My Childhood

Sweet 16

July 14, 1991. I woke up early that morning. Who wouldn’t? It was my 16th birthday. I was going to get my driver’s license, and then I had a date with the love of my life. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and I loved him dearly. (He and I pictured LEFT, he has been removed so he never has to be associated with anyone wearing blue satin. Poor guy.) Life was grand. We had been together 9 months, which was the longest I had ever dated anyone. For Christmas, he had given me an ID bracelet with my name engraved, and “Love, HIS NAME” on the back. I knew this birthday would rock because he had already shown himself to be a romantic gift-giver. I dreamed about the upcoming date for weeks. I have always been a hopeless romantic, so I was planning for something big.

So – I go to take my driver’s test. I failed. Seriously. And it SUCKED.

So what did I do? I could NOT tell the boyfriend I loved that I had failed. So, I did what I always did when crisis loomed, I lied. I told him the line was too long and Dad didn’t want to wait. It really didn’t matter too much b/c Dad wasn’t going to let me drive the first night I had my license anyway.

So, his Mom – who I loved – took us to our date. We saw a movie and ate dinner. I don’t remember much of either because of what happened after. I basically deleted all else from that night as important enough to store on my mental hard drive.

We get in his Mom’s van after dinner, and he gives me a gift. I dont even think it had been wrapped. It was a Moonie. Okay – here is your description. It was a Fat Man Doll that had suction cups on his back side. That description right there is probably enough for you to feel my pain. But, the fat-suction-cup-man has a PURPOSE. You stick him to the interior car window. It comes with one of those squeeze pumps like a blood-pressure cuff. You squeeze the pump. He pulls his pants down and MOONS the neighboring cars.

Now. If that did NOT fill my sweet 16 fantasy, what could?

I actually dug through the box later at home to make sure he hadnt hidden a heart locket or something in there.

You know what was worse than GETTING the Moonie?

1) Having to tell my friends – who were all dying to know what he got me for my 16th bday because we were giggly teenagers and I was the only one with a “long term boyfriend”. I mean – they were waiting for me to call when I got home, the anticipation was that great.

2) Having to make it sound like it was EXACTLY what I wanted b/c I didnt want them to know I was disappointed. Do you know how hard it is to muster up excitement over a damn Moonie???

All of THAT on top of the fact that I did NOT have my driver’s license.

He broke up with me a week or so later. I knew that was coming. I knew that non-relationship inspired gift represented something grander, but I loved him. We stayed friends because we still were both struggling with some of the same problems. He was my first true love and my first true heart break. I think I still have the cards/gifts etc in a box at my Dad’s.

So – as you see, the story – in retrospect, is pretty freakin’ hilarious. How else would I have kept my brother’s girlfriends entertained over the years. He’ll prob even make me tell that story to his KIDS someday.

I saw that boyfriend at a club in Knoxville several years ago. It was after my ex-husband and I split, but before I met Donnie. He kissed my hand. He was going back to Montana to study geology, or something like that. I was severely flustered. A girl really needs preparation before running into her first heartbreak. I wish I had been dressed cuter.

I should have told him “Thank You” that night for all he did for me in terms of coping with personal issues. I should have told him I often think about his Mom and how strong she was. Or maybe, I should have simply DEMANDED a new sweet 16 gift, right then and there. Or at least demanded he buy me a drink. Alas – I demanded nothing because I was paying my tab when I saw him, I was leaving, and flustered. But he kissed my hand, which completely boosted my ego as a woman recently divorced.

I think that made up for the Moonie.

1 thought on “Sweet 16”

  1. That’s a horrible gift! I seriously doubt I could have mustered any sort of excitement over a moonie. First loves, though, are amazing. I just found a card from my first love in the attic while I was digging for Christmas decorations. It was signed “I will always love you, Josh”. I seriously doubt he still loves me!

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