I was 14 when I met Joe. It was long, long ago. I was a freshman in high school and he was (gasp) a senior. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss, my first little taste of heartbreak (although the real heartbreaks would come later). He was blonde, beautiful, confident, lovely.
We broke up, sort of unofficially, when he went to college after he graduated– went to college in California, about as far away from my East Coast city as he could get. We didn’t talk much. I was busy with school. He was busy with school… and other things. We wrote a few letters. Not that many. And things just sort of faded away. It was gentle.
He came back that summer and we went out once or twice. He drove me around in his car, too fast, and we saw a movie. I wouldn’t let him kiss me, even though he asked.
The next summer it was the same. Except he showed up at the front door, all white teeth and blonde curls, and asked me if I wanted to “hang out.” I turned him down. I’d started dating someone else.
And then we never saw each other again.
Fast forward, years later. Through the grapevine, I heard that a friend of mine, Skipper (not her real name), had gotten married. Skipper and I worked together for a few summers, but we weren’t ever really that close. She was, frankly, a little too dippy to hang out with on a regular basis. I think my response to the wedding news was along the lines of, “meh.”
And then I saw a wedding picture.
It was Joe. Maybe 75 pounds more of Joe, but yes, it was Joe. Standing next to the bride, wearing a tuxedo, being all groomlike. I hadn’t really even known that they knew each other.
Facebook stalking ensued. (What? I’m not a saint.) Joe was a copy machine repair man, moonlighting as an improv comedian. I was not really surprised. I’m pretty sure that a fairly accurate Beavis impression can only get you so far, and as I recall, that was about all he had in his bag of comedian tricks.
A couple of months ago, I got an invitation to Skipper’s baby shower. I got this invitation in email, but upon further examination, saw that it was an email notifying me that the invitation was via Facebook. The title was, “Baby Shower!!!!!!!!!!!!” Skipper was the host of the party. Yes, she was hosting her own baby shower and sending improperly punctuated invitations out to 500 of her closest friends via Facebook. My sister texted me, “Where is this girl’s mother?”
So, my first boyfriend Joe and his dippy wife Skipper have produced offspring. The baby is due in August.
And that’s where Joe is now. I’m sure he’ll teach his daughter a Cornholio monologue as soon as she can speak.