So, there are a few things you should know about me in my pre-teen/teen years. The fact that I was hideously awkward goes without saying, but there are certain moments that will always stand out as my most hideous and most awkward and because it is the season of giving, I'm going to share a few of them with you, if only to make you feel a little better about yourself.
1. I was in 3rd grade and had just tested into the gifted reading program, so I was feeling pretty sweet. Seriously, could I be more nerdy? Anyways, I was walking to lunch thinking about how smart and cool I was when my eternal nemesis and sometimes dance partner, Mike, turned toward me and said "Nice stache Lisa!" Well, sadly all of that advanced SRA reading which had managed to get me into gifted reading did not include anything about "staches," and it took me a good week to figure out that dear Michael was referencing my moustache. Ouch. Stupid Italian genes. I swore that I'd get back at him by totally messing up our big performance of the hop at the school choir concert, but I chickened out. Of course, I should really be thanking Mike because that seminal life-moment lead me to discover Jolene Bleach, and really, thank god for that.
2. I was in 7th grade. I had a HUGE crush on this skinny kid named Joe. I thought he was so cute, but I probably weighed more than he did and thus it was never meant to be. Anyways, we were all at some basketball game, the details are a little hazy, but I remember sitting precisely one row below him in the bleachers with my BFF (who really didn't turn out to be much of a friend, for the record. I mean who lets a friend talk to a hot boy with...well, keep reading and you'll see what I mean). In a moment of unprecedented courage, I turned back to strike up some awkward conversation and he and his ever-present sidekick, Mike, (yeah, did I mention that he was best buds with the same bastard that called out my moustache just a few years ago? Well, he was.) just started dying laughing. He was seriously unable to control himself. Just laughing and laughing and I just kept saying "what?" and looking awkwardly around. Joe was kinder than most middle school boys and politely pointed out that I had the hugest booger EVER hanging right outside of my nose. Ouch. My chances of making out with Joe were officially put on life support that day. Shocking, I know. Mustaches and boogers, who could possibly resist?
3. I had my first real boyfriend, and ahem, this is the guy I actually ended up marrying. Yeah, I know it's a little weird. Anyways, we were totally in love and of course took every opportunity to make out in privacy, which usually lead us to any and every available basement in the greater-Cleveland area. During one particularly steamy make-out session following a viewing of Teen Wolf (because if Teen Wolf doesn't get you going, what will?), we were rudely interrupted by my future husband's younger brother. Umm..did I mention that his younger brother was the same guy who first identified my stache and called me out on having the biggest booger of my young life? The one, the only, Mike. Anyways, he proceeds to plop himself down on a huge armchair in the basement, whip a 40 oz beer out of his shirt and turn on some porn. He didn't even notice us. Once we had pulled ourselves together, Ken started yelling at him and Mike started laughing and then we all ended up laughing because Mike was drunk and he had totally caught us in a compromising position and it was really sort of hilarious.
The point of all of this is that I was totally lame growing up. Obviously. And Mike was really, really cool. Much cooler than I could ever aspire to be. The life of every party, the best man in our wedding; he had a heart of gold and a nose for trouble.
December 19th will always be a sad day for me, because it's the day we lost Mike. 5 years ago today. Some things you just never get over.
I miss you, Mike.