Since we met on New Year’s Eve, Safire thought it would be fun for me to share my memories about the night we met. (Of course, after she asked me to do it, she also claimed rights to edit my post. What’s with that!? Anyway, I’m not sure what you’ll actually get to read, but it should be fun to write.)
Honestly I have a very poor memory. There are a few that are vivid in my mind, like the night I took Safire to homecoming, but that’s not what I’ve been asked to talk about tonight. Most of what I remember about that night is due to my diligent journal writing from the time I was 14 until I was 21. (I didn’t quite write every night, but it was close.) Reading my entry for that night is rather humorous. Apparently when I was a teenager I spoke in some sort of cryptic code. Apparently you couldn’t just say that you liked a girl or thought she was pretty. There were special code words to describe how cute she was or how much you liked her without having to say it.
I remember that I was 15-years-old, not old enough to date, but old enough to go to stake dances. These were fascinating events where the 14 and 15-year-olds (since the 16-year-olds can date they don’t always feel obliged to come) go and stand around. The boys sit in the chairs along the walls and wonder what they’re doing there. The girls stand around in groups, effectively preventing boys from coming up and asking them to dance by sheer numbers. In each group they whisper to each other about who they consider cute. Occasionally some of them somehow manage to end up dancing and talking and generally everyone has a good time by the end of the evening.
This particular stake dance was a special opportunity for me. My best friend and I had been invited to a stake dance in another stake by a girl we both thought was really cute. She invited us because there was a guy coming that she used to like. He was supposed to be really charming, and she asked us to come so she wouldn’t end up falling for him again (or something like that. I don’t recall exactly.) The point is that rather than being around girls that I’d known since I was four or five, I was going to be around girls that I’d never met before and might never meet again. This was an opportunity to be whoever I wanted to be for one night. I could flirt with anyone I wanted to and no one would know that I was normally really shy and nervous around girls.
According to my journal I met five girls that night within the first fifteen minutes. All of them would be my friends for the next several years. Safire’s favorite part is the fact that of all the people I met that night, hers in the only name I couldn’t remember. She is forever immortalized as “…another girl whose name I cannot remember. I’m so mad. I’ve got to remember names. I’ve got her phone number…” So how do you call a cute girl if you know her number but not her name? Well, that would be a problem for another evening…
Safire says that she remembers what I was wearing that night. I wish I could say the same about anyone there (even myself), but I have no memory for such things. My journal focuses on what I remember about each of the people I met. For Safire I don’t say much more than that I’m not sure how I feel about her. She is, however the only girl that I specifically mention dancing with. (I asked her to dance the last dance of the evening, which was naturally a slow song.) The only thing that I really remember about that evening was playing Twister. They had games in some of the classrooms in the building. We all decided to play Twister. It was fun. I’ve always been really good at Twister. They had four Twister mats together in a square so that lots of people could play at once. I remember that Safire and I were the last two left at the end of the game. She was also really good. Neither of us were going to fall on our own, so I decided to be more aggressive. (I’d only ever played Twister with my older siblings.) I intentionally began to move across the mats to where she was. I cornered her, trying to limit her access to the colors she’d need to play. It worked, but not as intended. She eventually lost, but she did it intentionally because she was embarrased about me being so close. I realized too late that I’d made her uncomfortable. I felt really bad, although she didn’t really seem to mind too much. So I gave her the Starbursts that I got for winning. I remember thinking that she was really cute when she blushes…still is, as a matter of fact.