300WP: Your First Kiss

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I was never the girl picked for kissing in truth or dare. I didn’t have boyfriends in grade school like some of my other friends. I was super-shy, awkward…the usual cocktail of adolescent horror. So by the time I got to high school, and not only made friends, but started dating, it was a new world.

My first boyfriend was a year older than me and I knew him from lunch. He sat with some of my friends. I saw him at a homecoming dance, and we talked and danced (awkwardly). Before he left, he asked for my phone number, which I wrote on the back of my dance ticket.

Neither of us could drive, so for our first date, he and his parents picked me up and dropped us as the mall. This was back when one of the malls in my part of town had a movie theater and a food court. We ate at (I think) KFC, then we went to see Mermaids (which remains one of my favorite movies ever–that scene where Christina Ricci comes in with the pumpkin on her head cracks me up every time).

His parents picked us up after. I thought it was weird that they both came, but he was an only child and they were older parents so maybe they were just really protective? They parked in the front of my house, but my family always went in the side door. It was a blessing, in hindsight, although maybe he wouldn’t have kissed me if they’d been able to see us from the car.

We said our good nights and then before I turned to go inside, he grabbed my arms and pulled us in. Oh my lord, this is really happening, but why is his tongue out?? He wound up sort of mashing his tongue against my front teeth.

Then he was gone.

I went inside, wiped off my teeth, and realized I’d just had my First Official Kiss. And it had been weird.

We went out maybe one more time, again with his parents as chauffeurs, and sat together at school whenever possible. This was before the days of cell phones and we all used phones that were stuck in the walls at our houses. So he and I talked as much as we could.

I got out of the shower one night and my mom said he’d called. When I called, back this conversation happened:

Me: You called?

Him: Yeah, I just called to tell you that I’m not going to be able to talk on the phone tonight.

Me: Um…okay…

Him: It’s just that the State of the Union address is on tonight.

Me: (Half-joking because I was fourteen) Oh so the president is more important than me?

Him: At this point in our relationship, he is, yes.

I broke up with him a few days later in the 1990s version of a text message: via note passed between classes.

I went on to successfully date a senior from another school, a misunderstood rebel type, and then finished off high school with my first long-term boyfriend. Lotta good kissing after that first rough start.

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300WP: Back to School

Today’s prompt:

If you had the time and resources to go back to school, what would you study?

Psychology. I think in another life, I’d be a counselor or psychologist. Mental health is important and fascinating and I love listening to other people’s problems. I don’t think I could do children’s therapy. My sister is a social worker and I couldn’t deal with abused kids. I think marriage counseling would be interesting. Or family counseling.

Huh. That’s all I really have to say about that.

300WP: Do you use coupons?

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Today’s Writing Prompt: Do you use coupons?

No. I mean, yes. Sometimes.

I use coupons for things like oil changes or kitchen stuff at Bed Bath & Beyond or BOGO shoes. I like Groupons sometimes. But I don’t bother with grocery coupons or stuff like that. I used to try, for a while, but it’s a hassle and I have better things to do with my time than scour the Sunday papers for little bits of paper that I then have to keep track of until I go to the store. And I’ve used the apps like Cartwheel, but it feels so fiddly and I don’t really feel like I get that much out of it.

Someone told me once that manufacturers don’t do coupons for us, for the shoppers. They are doing it for their own good, and YOU don’t save more money than they MAKE on you. It’s uneven.

I use loyalty cards in a couple of stores.

Also, I don’t use the products there are coupons for. Take toiletries. I can’t use anything with chemical fragrance in it (that is, anything that isn’t literally from the plant) or aloe. I use store-brand cleaners. Also, I hate those coupons that are like, “BUY SIXTEEN BOXES OF OATMEAL AND GET THE SEVENTEENTH FOR HALF OFF!”

TLDR: No coupons.

300WP: Something I Bought Used

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I got one of those books as a gift that offers x number of writing/drawing/meditation/etc. prompts. I’m going to try to use these as blog post prompts. Feel free to blog along with me, if you are so inclined. I will randomly open the book and then choose a prompt for the blog.

Today’s prompt is: Write about something you bought used.

We just moved into a new house a month ago. My husband and I laughed about how nearly all of our stuff is secondhand. It felt all grown uppy and adult to get ALL NEW appliances for the kitchen. We haven’t bought any new furniture yet but here’s a list of the major pieces and where they came from:

Living room couch and armchair: Used, Purchased off Craigslist for $400 in 2007. I got it from a couple who’d ordered it sight-unseen from a catalog and vastly underestimated the size to space ratio. They’d only had it for four months so it was practically new.

Dining table and chairs and grandfather clock: Used: inherited from Husband’s grandmother

Sharper Image Massage Chair: Used, purchased off Craigslist when I was pregnant.

My desk: Used, purchased off Craigslist (originally from Ikea)

Our bed/mattress: New, bed from Ikea, mattress from Amazon

Poang chair: Used, Craigslist (originally Ikea)

Dressers in our bedroom: Used, one was my mom’s, one was a friend who moved and didn’t want to take it with her

Dresser in the boys’ room: Used, it was mine when I was a kid

Dining room mirror: Used, bought at an antique shop when I moved into my first apartment

Husband’s desk: New, made out of a butcher block countertop and Ikea desk drawers

Boys’ beds: New, given as a gift when they were born

I grew up in a family of reusers, upcyclers, wear-it-outers. We drove cars until the wheels fell off. I check eBay and Craigslist before I look for new stuff. I love consignment stores, thrift shops, yard sales. The newest cars I’ve had are our current vehicles: a 2007 Ford Edge (We inherited it from Husband’s grandmother in 2013) and a 2014 dealer demo Prius we got in 2015.

We didn’t have a ton of money growing up, so we had to use things up, wear them out, make them do, or do without. I never had stylish clothes.

I laugh at a home builder commercial on the radio. The woman is HORRIFIED that people live in “USED HOUSES.” I admit, it’s a stroke of marketing genius to suggest that only a brand new built home is somehow better, but it’s also a load of bullshit. Our “new” home is 117 years old and I couldn’t be happier about that.