I began stalking J.J. in the fall of 1968. He sat across the room from me in study hall. I was fourteen years old. He had caught my eye because he reminded me of another boy I had just ended a disastrous summer fling with. He was cute but in a dark mysterious sort of way. As the days went by I began to take mental notes about him. We had no other classes together. Our lockers were two sections apart. I could, if I timed my stride just right, pass him in the hall between Religion and Biology class. He rode home with friends. I rode the bus. He played football. He had jet black hair, a full beard and let’s not forget….he was adorable. I was hooked.
I also thought I was doing a really good job hiding my puberty driven passions but soon they became the talk of my girlfriends which meant they eventually reached his friends and on to him. So why did he continually ignore me? Not even a “hello”. Tripping him in the hallway was becoming a definite option.
Was he shy or did he just think I was the ugliest girl he had ever seen? The entire thing was driving me to look for him more often and take bigger risks of making a total fool of myself.
“Please just throw me a crumb.” I thought to myself almost daily.
By the time the holidays rolled around I had just about given up all hope. Then on the last day before the holiday break it happened. I was sitting on the bus when suddenly something flew through the open window, hit me in the arm, and landed in my lap.
“Here.” came a faint voice from out of nowhere.
In my lap sat a little Christmas wrapped box. It looked as if an elephant had used his trunk to wrap it. I swung around just in time to see J.J. rushing away in the opposite direction. I was in a semi-state of female hormonal bliss. “ He likes me !” I screamed in my head.
For a while all I could do was stare at it. Then I rolled it around in my hands. When I finally did open the box, inside was a pendant with a brown stone wrapped with silver. Obviously not expensive but invaluable to me as it represented the beginning of our great romance.
Now if you are thinking that my stalking had obviously paid off, think again. In true J.J. fashion it would not be until the next fall that I would finally hear from J.J. again. Oh, I kept tabs on him. I arranged to bump into him at various school functions but it was not until the next homecoming dance that we would clumsily come together. He didn’t dance but it was an official date. We also began spending inordinately long periods of time on the phone. Officially, we became “steadies”.
From that point on we had the best times. Our relationship, our great friendship, and romantic life together blossomed. I can think of many stories that I remember through the eyes of that teenage girl. Maybe I will put some of them down on paper for our grandchildren and maybe I will share some of them with you.