In terms of romance, I suppose you could quite easily say I was a late bloomer. Thirteen year old me was a socially inept loser, fourteen year old me was an annoyingly loud socially inept loser, fifteen year old me probably only just started to grasp social awareness which would pave the road to the semi-cool guy that I believe myself to be now.
Course, this blog is set out to inspire the masses and I cannot do this with negativity, so we’ll go on to say that no matter what your social cues, or whatever ridiculous personality you have, there is someone out there for everyone, including teenage-Dan.
On the right hand side of the picture is 15 year old me, left hand side was Luke who was pretty much my ‘partner is crime’ throughout the entirety of high school, and a little while afterwards.
One fateful Friday/maybe Saturday/but almost certainly Friday night myself, Luke, and a group of girls went out to a bowling party. Recollection would indicate there were six of us all in all. It was a lovely little affair we all mutually got on like a house on fire, I of course lost at bowling but whilst waiting for each of our turn myself and a girl named Connie started to grow close. The seeds of romance were planted and we just had to wait for the rain to let this plant grow, for now though it was an overcast day.
The bowling ended but we had to wait for the girl’s parents to pick them up. Luke and I were walking home, this was a good two hour walk for two fifteen year olds to be making on a Friday night, relaxed parenting or whatever. This however gave us the obligation to stay around, play some House of Dead, eat really shit burgers from Wimpy, and hope that somehow we’d escalate this romance.
Does anybody remember those little sketch-art booths they had in the mid-naughties in literally every arcade? The ones that took a picture, had some fucking moron electronically draw it, ‘spill’ some fake ink on your face, clean it up and turn you into some art. Well, me and Connie eventually found our way into this booth. Now, virtual Van Gogh made you pose for three pictures before you had to decide which one you wanted sketched. So we went for…..
Pose one: Smiling.
Pose two: Fake shocked expressions (A pose I’d later overuse in every picture)
Pose three however we had gone for a fake kissing picture, our faces closing in on each others, pathetically this was at this point the closest I had gotten to a girls lips in my life). The shutter sound emerged and we both looked at the three pictures.
“I like the kissing one” she said.
“Umm..Me too, haha” I nervously fumbled my words in reply.
“Maybe by the end of the night we’ll have a real one” she said, looking straight into my eyes. Holy shit, if ever there was a perfect first kiss moment this was it!
The pulses were racing, the anticipation was through the roof, what a first kiss story this will be, without much hesitation our faces closed in on each other’s once more, only this time the sketch-machine wasn’t going to interrupt our moment, nothing could stop this love train! Choo-choo!
Our lips were in touching distance, then I hear, and see the booths curtain swing open at full velocity. Luke’s face, filled with gleeful oblivion to what he had just destroyed asked a question that will forever haunt my inner teenager.
“HEY DAN! FANCY A GAME OF AIR
I look at him, unimpressed. “Sure….I’ll be with you in a sec” I say through gritted teeth. Later on he conceded that the moment he opened the curtain he thought “Whoops”.
The kiss picture was complete, almost as if it were a mocking certificate of consolation. I gave it to Connie as a keepsake. Her parents arrive, we hug, I get a kiss on the cheek, I immediately panic and try to kiss her on the cheek back but pretty much head butted the side of her face.
Despite this disaster sequence, I remained upbeat and the majority of our long walk home we spoke about the prospects of this blossoming romance. In a cruel twist of fate, I nearly got hit by a taxi on the way back. Thankfully I didn’t and the next part of this story can continue, without taxis.
So, upon getting home I discover that Connie has somehow added me on MSN. This is tremendously good in my books. She asks for me to come over after school on Monday. Without even caring and/or thinking about how I was going to get there, I agree and the rest of my school day is occupied with thoughts of where I’ll be towards the end of the day. 3pm hits, I rush home, get changed into a Liverpool football shirt, the true attire of romance, and get the bus up.
I arrive at one of the girls house, there’s five of us now. Me, Luke, Connie, Emily (who I believe Luke had an interest in) and Emily’s sister. We started out the event by simply bouncing on a trampoline.
Thinking I could impress the masses with my acrobatic abilities I attempted a back flip, this is despite the fact that to this day, I have shown no signs of acrobatic skills, nor will I ever.
Unsurprisingly, this attempt ended up with me landing on my neck, bouncing pathetically onto my side whilst making some sort of “Blegghhh” sound. As if the Gods were watching me, and tried to stop me paralysing myself, it started to rain, forcing the five of us to retreat back indoors and watch the music channels.
To say the next hour was awkward would have been a colossal understatement of everyone’s behalves, it was like a living room version of the high school dance cliché. The three girls on the sofa on one side of the room, me and Luke on the armchair on the other side, all silently watching Nelly and Kelly serenade each other.
Eventually the rain died down, and Connie staring out the window got up. “I’m gonna go trampolining” she muttered.
“Wanna come?” she asked me.
“Yeah sure” I replied, trying to keep as cavalier as possible.
Poor Luke had to go through the awkward torture once more listening to some mediocre pop-hop as I tried my luck once more.
Me and Connie get on the trampoline, there’s some form of really shit small talk, maybe I try to woo her with some shit trampoline based puns.
“I thought I had a spring in my step, hoh HOH!” I really don’t know, part of me doesn’t want to know.
We’re both there. We’re both bouncing, not full bouncing, just half assed bouncing, sort of as if you’re bouncing with a small child and don’t want to knee it in the face with your superior bouncing ability.
Eventually she sits down on the trampoline, my brain doesn’t quite process this as I continue to merrily bounce, at this point she probably thinks I’m the biggest fucking idiot in the world, which I probably was.
Presumably frustrated at my half-hearted bounces she grabs my legs and pulls them towards her, causing me to fall down and bite my own lip.
The searing pain in my lip would have to be put on hold for the time being, we had ourselves a first kiss to attend to! Before any form of anxiety could kick in, it had already happened! Our lips had locked, the fifteen year wait had finally reached its end! The pulses raising once more! The thrill! The big exciting pay off! the elation! The……taste of Weetabix?
A strange plot twist that I could never had foretold had entered the scene. Whilst I didn’t particularly know what the taste of….tongue.. Could possibly be, I was almost positive that it wasn’t meant to be fresh Weetabix.
This wasn’t just a hint of Weetabix, this was as if my tongue had just been soaked in a bowl of the stuff.
The mind racing of anticipation had slowly been drowned in confusion and Weetabix. My beating pulse has been subsided for the beat of Weetabix, suddenly all of my nerves were soothed by the breakfast fuel. It was possibly the quickest I’ve ever gone from pure elation to pure confusion.
We went out for two days, broke up and it took me about five months to eat Weetabix again.
Within the space of a month of having my first kiss I then had sex with another girl, so I suppose to a degree I’m quite the rapid bloomer.