Can you remember your first love? How your heart raced? How excited you were to see the other person?
I remember mine like it was yesterday. I fell off the monkey bars, which were actually the steel handrails that went along the steps outside the school. She came over and helped me up. After I brushed myself off, she pushed me back down again. It was love right then and there.
She played Mary to my Joseph in the Christmas pageant. I always heard that actors fall in love with their leading ladies. I just did not realize it began at the age of five.
Julie Badger also became my first date. Now, I do not mean play date. I mean first official date. I asked her if she wanted to go to the Shrine Circus with me. With her parents permission, she agreed. After I couldn’t convince my parents to let me drive, they agreed to chaperone and chauffeur the adventure.
The Shrine Circus was a perfect choice for a first date. We had hot-buttered popcorn, red candy apples and seats so close you could reach out and almost touch the elephants. You could certainly smell them. We were mesmerized by the acts and amused by the clowns.
I could see I had won her over with my choice of destinations.
We were both appropriately dressed. I was wearing my blue suit. She had on a beautiful dress. With our balloons and our Shrine’s hats, the ensembles were complete.
Yes, it was plain to see that my road to dating was going to be a smooth ride.
The next day, I once again fell off the monkey bars. She came over to help me up and again she pushed me down. Yes, I had won her heart.
Julie and I were great friends throughout kindergarten. Then we went off to different elementary schools. While the separation ended our early courtship, our paths would cross at the public pool. Her friends would always kid her when I came around because they remembered that I was sweet on her back then. I guess I still was.
We never went out again. In fact, it would be many years until I once again leaped out into the dating world.
But you know, through the years I have found it is not that much different. The same feelings are there. In the beginning, dates seem to lift you right up off the ground.
They just wait a little longer to push you back to the ground again.