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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hick Chic Anniversary Week:The True Story of the Farmer's Daughter and the Rock Dog

Why am I putting this out there for anybody on the planet to read it? Because I love this man and I want everybody to know it.

We were high school sweethearts, and a very delicate set of circumstances brought us together. For most of our childhoods, we'd lived only a five minute drive away from each other. We went to the same high school for two years, knew many of the same people, and somehow never ran into each other. I do have a vague memory of looking out the window and seeing a bizarre little Chevette in the school parking lot with white fenders and a black hood scoop...but he spent as little time as possible in that hellhole and I never saw his face.

It all converged when we ended up at a different high school. Ours was on a three-term system, and the new one was in two semesters. We both had the first half of the year go down the drain and needed to catch up. The year was 1987.

I'd been in my sickly teenager phase and had just gotten back from the detox clinic. This school had a special education room that was set up to be allergen free: no perfume, no harsh chemicals, air filtration, the whole deal. At that point I couldn't tolerate anything. A new carpet would make me blind with craziness; it got into my forehead and made me blink. So I started off the semester with a ride to school on the small bus. Yep, I took the small bus to school.

He had decided the summer before that school really truly was a waste of his time, and that he needed to ditch it and run off to be a rock star. After playing violin for eleven years he'd started playing guitar at 14, which he did whenever he wasn't under his car. Three years of guitar playing later, he had a chance to join a band. His ownership of a pickup truck may have made him a more valuable band member. Now remember that this was 1986. A few gigs in, he figured out that he really did not enjoy the performing aspect of musicianship. The required eyeliner and hairspray had a lot to do with it. He found himself in October with no gigs and no job and not enough education. He bought another car and got it ready to drive it to school in February.

Meanwhile, a girl who would later become known right here as Bestest, had just returned from her exile out east where she had been sent For Her Own Good. She and I had been writing back and forth. She'd be living with her older brother, a guy who would later become known here as The Mayor of Crazyville. Knowing that she would be there eased my mind. I'd know somebody in the big bad city school.

Bestest was the coolest; she was wearing fishnets and little pointy shoes with zippers on the front. She asked me if I knew this particular guy who lived behind the mill and hung around with her brothers. I'd always wondered who lived in the spooky old house behind the mill. I didn't know him. She offered to introduce us, since we were all kind of from the same place.

I wasn't in the market for a new boyfriend. In fact, I was already spoken for. Things were on the way out with my boyfriend and I, but even still, I can't say that sparks flew. I can't say that it was love at first sight. But, I remember exactly how he was standing, leaning on his locker, one foot propped on the other. I clearly, perfectly remember every detail about what he was wearing.

He was holding a plastic parking permit. He said his car wasn't quite ready to drive yet. I asked about the car. He was just slightly off-putting. "You wouldn't know what kind of car it is. It's an old car."

So being me, I replied, "I LOVE old cars! Tell me what it is." He mumbled that it was a '67 Pontiac. I asked if he bought it from Billy. He said yes. I squealed that my dad had almost bought that car, for me, but it was already sold to some guy...

If you believe in fate or karma or even if all you believe in is coincidence, it all adds up: the mutual friend, the school, the car.

Once the car was working he moved out of his sister's place in the city and back in with his folks. He offered to drive me home after school, what with the farm being only five minutes out of his way. I took the offer, of course. He spent the next few months driving and smiling. He was the perfect gentleman (when he wasn't being a snarky young punk of an almost-rock-star) and slowly I became an unattached exgirlfriend. He never said a word. He never made a move.

The snow melted, the leaves popped out of the trees, and I had a new friend.

He knew I was nuts. I did crazy stupid things, I wore ridiculous clothes, and I never friggin shut up. I made him laugh. I made him cringe. Once I took my sandals off and danced on the roof of that gorgeous old car. What the hell was I thinking?

By the time school ended, I was feeling healthy again, and I couldn't be away from him. He felt the same. We'd sit in the car and talk until the sun came up. My mom would wave to us as she left for work. Every time we said goodbye we'd hug, and the hugs got longer and tighter. I kissed his cheek. I hated watching him drive away.

But we were just friends.

We went to see the fireworks on Canada Day and when he dropped me off at home, we kissed each other.

And that was the end of that and the beginning of all of this.

18 comments:

The Adult in Question said...

Still love that picture of Jethro. It always makes me laugh...especially the hair. Ha Ha, Jethro

The Adult in Question said...

Wait, I forgot something...u should talk about that cute little flower girl at your wedding.

Heidi the Hick said...

That one is a CLASSIC! And remember, it was not a mullet. I have no fear of the mullet, but I must get things straight: that was a SHAG.

Wasn't he cute!!!!!

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh believe me, the cute little flower girl is coming up. We're still at the courting stage at this point. The marrying comes later!

Kari said...

I L O V E the pix of you and Jethro. I can't wait for more installments of this story!

Heidi the Hick said...

Thanks Kari!

The hardest challenge will be pictures, since Jethro is not only camera shy but insistent on keeping our faces out of the blog. I'm not sure how to handle that. He was so painfully cute when we were kids and I'd love to show him off but I have to respect his wishes on this.


stay tuned...!

Timmy said...

aww! that is the sweetest story on the planet! I love ya Heidi!

Life, or Something Like It said...

I loved those shoes....

JJ said...

This is excellent! Love the pics...gawd...hair, oversized shirts & leggings...I LOVE THE 80's!!!!! (I love a good love story even better!) Yup, can't wait for the rest of this story! *smile*

Notsocranky Yankee said...

What a great story! You guys were so 80's! The dreaded shag haircut! I admit, I AM scared of mullets. It was very scary when we lived in Georgia!

I think the car was the clincher - but he's lucky he got away with the remark that you wouldn't know what it was. Boys should be careful around girls whose dads taught them about cars! Don't you agree?

CindyDianne said...

It's a lovely story. Really. Very sweet. oh...don't ya just love the 80's style! ;-)

Smartypants said...

Aw. Y'all are cute. = )

I owned at least 4 pairs of black leggings back in the day.

Big shirts.

Big matching earrings.

Big hair.

Heidi the Hick said...

Aw, Tim, we're all about the love!

Biddie- the zipper shoes? Yeah, they rocked.

JJ I didn't realize how much I loved the 80's until they were gone...

Yankee, it's possible that the Georgia mullets are a scarier species than the Ontario mullet. Somebody should do a wildlife study on it.

And yeah, he is lucky he got away with the car comment. He learned reeeeal fast about girls whose dads teach them about cars! Actually he very quickly adjusted to thinking it was very cool that his girlfriend liked cars!

Cindy, glad you liked it! I was kind of afraid it might be too darn cute!

Smarty, it was all black leggings for me, especially since I couldn't find jeans that fit me. I was puny and refused to wear little boys jeans. I made up for it with the earrings though. They were huge!

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

That is the coolest story, Heidigirl! I love those stories about fate.

Congrats and have lots of fun!

Always,
Jas...

N I F T Y said...

This made me go "awwww" about a million times.I'm proud of you. I think it take courage to stay with one person for so long. Courage and FREAKING AWESOME HAIR!

Heidi the Hick said...

Oh Nifty, the hair definitely has a big part in our ability to stay together!

Thank you. It does take courage.

Y know, I was only a year older than you when I found him. It's rare, I know, but be very choosy! You never know....

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Steve Bodio said...

Small bus! We say "short bus" out here. I love it.

You have seen MY hair-- as much a sign of its times (early 70's).