Wednesday, July 13, 2005


8:32 p.m. So I am sitting with my mother talking about what I should wear to my lunch date with Rolph this afternoon. "I don't have anything decent to wear," I complain. "I never unpacked from when I was in Puerto Rico." Mom sighs and says, "Well...wear something indecent then." I laugh. Of course! Only a mom could give such sage advice.

So, I decide to wear a pair of capri pants and a black tube top thingy. I get the thumbs up from Mom, so it must be okay. I walk downstairs and ask Daddy how I look and he says, "Hmph." I smile. "I choose to take that as a good 'hmph' and not a bad 'hmph', Dad." Dad looks up from the project he's currently undertaking in his workshop, says "Hmph" again, and gets back to work. I trudge back upstairs. I obviously won't be getting any validation down here.

As I'm driving along I think about Rolph, my high school sweetheart. Rolph was blonde and tall and had the very bluest eyes I've ever seen. And with his German heritage he would have been a perfect Hitler Youth. (He looked a lot like Rolph from, The Sound of Music.) Oh, I was crazy about him to the point of obsession. I used to sleep with his dirty t-shirts so I could smell him when we were apart. I built a shrine to him on my nightstand. Pictures, candles, dried corsages from dances... It was truly frightening. I just knew we were going to get married someday and have lots of babies.

Well, to make a long story short, I moved. And Rolph got this crazy idea that we should date other people seeing as we'd been dating since we were in junior high. I was crushed. For months I couldn't sleep. I stopped eating any more than I needed to survive. I would see a guy wearing suspenders or a cardigan sweater (okay..his fashion sense was questionable) and I would break into a cold sweat. I remember I heard "our song" on the radio once about four months after the break-up and I had to pull over because I thought I was going to throw up. [Insert: The End of the World, by Nina Gordon, here]

But, as we all know, time softens the sharp edges of a broken heart. And eventually Rolph and I became dear friends. We would meet up every few years for dinner or lunch and tell each other about our lives, gossip about mutual acquaintances, reminisce about the old days. This has gone on for nearly 20 years.

I get to the restaurant and Rolph hasn't shown up yet. The hostess seats me and I sit down and start reading the menu. Fifteen minutes later I hear Rolph's voice. "There you are!" I look up and take him in. He's filled out since high school. No longer the scrawny boy I once knew, but a man.

I stand up and we hug. He kisses me on the cheek and asks me how I'm doing. "Fine! Good!" We sit down and start chatting. I tell him about all of the interesting twists and turns my life has taken over the past few years. He tells me about his work and his wife and his new son. I demand pictures and he shows me a snapshot of a chubby little 6 month old with very familiar bright blue eyes. He and his wife are both very blond and he jokes that their son is so fair that he'll burst into flames if put in direct sunlight. I laugh. Then he tells me that he ran into one of the teachers from school, Mr. Chen, the other day. Mr. Chen told him that of all the couples he'd seen over his 30 years teaching he'd hoped that we would make it. We both smile at that. [Insert Billy Joel's song, Italian Restaurant, here.]

Before I know it, two hours have passed and it's time to go. As we walk out to our cars we talk about what our lives might be like next time we meet for lunch. He will likely have a few more pups and a minivan. And maybe I'll start my own PI firm or join a band or something.

I give him a last hug and wish him all the joy and happiness that life can offer. "Drive safe!" I yell after his car. I sigh as he drives away. There goes my first love. [Insert, Young Love, by....whoever]


Olga said...

Ah, young love.
I think I had about 15 high-school sweethearts. I have no idea what any of them are doing now.
Polly and I ran once in to one at a restaurant in St. Paul, after we had graduatuated from high school. I broke up with that guy when he had mono. Bad Olga! He was smart and cute, but went to another school. I was leaving on choir tour and didn't want to be "tied down."
Ah, Polly, you are a lesser slut than I.

mad Scientist said...

I was way too geeky and shy to date in high school. I even went to prom with a bunch of other girls. Good thing Weasel and I didn't meet back then we probably both would have been too shy to ever talk to each other.

Oh and Anon - lay off already!

don't worry Polly I got your back and I can whip up some nasty pathogens in the lab.

kibby F5 said...

*still has a soft spot for his first love*

Don't we all? Haven't seen her since graduating H.S.

No sense in thinking about "what could have been, what there could be". We're all different people now.

Polly P.I. said...


Thanks for those pills you sent me. Whatever that stuff was, it sure took care of the "diet" I contracted in Puerto Rico!

(Oh, also wondering if it's of concern... I noticed on the package later that they were suppositories. I thought they were a little big when I swollowed them....)

kitty said...

I've been thinking of you as a 20-something! You certainly look as though you're in your 20s.

Polly P.I. said...

Olga said: "Ah, Polly, you are a lesser slut than I."

Don't say it. Don't say it. Don't say it.

That's really not saying much, Olga.

Damn. I said it.

Polly P.I. said...

There will be no unleashing E. coli in the blog pool today!

Anonymous is an old friend and he just mistook Rolph for a former boyfriend of mine who really WAS a bad, bad man.

So, thanks, guys..but you can put the dirty diapers away and save them for some other time.

Bill said...

The preferred version of "Young Love" would by by Tab Hunter, who turned 70 the other day, or possibly Sonny James, who's probably even older. Only someone my age would know this.

Austin said...

I'm with Kitty. I was thinking you were 20-something. You definetly look no older than 20-something.

Seeing how you're not the 20-something, does this mean I can't go out to dinner with you some evening while your in Minnesota?

Higgy said...

Ahh - I'm reminded of a line from The Princess Bride...

"Wuv.....Twooo Wuv...."

Sounds like a great lunch - I wish all my future meetings with ex's would go so smoothly!

Brat said...

Tab Hunter .... Bill, we must have nearly the same geezer factor.

I just looked in the music dictionary under saccharin, and there was a picture of ole Tab.

Glad you had a good time Polly. You didn't mention if there was a glema in his eye that said something like "man, how did I let THIS lady get away".

Billy Joel songs .... "And So It Goes". Sounds like Rolph shared that little room in your heart and had your heart to break.

Nancy said...

Thanks for the update. I guess eventually we'll get the inside scoop on what happened between that sweetheart and your current life? Like, did you ever marry? Where'd you meet, etc?

Sorry, I'm so involved now...

Polly P.I. said...


That would be fun meeting up with you! Olga and I will be at the Aquatennial in Minneapolis on Friday evening if you want to meet us down there.

Oh, and so you all know, I'm in my EARLY thirties. ;-)

Marvin | Paranoid Android said...

What do you mean? I thought we were all 24 and hardbodied?

Eleanor said...

Marvin: 25 FYI!

Great story Polly - as all of your's are! :)

mad Scientist said...

Polly don't worry I find things work equally well no matter which port of entry you use.

*puts away all her bubbling tubes and apologizes for any hostility her late night post instilled on this blog*

Olga said...

"You miserable vomitous mass..."
I could quote Princess Bride with you all day, higgy!
Brat- Good song. Polly and I were REALLY into Billy Joel in high school. You could say our theme song was, "Only the Good Die Young."
Yeah, Austin - Polly and I will be at the Aquatennial Block party tomorrow night downtown. Let us know if you can meet up with us!
Polly and I are in our VERY early 30s. But we both still get carded a lot, so that's fun!

Jeff Meyerson said...

Sonny James, NOT Tab Hunter. And I'm really NOT that old but just knowledgeable, really! And you zip it, Eleanor!

And here I thought the end was going to be that Rolph was gay (NTTAWWT). I mean, suspenders & cardigan sweaters? Hello!

Glad you had such a good time, Polly.

My third ex turned out (years later) to be close friends with my sister-in-law since college so we've seen her a few times over the years. She and Jackie have a lot of similiarities, other than her turning out to be a lesbian after years of marriage and two kids (again, NTTAWWT).

Slyeyes said...

I find the surest way to conjure up an ex is to dash to the grocery store without makeup and with my hair stuffed under a baseball cap. In other words, looking totally awful. Never fails. And they all have this "whew-dodged-that-bullet" expression on their faces.

Tab Hunter is 70? I thought he was dead.

And the song I was thinking about for your lunch was Old Lang Syne by Dan Fogelberg (sp?)

mike weasel said...

Polly don't worry I find things work equally well no matter which port of entry you use.

Mad, dear, that sounds very naughty.

Austin said...
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