Posted by: shelliejelly | May 3, 2008

The first

1/ The first time I held a boy’s hand was in grade school. I grew up in a medium to small city in Iowa, where recreational past-times weren’t abundant. We went swimming and rode our bikes in the summer and sledded and had snowball fights in the winter. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Rollerskating came into fashion in the sixth grade, and we all congregated at our local rink, oddly named Skate Country! Every now and again, someone from my school would win a “class pass,” which entitled all of my classmates to an evening of fun at Skate Country! For these events, the organizers would have what they called moonlight skates, where the lights would be dimmed just a little and boys asked girls to skate hand in hand. And nearly every time, my grade school crush, Shawn R., would ask me to join him, and I’d smile and say yes and grab onto his hand and we’d spend a song going around in a circle, just the two of us, trying to figure out why the other made us feel so funny in our bellies.

2/ The first time I knew I needed to start wearing deodorant was when I was 11 or 12 years old. It was summer, and I had just come indoors from hitting a tennis ball against my garage, pretending I was playing in Wimbeldon. I found my mother in our dining room and went to ask her a question when she looked at me and said, “Michelle, I think you need to start wearing deodorant.” I took it as a compliment and stood a little taller, feeling so mature and … smelly. When she took me to the drugstore to purchase my deodorant, I carefully smelled each available scent searching for the perfect one. But then, my childishness got the best of me, and I opted for the prettiest container, which, at the time, was a pink polka-dotted roll-on.

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