Do you remember him or her? I do — to a T and completely.
I was a fourth grader at a Foster City, California public school that was a little Montessori and a little rock and roll. Our hippy dippy principal made sure we took music class every week with Dennis, a friendly pothead that looked just like one of the Doobies. I worshipped him. He taught me all the words to Steve Miller and Fleetwood Mac. And while I DID love him unconditionally, in a strictly platonic, schoolgirl way — to this day, I credit him for my love of music –he wasn’t my crush. Still, with the utmost respect and admiration, I often called him “Dennis the Menace who loved tennis.”
I choose to believe he thought that was awesome and sublimely rhymey.
At least when I was 9, I chose to believe that.
Now that I’m almost 42, I know the real truth.
But this isn’t about stripping the patina off the paint of the lies I told myself.
I don’t know what that means either.
No. This is about my first crush. Who wasn’t Dennis.
His name was Kenny. My music class seatmate.
And he rocked my roll.
Because folks? You try learning the words to “Both Sides Now” and NOT falling in love with the guy next to you. Even though it’s a maudlin song, it’s yearny and poetic. And there were ALL KINDS of things happening in my body when I sang it. On another note, it’s a strange song choice for fourth-graders, right?
God bless you, Dennis.
I bet I know how you voted on Prop 19.
As for my crush. His full name was Kenny Mullin. He and I voice-crackingly crooned “Fly Like An Eagle” in unison, our itty bitty pre-pre-pubescent hearts swelling together in conjugal semi-inappropriate song selections from a stoner. And when we weren’t learning 70s rock, we were classmates in our granola fourth-grade homeroom. See, each grade’s class was conducted in a round, yurt-like space, and students could sit wherever they fancied. And I fancied sitting next to Kenny’s pre-pre-pubescentness.
Oh how I remember Kenny.
His hair was thick, wavy, sandy brown.
He was preternaturally pale. A little on the skinny side.
Marching to the beat of his own drum.
Juuussst how I like ’em.
Furthermore, to make a very meandering story more so, I fancied myself an aspiring actress at the time, and had auditioned for a class play in which I would be the “farmer’s wife.” And the farmer?
Milk my cow, Kenny.
My WHOLE LIFE for one entire week in 1977 revolved around rehearsing my kiss with Kenny. Because somewhere in that play, there had to be a kiss. I mean, FARMER? And FARMER’s WIFE? They were married. They kissed. Surely.
Of course, I didn’t know then what I know now.
Married people don’t kiss.
HA. HA. !
And so to sum up, I didn’t get the part.
And Kenny milked someone else’s cow.
And “Both Sides Now” is still an awesome song.
And I love my husband.
Who I kiss alot.
HA. HA. !
As for YOU.
Who was your first crush?
Please post your response in the comments and write about it on your blog and leave me the link.