You know, when you're crying so hard that your mouth stays open and soundless waves of nothing but spit strings and popcorn breath emanate? That was my sister, Elizabeth.
I distinctly remember coming out of the movie theatre from seeing Terms of Endearment and seeing those two, teenagers at the time, looking like the love children of Luciano Pavarotti and Alice Cooper. What a satisfying bawlfest that movie was. If I don't cry or laugh at a movie I feel ripped off and I came out of that one with deep-seated orgiastic satisfaction. Debra Winger glowed with fragile beauty. Shirley MacLaine was hilarious and tremendous, all at the same time. And Jack Nicholson was the best he ever was, self-deprecating and sexy. My first movie love? Hands down, Terms of Endearment.
Nancy Drew Mystery, the best present under the tree, and began reading it with the enthusiasm one might bestow on a precious jewel. For a few thrilling years, Christmas and birthdays meant new Nancy Drews and those yellow-spined beauties were, without a doubt, what inspired me to read some of the world's greatest literature, and also to write.
I was having a hard time narrowing down musical first loves just now. There was so much music to love when I was growing up. Then I remembered sitting down in my parents' basement, cross-legged on their red indoor-outdoor carpet next to the stereo listening to David Cassidy's Cherish as it spun for the four-hundred-millionth time on the same turntable that later played Jesus Christ Superstar, The Guess Who and Supertramp. That hair, that perfect hair. Those liquid-chocolate brown eyes. Those slim hips. Hang on... having trouble breathing just now... David Cassidy, I think I must still love you, so what am I so afraid of?
Ian Oliver was the first boy I ever kissed and so I guess I loved him because when you're in Grade 8 it's easy to confuse a messy glom of chapped lips, fat sloppy tongue and adolescent body odour with love. Sometimes, but not often, I wonder what happened to him.
Then, one day a couple of years ago, the company I work for announced the appointment of a new president. Ian Oliver. I stared at the headshot that accompanied the announcement. I thought, maybe? The eyes looked kinda similar but it was hard to tell because 36 years had gone by. Still, stranger things had happened so I sent him an e-mail and congratulated him on his appointment . (I know, chutzpah, right?) While I wanted to outright ask him if he was the kid I kissed in some other kid's basement back in 1972, I had the brains to coach my question in a less obvious and more job-future-friendly manner. I told him he reminded me of someone "I went to school with" in Markham, Ontario. Luckily, or unluckily as your viewpoint might allow, the president of the company grew up in England or Australia or somewhere over the pond but definitely not in Markham so he was definitely not the Ian Oliver I locked lips with back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and David Cassidy played on my parents' stereo.
Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for another fun-filled blogfest. If you'd like to take part, click here!