same campus. 

Let it begin…

I knew the very first day of college it was the place for me when during move in day my roommate who I had known since I was five struggled to move her boxes up to our third floor and I somehow had the bulk of the football team moving me. 

In the infamous words of Matthew McConaughey – alright, alright, alright.

Not only was it the day I realized I could get a guys attention, it was the day I met my first college friend. Who would be one of my closest friends 25 years later. Cherie was my Mom’s moving day present to me. 

Move in day they ask you to keep your doors open so you can meet people. While I was excited about starting college,at my core I was still shy. I still stayed close to my parents and my roommate did the same. While we were unpacking my Mom went across the hall and introduced herself. Five minutes later this girl with an amazing head of black curls and red lipstick came into my room.

“Hi I’m Cherie. Your Mom said you are Caprise. I am from Milwaukee and am majoring in business. I am going to a party tonight – want to come?”

What? A college party? Me? Who was this woman. A f@#$ing saint that’s who. She saved me from a night spent with my roommate who actually suggested we go to the evening orientation instead. 

“Umm ok. Except I don’t drink.”

“No biggie. But we should go build a base first. When our Moms leave let’s go get our chow on.” 

I fell in love with this woman. Not in that way. Geesh. Not every woman who went to college went through the girl on girl phase. For the record when you live in an all girl hall that allure gets lost fast. Don’t ask. For the benefit of all we will leave it there.

Cherie was everything I wasn’t. As a college freshman she was incredibly confident. She had this voice with this accent I couldn’t quite place. She had an amazing sense of style. Her hands always moving when she talked. She also would randomly burst out into song.To this day when I hear George Michael’s Freedom I think of her. Let’s just say it was our theme song pretty much anytime we had to walk anywhere.

Our floor had a pretty big group of girls who all went to various Milwaukee schools and all knew each other. Which again thanks to Cherie they became my people. Let’s just say there is a reason why the Chili Peppers wrote a song about Catholic School girls. The Milwaukee girls made up the bulk of our floor, then a spattering of girls from small farm towns, Chicago, locals and the randoms me and my roommate Carrie.

Who sadly we will get to. 

I gotta take a pause. Jealousy is an ugly thing. Especially when it’s not warranted. But here is what I will say. You can wrap yourself up in morals and pretend you are more than what you are but if you are a shitty person no amount of pretty packaging will hide that.

Even worse is the shitty person who blames everyone around them for their shitty behavior.

Like I said we will get there.

So my new tribe and I made our first venture to the food hall. Sitting outside the halls were tables of various frats and sororities who were looking for pledges. Cherie was all about being in a sorority. I humored her and talked to the tables. I am going to go out on a limb and say my love beads and Black Bart t-shirt declaring we should fight the power made me not your ideal pledge. (My kitchen co-workers gifted me with both my last day of work)

We were wrapping up when I heard someone yell out “Caprise!”

Sitting at table was Scott. Remember the guy I had hoped would volunteer to take me out.

BOOM

Suddenly that night I was going to a frat party

Let the games begin.

~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Unicorns and Daddy’s Girls

It is mid-July. I stroll through Wal-Mart picking up supplies for the office, and I see the table of mix and match outfits for little girls. I realize haven’t started shopping for school clothes and supplies. With three daughters, all now in school, it dwells on me that I am as behind on this as the IRS processing refunds this past year.

My youngest is five and headed into big girl school. She loves unicorns. I pick up a coordinating, sparkly, and sure to wow the fellow Kindergarteners, unicorn outfit.  Leaving the store, unicorn sass attire in hand, I am Super Mom and feel confident I may win the heart of my Daddy’s girl daughter (if only for a few moments).

That evening I come in with my imaginary Super Mom cape flowing behind me and announce to her, “Mommy picked out something special for school!” Wait for it………………….

The avalanche of tears that begin to pour down her face were reminiscent of the time I forgot I was filling up the sink to thaw out something for dinner until, yes you know it, my kitchen was flooded. In between sobs, she finally gets out, “But Daaaaaddddyyyyyyy was supposed to to to to to (insert stuttering cry rambling) take me shopping!!!!!!”

Aaaaahhhhhhhh, now it makes sense. If I bought her an outfit, in her mind, Daddy would not take her shopping. Myself and my older daughters (9 and 14) attempt to explain she can pick out other things with Daddy too. Still to no avail, the tears fall.

Remembering what it was like to only have a few things and time exclusive with my own Dad, and how invested I was when looking forward to my time with him, I chose to eliminate the issue all together. I asked her, “Would you like for me to just take it back to the store?”.

If those tears didn’t dry up faster than the gas stations in Houston when a tropical storm turns into a hurricane in the gulf, I tell you what! My older daughters carefully eyed my own face for evidence of hurt feelings and water works. I shrugged my shoulders and giggled a little, gave them a wink, and the world was at peace again.

So, I hid the bag from the store, and I probably won’t remember to take it back within the allowed time. I’m predictable in that way. So are my girls. The youngest, more than all of them, knows exactly what she wants and how she’d like to obtain it. I am ok with that and I am ok with some things just being off limits to Mommy because she’s reserved them for her Daddy.

What did I learn that day? Unicorn outfits are restricted to shopping with Dad. My daughters are growing up to be independent, strong willed, and more and more patient than needing to be instantly gratified. Oh, and it is OK if they’d prefer to do something with Dad over me. I still make “the best pizza rolls there ever could be”. I’m good with that.

-Ellen in Texas Y’all

Dinosaurs Divorce

We are sitting under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, and I notice the book “Dinosaurs Divorce” on the play therapist’s wooden clipboard, an item on the evening’s agenda. “We have this book as a resource,” she says as I thumb through it. The book depicts Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs arguing with loud noises. Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs stewing silently. Daddy dinosaurs packing dinosaur boxes and placing them in the back of dinosaur moving vans. The therapist’s voice brings me back to reality: “Would you like us to go over this with Brennan? Or is it too overt?” Brennan is my 3-year-old son who isn’t familiar with the word “divorce” but has come to understand that he lives at “Brennan’s house” with Mama. I glance again at the glossary in the front of the book that explains the family law system to children in the way a biology textbook delineates the parts of a cell. My heart is beating fast. “Well, what do you think? Is this what he needs?” I ask her. I’m on foreign soil. She pauses and peers at me over thick-rimmed glasses: “You seem hesitant,” she replies. “Follow your instincts.” “Then, no. Not now.” No to “Dinosaurs Divorce.” No to pushing my kid off the cliff of childhood innocence with brute force.

It’s right after the Ash Wednesday service, and I am meeting my mom in front of Charming Charlie for the usual toddler trade-off. I climb cold and red-nosed into the front seat of her black SUV to sit a minute and turn to grin at my baby boy in the back. “What’s that?” Brennan says, staring intensely at the ashes on my forehead. “It’s in the shape of the cross…” my mother starts. I interject- “It’s just…it’s a religious…” my voice trails off. We move on to different subjects, and Brennan seems to adjust easily enough to the idea of a mother with an inexplicably dirty forehead. “Mom,” I say as we’re moving him and his accoutrements to my car, “I’m not ready to tell him about Jesus yet. I mean, I tell him that Jesus made us, and He loves us but not about His death. Not yet. Let’s just let him be happy. Let him be a kid.” “Of course,” she agrees.

His blue eyes stare up at me, long lashes blinking. “Is Da-Da home?” “No…remember, Da-Da lives at a different house now. He drives a big truck, and he lives with his friends. You’ll see him soon though!” I try to say it with cheer. “Oh yeah,” he replies with disappointment. I regret trying to say it with cheer.

As we drive, I glance back in the rearview mirror at a kid who is excited about driving over a bridge, and I pretend to get excited too. I know life’s not all bridges, but I want it to be. I want it to be happiness and every one of his favorite things. I want to shield him from the grisly deaths of Saviors and families.

I linger in these moments: they are uncomfortable places, sure. I think back to my first trimester of motherhood when the doctor called Brennan an impending miscarriage. In my fear and desperate longing, I spoke to him often. With a hand on my belly and a fierce whisper, I begged him to stay. “Life is not always easy, but it will be good. I’ll be a good mama to you, I promise. Please stay.” He stayed. And I try to stay true to my word, the best I can, here in this messy in-between. Even at three years old, life is not easy. Maybe all of life is a messy in-between. But still, I know: it will be good. It is good.

We get out of the car after another long day of work and play and commuting. It’s dark outside, but the sky is brightly lit. “Look, Mama!” he says. “The moon and the stars and the sky!” “Oh yeah! I LOVE the moon and the stars and the sky!” “Me too, Mama! I love them too!” And before we go into the house for another night of supper and bath time and bed, we stand for a moment and look up together at the big wide world- wild, uncontainable, beautiful.

~Mallory is a Mississippi mama who has been broken by life and softened by grace. She loves pine trees, poetry, and her friends.

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 4: The Awkward Years

 Jason quickly took Jack’s place for the remainder of the summer as my poolside cheerleader. He became one of my very first guy friends. I think it is true when people say friendships start out between men and women, boys and girls because someone likes someone. In our case I think we liked the idea of each other but two hangs in we realized we were better friends.

Or it could be because I realized I played for the minors and he played for the majors. Or it could be shortly after he met the most popular girl in our school and she decided she had to have him as hers. When someone who previously didn’t acknowledge your existence suddenly invites them self to your neighborhood pool, it could be because of your hot new guy friend.

It really didn’t matter to me. This is what I knew- Jason was always sweet to my brother and kind to me. Again maybe because Jason had a much older sister he liked the idea of having a little brother. As for me – to this day I don’t know and I don’t care.

He was there when I needed him and was on and off until we were done with high school.

He let me cry when we ran into Jack and that horrible girl at the end of the summer cook out in our neighborhood. Jack looked uncomfortable she held onto him tightly and gloated. Making a point to walk past us more times than warranted.  Jason through my tears kept telling me I would find my way this would not always be how it was.  Other guys would get wise to what he knew.

He was kind of right.

We will get there.

Some side notes.

Jack married that horrible girl immediately after high school and joined the army immediately after the wedding. They are divorced but have a sweet looking daughter who has her Dad’s freckles and brown eyes. Jack wears big cowboy boots, big belt buckles and big cowboy hats. I am pretty sure he is a Republican. So even if we HAD worked out, we WOULD not have worked out.

Jason to his credit remained one of my closest friends until he moved out of state with his family. He also married the popular girl. They also have a beautiful daughter. We talk once in awhile. Jason teases me because he says he lost all his looks as he’s aged and my beautiful insides finally oozed to my outsides. Time has been kind.

Every girl should have a Jason in their life.

I started high school with a broken heart but a hot best friend.

Life didn’t seem too bad.

Except when it did.

Being shy can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives you that instant out. A curse because you find it extremely hard to be able to hold solid conversations with anyone. Much like Jason – most boys that got to know me loved the fact that I blushed. I think every high school year book I have someone who has written,”I hope that you don’t blush when you get into college.”

Guys I am almost 46 and I still blush. 

The only difference is now people find it endearing. 

Rather than a literal beacon of how uncomfortable I am.

And yes some still like to make me blush. But I like them and they make me happy.

We’ll get there…

Shyness got the best of me my first high school dance. I was really lucky because contrary to what the movie Footloose would have you believe our small town encouraged dances and dancing and even our friends not very good punk bands to have shows.

All of which shockingly my parents encouraged me to attend.

Imagine if you will 15 year old me.

Not even 5 ft tall. Maybe 85 pounds. An attempt at mall hair. Stirrup pants and a baggy sweatshirt. Awkward. So very awkward. But I had those family doe eyes.

Standing with a group of my equally shy, equally awkward, equally smart baby posse of girlfriends we waited together until the right song came one. Shy girls still love to dance and it was when we all let go. We didn’t care and honestly we didn’t need to. We were good dancers and we had so much fun. 

While waiting for an excruciatingly long slow to end. I caught him staring at me. He was a senior and the quarterback on our football team. There was absolutely no way he was staring at me.

Yet he was. Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me came on and my friends squealed and started dragging me out on the dance floor. He came and stood in front of my group. We all froze.

“Hey, what’s your name?” “ME?!” “Yes.” “Are you sure?!” “Nice to meet you are you sure.”

He chuckled and walked away with his cronies.

My first week on the gymnastic team I had to go to the Senior hallway to give my team older sister a good luck flower. He saw me and yelled out “Hey are you sure?” I blushed. “You look more like a little monchichi to me” 

There are worse nicknames a girl can have.

Trust me – we’ll get there.

Aww man will we ever.

Side note time: Big popular football player went onto have a pretty successful college career and marry a woman who would have an incredibly successful career as a writer. Not me, sillies. We did cross paths a few years ago. I am waiting in an airport to fly to see my person and I hear a guy yell “Monchichi” 

Oh god no. There he was. Time I think is kind to people who are kind and he was a kind man. I knew it was him immediately. After the world’s clumsiest hug. I’m still short, so hugging a 6ft 3in man is tricky. “Monchichi! You glowed up girl”

Thanks. “How are you?” “Good – off to meet the wife at one of her book stops. I always liked the shy, smart girls. Lucky for me she knew her name when I asked her. And you? Wait a minute – you’re with that guy. The one…”

Oh no my friends.

Not yet.

As they say. You have to work for it.

Whether he knew it or not that very 80’s nickname guaranteed for quite awhile that my high school years were not too horrible. He had given me the gift of coolness. All because I was too shy to say my own name.

I also still lived in a neighborhood full of mostly boys. Who I got stuck carpooling with daily. I spent the first two years of high school wading through girls who really liked me or just liked me to get closer to those boys who I carpooled with. While again that odd relationship made sure I didn’t have any issues in high school. It also prevented any boy who might be interested in me or vice versa from asking. It’s hard to ask a girl anything when she is constantly surrounded by Motley Crue wannabes. It is also hard to be interested in a boy when said wannabes enjoy yelling out open car windows the name of your latest crush.

You learn fast to keep that information to yourself.

Don’t feel sorry for me though ok?

I did go to all the important dances.

Homecoming. Check

Twerp. Check

Prom. Check

Unfortunately I ended up getting a huge crush on my Twerp/Homecoming date. Who I found out later only asked me because he was the emcee, needed a date and knew as his buddy I’d say yes.

You win some you loose some.

I feel lucky in that I never experienced the angst and heartbreak in high school that my friends around me seemed to.

This might be because my parents were extremely honest about  their situation. Graduated high school in June, married in October, baby in November. I am not great at Math but…

Besides I had the eyes on the prize.  I was going to college. Away. No one was going to mess that up.

Except someone almost did and it isn’t even who you would think.

A caveat to going to college was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it. My Dad worked in a factory. My Mom was a waitress. What I wouldn’t find out until months ago is they’re still paying off my third heart surgery well into my 20’s.

Which meant money was tight. The minute I could make money babysitting. I started doing that when I was 11. When I turned 16 I got a work permit and immediately started working in the same restaurant as my Mom. My poor zoo date worked there too. We will get there. I had a really small nest egg started. A thousand dollars. Which at that time and honestly even now was a lot. 

Not long after getting my acceptance letter.

Side note: I got into every college I applied for. Why I settled on Whitewater, the world will never know. This one could have been learning about marine biology in Hawaii. I am part hippie after all. Insert smirky emoji here.

I get a frantic phone call from one of my friends.

“Caprise I’m pregant and I don’t know what to do.”

I met my friend at McDonalds- her mascara running down her face. “The guy won’t help me. I can’t tell my family. You can’t tell your family” 

I’m going to take a pause here. Normal world that statement would cause me to tell my parents. However my world and my relationship with my parents was tight to say the least.  

“What can I do?” “I need your college money.”

I didn’t mean to but I started crying. 

“Caprise I will pay you back, please you have to help me.”

I would like to tell you she would pay me back. I would like to tell you from there on out money was never a constant point of contention. I would like to tell you when my ex husband kicked me out of our paid off house making $75k a year and me making $8.50/hr and with a  21/2 year old and no insurance and nothing.

Please guys, it is ok. This works out. It really does. I will tell you how. But first how about that infamous zoo date?

His name was Charlie. He legit looked like Opie from Andy Griffith and was about to start college at a Baptist college. So many things that did not check the boxes for me. The story goes my Mom who BTW not only forbid me to eat sugar (bad teeth) would not allow me to have a boyfriend. Yes a few brave souls tried. However, when the story got out about how my Dad broke his ankle running down icy stairs to go beat the shit out of two neighborhood boys  who called me a series of unfortunate names and later pulled the stitches out of his hernia chasing after a peeping Tom… let’s just say I am just as surprised as you I went to any dances with boys.

There were times in not too far from then I wished my Dad was around. But he wasn’t.

I am not sure if we will get there.

Back to the story. My Mom worried about me going away to college wasn’t sure I would know how to go on an actual date. Asked her waiters/hosts if someone would take me out. Later I would find out the one I wanted to take me out offered and was told no. 

We WILL get to him later.

Sweet. Kind. Very holy Charlie said yes. I still don’t know if Mom paid him and honestly I really, truly don’t want to know. He picked me up we went to the zoo, it was fun, I tore my pants getting out of his car. Nothing really great. 

Charlie to his credit is still very sweet, still very kind and is the Deacon at some church down South. His wife is also a red head and they have four equally lovely red headed children.

We are about to enter my college years. Which means yes I figured it out. Not without some help. 

I think every person deserves a champion. Several if possible. Mine came in the form of my Dad’s parents. Who lived down South which to this day seems like a foreign country and home at the same time.  They have supported me my whole life. The first time I got drunk was with my Grandmother. I was 16 and we were on a cruise. We had docked on some Caribbean island I was in a room with them. She introduced me to rum and cokes. She also was the one who told me about sex. Not at the same time. Later that summer before I went to college over several glasses of red wine.

Before you judge don’t. She was amazing and I am crying while I type this and I can’t put into words how many times in the last 10 years I wish I could have called Duchess Three Sheets to the Wind. Princess Running Mascara misses you so much.

Heartbreak number four…

My Grandparents made sure I went to college. Ever since I was little they have made sure there are pockets of time where it is just us. I sometimes think it is so they can check up on my parents. When I was 2 they had to intervene to prevent me from living on a commune. I think to this day they still don’t trust them. 

So every visit they would take me somewhere just us. Sometimes out for food, sometimes shopping, sometimes fishing but just us three and we would talk.  Before they could even ask I started sobbing. I told them about my friend borrowing from my college fund. How it happened more than once. Now you know too. My Grandfather clicked his bridge. His tell as I call it when he had something to say but wouldn’t. My Grandma hugged me and said we will help. 

They did. I still graduated with student loans but I think I only had to use laundry money a few times for party money. I did work during college but luckily and thanks to my Grandparents it wasn’t as much as some of my friends. 

To this day my Grandfather finds time for just us. The conversations are sometimes harder. Sometimes they aren’t. Lately he is particularly interested in a certain young man in my life. Although in your 40’s it is pretty funny and fantastic to have your Grandfather ask how is that young man of yours in my most favorite voice.

I am smiling as I type this…..

`Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 3: The Early Years

The Early Years…

After Reed my heart hurt I lost my friend. My best friend. Lucky for me the neighborhood we lived in was full of working class families like my parents who had kids my age who aside from Thing One and Thing Two didn’t think me being small or having weird teeth was a problem. It might have helped most of those kids were boys. It also helped that my Dad was pretty cool as far as Dad’s go. He listened to his music loud, he was young. The boys in my neighborhood saw an adult who would talk to them. 

At one point in my life my Dad had me so convinced he was John Lennon I took the The Beatles Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band album to school and told my classmates during show and tell my Dad was John Lennon. He did have long hair and glasses. Insert whatever emoji you feel this warrants here. I have a couple in mind. 

Having the cool young Dad was helpful. Having a stunningly beautiful Mom who baked better and more than most of the Mom’s in the neighborhood didn’t hurt either. 

Last but not least my godparents lived close by. Like down the street nearby. They were the first people I knew who had a microwave and I thought I was the shit because they let me cook hot dogs in it. I was a regular Julia Child. They also let me walk their two dogs. Which again caused me to think I was the shit because I was allowed to walk TWO dogs unsupervised. They were weiner dogs. Of course I was. I weighed more than them combined. Keith always called me princess and reminded me daily I was going to be beautiful and amazing. Rene had the sweetest quietest voice. She had this grace I can’t explain but I always knew I was loved when I was with her. I never, ever doubted it.

She died a few years later from cancer. 

Heartbreak number two…

 Sorry we went there. It’s going to happen ok? It will happen again and it will probably be a lot harder than that. I am sorry not sorry but this is my deal and my story and I can sugar coat it and wrap it up for you. Or I could be honest. I could wear it all out there. Some of it I will. Some of it I won’t. I can’t and that is not to protect you my friends. It’s to protect me.

So where were we?

Oh yup what I like to call my early years.

Aside from Reed and music class boys there were a handful of boys who caught my eye. But it was never reciprocated until it was.

He was a year older than me and it was the summer before Junior High. Some of you young whippersnappers call it Middle School now. 

So where were we?

Oh yup what I like to call my early years.

The neighborhood I grew up was working middle class families like my parents, military families and welfare families. It was full of duplexes with carports and garages, full grown trees and a park on every street. But the jewel was our rec center which had a baby and two big pools. Swim lessons were free and the minute the pool opened for the summer we all lived there. It was probably the only time in my life I was tan. I would like to say to you in Middle School I glowed up as the kids say. 

That would be untrue. I like most of the girls in the mid 80’s had an unfortunate mullet bob thing going on accented by way too much Sun In. However what I did have was contacts. Life altering contacts. And dentures. My whole life I have always received the same compliment. You have amazing eyes. I do. They are big and a crazy deep blue. Almost all the women and some of the men on my Dad’s side of the family have these crazy doe eyed blue eyes. Gets everyone every time. When I ditched my glasses the family eyes reeled in some attention.

I was uncomfortably ok with it. No one was a creeper. At least not yet. That will come later. Doesn’t it always thought? Doesn’t someone always have to wreck it.

He did not wreck it. In fact he taught me how to take a compliment. To protect us all we will call him Jack. He was about to start high school, was not much taller than me but so many muscles. Which I noticed because I am not a 100% he owned a shirt. If he did he didn’t wear it around me. It all started innocently enough.  He and his friends were playing football near the pool. He noticed me and said hi. He introduced himself. Which to this day is ironic because he knew me. His Mom and my Mom worked together. I had even been to his house. However that was before my mini transformation. Apparently now with the contacts I could be acknowledged. 

He also invited me to watch them play football. From that moment on I was marked as his. Except what we both didn’t know he had been marked by someone else. Dating is hard. Insert emoji here. Preferably the most sarcastic one you can find.

The rest of the summer he would watch me during my swim lessons. I really wanted to be a lifeguard. I would watch him play various sports. He would always walk me home.

It was really pretty innocent. Until it wasn’t. Which was not his fault. It just wasn’t. But there is always that one guy who gives someone shit because honestly they are broken. So they want everyone else to know what it feels like to be broken so they break things. 

Like my heart.

Jack’s buddy also lived in our neighborhood. He had an older brother who was extremely handsome and kind. Everything he was not and made sure to try and make everyone around him feel how miserable he was being his brother.  He also was short but he did not have shy brown eyes Jack had or the quite voice. He didn’t look down when he talked to me. His long eyelashes almost touching his freckles. Instead he walked me home with Jack questioning why we hadn’t kissed yet. He encouraged Jack to chew tobacco and commented on the size of other girls breasts in relation to mine. He tried to grab me and once succeeded in grabbing me between the legs one afternoon while we were all swimming in the pool. I never said anything to Jack. I just ran out of the pool mumbling I didn’t feel good. The toad telling Jack I must be on the rag. When we were alone Jack always apologized for the toad, but it always felt too late.

One walk home the toad dared Jack to kiss me. I asked him not to. I mumbled you have been chewing tobacco. Really I didn’t want my first kiss with Jack to be in front of the toad. Yet here we were. I heard Jack stop and spit something out. Then he was standing in front of me. The toad next to him. He kissed me. It should have been great. Instead it was horrible. Not because of anything other than the toad ogling us. Truly. Me being me I yelled out “Jack!” “Gross!” 

The toad started laughing hysterically. I ran home. Jack just stood looking at me.

He ignored me for a long time. When I saw him a few weeks later he was with a girl who lived down the street. I was not allowed to talk to her. My Mom would never say why. I’m going to guess it was because her house was a rotating door of men and parties. Her Mom wore way too much of everything. She was actually a year younger than me but was much older than me in regards to everything else. Which even now makes me sad as I type this.

She promised the toad if he set her up with Jack she would set the toad up with her friend. The toad goading us while we kissed hurt Jack. Also, when I wasn’t around he would tell Jack girls like me think they are too good for guys like them. They just end up in the nunnery. Here is the thing I was too good for the toad. Jack was a different story.

Jack started talking to me again. When the girl would show up he would clam up. But when she wasn’t around it was us again. He told me he didn’t really like her but the toad made him feel bad and let’s be honest I was too sweet and too kind for him.

The girl found out and waited for me after swim lessons one afternoon. She and her girl version of the toad started yelling at me. I was stealing her boyfriend. They called me words I honestly had never heard before. Words which I couldn’t be since Jack was only the second boy I had ever kissed. 

For once I ran. That didn’t stop it. I got home as my Mom was leaving for work. Which meant I was to stay in the house and watch my brother. 

I was distraught and let him play outside as long as he promised to go get my best friend so I could sort this out. 

In the meantime the phone rang. In the old days phones hung on the wall. Weird I know.

It was her – the toad had given her my number. She continued her screeching. I couldn’t speak and for some reason did not hang up. I just listened and cried.

This is what Jack wanted?

Hearbreak number three…

I finally hung up shook out of my daze by a knock at the door.

“Sean so help me…” I muttered as I went to the door. I opened it and it there was my brother. Standing behind him was a Corey Haim look alike. Friends that is a good thing in my time.

“Hi my name is Jason. We just moved here. Your brother thought I should meet you.”

With a six year age difference it was rare I tolerated my little brother but at that moment I loved him.

 

~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 2: My First Crush

I was five years old when I realized I liked boys. It happened super fast and even now at almost 46 I remember it. 1st grade music class sitting next to my best friend in the whole world. A boy sitting next to us pulls her leg so she will sit closer to him. She pulls my leg and we are both sitting next to said boy. Did I mention this also cemented my like for the blonde, tall, blue eyed nordic type? Oh it most definitely did. Eric from HBO’s True Blood -how you doing? The rest of the school year we were his girlfriends. It is also the closest I ever came to a threesome. So now you know that – insert blushing emoji here.

It would be easy to end this chapter here and say that was my first crush. While music crush boy was. He wasn’t it. He was just the start. Of many awkward exchanges. Many do you like me yes or no notes passed in class. Here’s the deal – when you are the smallest, have glasses and dentures. Yes you read that right. The odds are instantly stacked against you. It just is how it is. However being nice and smart while it didn’t always get you the guy, it got you some incredible friends and said guys may remember you later in life and the odds may then be in your favor.

We’ll get there…

My actual first crush was named Reed. I loved him so much. He had a bit of lisp and the biggest blue eyes. He was not a blonde but he was close enough.  He literally lived across the baseball field from me.

The day I fell in love with Reed was the year my Mom had me walk home alone. I am not a 100% on how old I was older than 1st grade younger than 4th grade. Two older girls that lived on my street would walk behind me everyday and call me names from the school to my door step. Jaws teeth, witch face, four eyes, midget, freak…

I usually held it together. Who I am f#@&ing kidding? I cried the whole walk home. For some stupid reason I didn’t think to run away or wait til they weren’t near me. Instead every day my walk home was accompanied by those two ladies and their very limited vocabulary. One day my Mom had dressed me up in this beautiful white daisy concoction and had actually woven ribbons in the braids in my hair. I know!  Well the braids didn’t survive as as soon as I got to school – out. The white tights nope = monkey bars and dirt underneath – well you can imagine.  However I still thought I looked pretty spectacular.

My two favorite future trailer park ladies strongly disagreed. We were maybe six feet from school and it started. “I don’t know why your Mom bothers freak.” “It’s not like you are a girl.” “I am not even sure if you are human, you little freak.” “No one has teeth like that, are you a vampire?” I bet you are”. Sidebar there was a time in my life I was convinced I was part vampire or at the very least a magical little witch who had been adopted by my parents so I could have a normal childhood. Did I mention I read a lot early on? Very vivid imagination. VERY. Now would a 17 and 18 year old freshly graduated high school senior adopt a premature baby with a heart condition so it would not know it was really part vampire or witch? I am gonna vote no, but that should tell you how much I loved my parents. I believed they would. To grade school me they were that magical.

Anyway…

My least favorite soundtrack continued. Next thing I know thing one is standing in front of me and thing two has grabbed my arms. “I think we need to see those shark teeth up close” ” Do you like blood?” 

Before thing two could ask another question my savior had beamed thing one in the back of the head with a rock. A lisp(y) voice yelled out “Run!” My hand was grabbed and I was running. We ran all the way to his house. We stopped at his front door and he my knight in a garanimal shirt said “I’m Reed. This is my house. You are Caprise. Can you hang come play?”

“I have to ask my Mom.” “My Mom will do it.” “Mom this is my friend Caprise I want to play with her, can you go ask her Mom with us?”

She did and for the rest of the school year Reed walked me home everyday. And everyday after school I went to his house and played video games or tried to play baseball or catch a football with the love my life. Until his Dad would come home and then his Mom would sadly look at me and tell me it was time to go.

It was one of the best years of my life. No one picked on me and my friend literally lived 2 minutes from me. He never teased me or called me names. As you do when you are little you think this will never change.

Until it did. Mom’s don’t look sad just because. Sometimes Moms are sad because they know they can’t protect you from big changes. Like a divorce. Reed was the first kid I ever knew whose parents were divorced. He most definitely would not be the last but aside from my own divorce it hit me the hardest. Who was going to share their candy stash with me? Who was going to try to teach me sports?

The day Reed and his Mom moved he came to my house with a fistful of dandelions and a sandwich bag full of candy. He stood in front of me and said my “Parents are getting divorced. My Mom and I are moving to California. I love you Caprise.” He kissed me and ran across our field.

I am smiling as I type this. All girls should have a Reed in their life. I am so lucky I did.

Heartbreak number one…

 

Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 1: How Did I Get Here

How did I get here?….

Ugh why is he taking so long.

I stared at the cement blocks that made up his wall. The bottom of his loft. The posters on his dorm room wall. 

Wishing he had put me in charge of the music. At 20 I felt his obsession with Frank Sinatra aged him more. He already looked like he would into middle age. Thin, straight combover hair. Oversized square wire rimmed glasses. His standard attire was a polo, khaki shorts and a boring shoe. To really mix it up he wore a baseball hat. And aftershave. Too much aftershave. 

Bored, bored, bored. 

I just wanted to go home and shower. Who taught him to kiss? So sloppy. For such a neat freak he was an incredibly sloppy kisser. My first boyfriend really?! 

His door opened. “Sorry rounds took a bit. Tina invited me to a party next weekend”
“That’s my birthday”
“You’re going home- we’ll celebrate when you get home”

We never celebrated. He had sex with Tina and dumped me via birthday card. I was too shy. I was too much of a free spirit. Tina he’d known since high school.
Tina didn’t make him work for it.
I didn’t cry until later. Surrounded by the girls on my floor. “She is definitely not nearly as pretty as you. It won’t last”.

They got married after college. He is a lawyer, she stays home and is raising their two daughters who they adopted from China.

Social Media – ugh.

I have always been a late bloomer. I didn’t kiss a boy until I was 14. First date 16. Did I mention my Mom hooked that up?  Yes, yes she did.  Because I wasn’t awkward enough. My Mom managed a restaurant when I got my acceptance letter to college and it looked like I wasn’t going to land a date on my own – she asked one of her many college aged hosts if they would take me out on a date.

I really do not want to know if she paid them. But one kind soul agreed and we went to the zoo. That will come later, I promise but it did not really equip me with the tools to deal with college boys. Seriously. I don’t mean that to be cryptic – it’s really not but when you have never dated, never drank, and go away to college without a car. Mistakes or not mistakes will be made.

We will get to that too.

Let’s get back to the scene of my first heartbreak. Did I mention at 20 this guy already looked like a middle aged dude. He did and on my gosh SO MUCH cologne.  JESUS GOD. My face was also ravaged after a make out session.  As an excezema sufferer his not shaved oily mug did some serious damage to my cheeks. Thank goodness we normally didn’t meet up until the weekends – gave my face a day to recover.

Ladies as a note when you make out with a man he should not kiss so wetly your lips are chapped.  This is not how this works. Unless you are into that in which case – you do you.

As you already know we didn’t make it.

Let it begin…

 

~Caprise